The last week or so has been a bit of a roller coaster. Last week Janet and I were on holiday and went to Nepal to see our daughter and son-in-law, and 8-month old grandson. We’re smitten! Samuel is simply wonderful and we so enjoyed getting to know him at this great stage of life.
And although I have visited
As we left
Tragically, it’s the death of a single person that will mark our memory of our visit to
Just a couple of years ago Fay came to serve with us again, and we could see a real niche for her skills in our
These tragic events present us with a challenge. I’ve often preached on the theme of security in Christ and what that really means. One thing is for sure – it doesn't mean that bad things wont happen to good people. One of my favourite Bible passages is Deuteronomy 32, and verse 10 gives us a picture of God as one who searches for his people and protects them -
“In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye”
Great verse, people say, but where was that protection for the Haitian people, or for Fay. “How can you speak of his protection in the face of this?”
For me, I have two simultaneous responses: the first is to stand silent and confess I have no real answer. These things bring us to that place of unknowing where we must either abandon ourselves into the God whose mysteries are fathomless yet who we believe we can trust, or we turn back, we walk away from the abyss of the unknown, we stop asking the tough questions, and we live our lives in the illusion of safety of all that is known and finite. I can’t settle for that.
So my second response, which doesn't negate the first but stands alongside it, is to encourage people to think again about what we believe when we speak of heaven. Not a ‘pie in the sky when you die’ theology, but a profound acceptance that if the resurrection of Jesus is God’s reversal of the cross, then in God’s economy every one of life’s crucifixions will also be reversed in and through Christ’s resurrection.
Was / Is Fay protected? Yes and a thousand times yes. For all eternity. And in heaven the savage scales of life’s injustices will finally be tipped the other way and all things will find their fullness in Christ.