So, it may be Boxing Day, but alongside the normal Christmas-season type chocolate-eating-and-relaxing, I’ve actually had to get my brain in gear.
In just over a week I will be back in Glasgow at Bible College, for the final taught part of my Masters.
Week 1, Leadership and Spirituality.
Week 2, Urban Theology.
Ok brain, here we go…
Despite the slightly crazy (but incredibly fun) visiting-and-touring-the-UK-schedule that I’m continuing in an hour or so… I still have a pile of books to take with me on the journey. And some scheduled coffee-shop-study-time for the road. And I must confess that I’m actually a little-bit geekishly excited about reading them. Or continuing to read them. Or re-reading them. Because there’s something that I love about thinking through this stuff. Dwelling on the Word of God and praying through it’s application. Remembering why I love people, and love the city, and believe that God can break through in the nations of the world. There’s so much beautiful challenge to be prophets of beauty radiating the One who is Beauty.
I really believe that Holy Spirit longs to do wonderful things in these days.
It’s what I long for and pray for and press into Him for.
This morning I was reading an article about the issue of human trafficking in Japan. I was reminded again of the things that so marked me this summer. Of the importance of praying for God’s breakthrough in what can sometimes feel like slightly overwhelming world issues. Of the need to remember that that every statistic or report isn’t about nameless-faceless numbers, but about real people, with real face and real hearts and real stories. People that move the heart of God.
People that God wants to move our hearts for.
I once heard intercession described as the considering daily ‘the pain of the world’. I mean, I know we do more than just consider it, but it’s a challenging starting place. Because I long to reach out to the throne of God through my prayers, to reach out to the broken through my actions, to join with others in community, to fast, to weep, and to pray for Holy Spirit to move in the situations in our world that are just-too-big-for-us.
Because it can feel overwhelming when you consider the need.
To remember that heaven weeps.
But there’s this tangible and transformational hope when we remember that heaven also rejoices.
That God shares in our pain and calls us to share in the pain of others, but He also sees the beauty from ashes and the intended restoration.
A friend asked me the other day, something about how working with the broken didn’t overwhelm me. And I answered that God’s equipping enables us to have soft hearts but thick skins (which could be a whole other blog post in itself… But not for today…) But in considering this afresh this morning, I remembered a post I wrote a number of months ago, which still holds really true for me.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed.Sometimes.But, last night I was reminded that while heaven weeps, heaven also rejoices.That just as the pain of the world, and the pain of individuals should move me to my knees; so my faith in God’s ability to restore laughter, and dreams, and dancing, and wholeness, should cause me to rise again.When we look out at the world, it’s all-too-easy to be a prophet of doom. To see just the pain. Just the suffering. Just the injustice. To feel overwhelmed by the depth of the darkness.But we are called to be prophets of beauty.