Flip, I can’t quite believe that another 2 weeks have flown by and here I am again with another update!
The last 6 weeks have potentially been the quickest of my life and I can’t quite believe today is my last day here in the office before the break. It’s been a crazy month and a half- you’ve seen something of that from the blogs up already.
God has been at work in so many amazing ways and it is exciting looking forward to 2014.
Now just in case you’d managed to get to December 18th without hearing about Christmas, I thought I’d point it out: Christmas is in fact just a week away now (whoop!). Personally I’ve been counting down to Christmas since boxing day 2012 but I realise for some people the very mention of the word brings up bad memories of itchy Christmas jumpers, soggy stuffing balls or far too many hours of Christmas nativities that they would much rather forget!
I’m not actually going to be writing about Christmas, but it is something playing in the back of my mind at the moment as the term draws to a close and I head home for the next couple of weeks.
As I pack up my many clothes, my laptop, my phone and head back to my comfortable family home where I know I’ll be fed well, where I’ll have a bath, a shower and a comfy bed, I have to stop myself and think again about just that. I think about what a privilege it is to live in such comfort when around the world there are millions of people who simply won’t have the same this Christmas time.
Or any other time.
I can probably take a guess at what you’re thinking now, so please read this next bit. I’m not about to go on and write about how you need to change the world single-handedly this Christmas. I’m not going to say that you should feel really guilty about your presents, your Christmas lunch or your comfy home because that’s not helpful- it’s something we need to be aware of but not something that should weigh us down over the Christmas season.
Instead I want to just pick up on a verse from Amos 5 that is so helpful- not just at Christmas, but it’s as good a time as any to point it out! Amos 5:24 tells us:
‘But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream!’
This whole chapter in the bible isn’t really a particularly encouraging one (although it is VERY challenging!) – God is telling his people he hates their songs, their festivals, their sacrifices and then right near the end he throws this line in. He’s saying “guys, this is important”. I don’t like what you’re doing, your religion, but I do like this. I want you to be doing justice in this world. I want you to act in this way.
And what’s great is the verse doesn’t say ‘let justice roll like a single rain drop’, but like a river. This isn’t something we’re doing on our own, as one little person in the world. We’re doing this as a group. A river forms when lots of drops of water are flowing in the same direction with the same ultimate destination. They won’t all take the same route to the sea, but they’ll flow together, in the same direction creating the power of the river.
This needs to be like us. All of us standing for justice where we are. Speaking up for those who can’t speak. Loving those who are ignored. Remembering those who are in slavery. These seem like big things, and they are- they’re huge, but together we can become a river of justice in this world. Making a difference in these areas.
And it starts here. It starts now.
It starts with us speaking to our neighbour, not ignoring the person at school that no one talks to, praying for our local areas. It’s about realising that you can make a difference from your position of luxury and comfort to those in a very different position. Don’t spend this Christmas feeling down because you could be doing more, use it as a time to thank God for what you have and ask him to show you where you are needed.
It’s not the single raindrops alone that are going to change the world, but the millions upon millions of drops of water joining together, forming a river, a powerful source of life running through this world.