ORANGE TIP: Wash your hands

ORANGE TIP: Wash your hands
Well I’m back, but things are a little different to the way they were when I left! The timing of my New Zealand ride was a blessing as was the preparation it allowed me. To have a month alone on a bike (for me) was great – and a great time of getting the foundational stuff with God in a healthy, rested place (perhaps God knew it would would require a whole month for me??). and has left me feeling as well prepared as possible to deal with what’s coming.

Looking at the bigger picture I believe things will be permanently different after this. It’s going to change economy, government, world power, culture.

My take is that it is undermining the ‘western’ world’s 70 year project to get comfortable and make things convenient (after the tumultuous first half of the 20th Century).

The change though widespread and big will begin in each person’s heart.

The first line of the 4 verses I spent the whole month of riding in NZ meditating on (Psalm 84:5-8) says “Blessed are those whose strength is in You”.

I realised – around three weeks in (takes a while to get through!) that although I know this is not a description of a “if you be good, then I’ll bless you” transaction (who is good except God), I still tend to read it transactionally – IF I find my strength in God THEN He will bless me. Where, in fact, it is simply a description of what IS. The blessing IS that I find my strength in God. I finished my ride trying to work out what that looked like in application and how to describe it to others.

Well this whole situation we are now in makes it blindingly obvious – Anyone who has found their strength in money, job security, comfort, relationships, social status, social connections, skills, health, safety or anything else has just had that all wiped out in one fell swoop. The only thing that hasn’t changed is God. If my strength is in Him, my situation has changed but my foundation, purpose, values, hope are still the same and in fact come into clearer focus.

My take is that when all our cultural assumptions and pride get swept away, people HAVE to turn to what is unchanging. For all those in churches who have prayed for revival – this might be what it looks like! If so, our response as a church will be key. If we just try to replicate what we do on Sunday ‘online’ all we will do is fade away and lose people – not everyone will engage online long term. If we look for how to serve our wider communities – perhaps at our own cost – we will be like the Christians during the plagues of the early Roman empire;

To do this well though we do need to robustly connect with each other, expand our networks and find new ways of doing things to support each other and keep ourselves healthy (in every way).
So stay home – and reach out.
Wash your hands – and prepare them to serve others.

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