Across the world we are seeing nations shaken by seemingly random events, horrific acts of violence, global crises and seismic political upheaval, bringing fear and instability on a scale not seen in our lifetime.
The majority decision of UK voters to leave the European Union surprised and saddened many across Europe. The debate and outcome exposed deep divisions at home – between young and old, rich and poor, skilled and unskilled, Scotland and England, urban and rural areas.
These are times of great turbulence and division, in which our challenge, as God’s people, is to navigate by faith rather than sight.
Now is also a moment of great opportunity for all who follow Jesus; a Kairos moment.
God is calling His people to stand firm in faith, hope and love, and in so doing to bear witness to a kingdom that cannot be shaken.
We are His chosen instruments; His living sacrifices here on earth.
By filling each day with His grace; giving hope, offering wisdom, sharing joy, bestowing peace and showing boundless love and compassion for all mankind – we become channels of God’s glory, bringing healing to a fragile and frightened world.
In so doing, the Lord will be our light, our sorrows will end and God’s righteous people will possess the earth (Isa 60).
In times of turmoil, we are not merely called to bear public witness but to join together in prayerful intensity, setting our minds not on things of the flesh but of the Spirit (Rom 8).
Through trust in God we can forgo all human temptation to try and ‘solve the problem’.
Ours is a battle in the spiritual realms, for which only God’s people are equipped.
Our prayers flow from humble worship of the King of all kings. He gives us authority, but only when we surrender to His will.
There is now a concerted, aggressive and well-funded campaign to promote the Buddhist technique of Mindfulness within every sphere of our national life, including healthcare, education, government, the workplace, business and sport.
Its promotion within schools, without the informed consent of parents, is of particular concern.
Mindfulness espouses a world view that is profoundly at odds with the life and teachings of Jesus.
Whereas Jesus embraced our humanity and shared our suffering, mindfulness seeks to deny this reality.
Mindfulness promotes ‘awareness of self’ as a means to detach oneself from any form of suffering or difficulty. There is no place for the concept of sin, but rather an avoidance of responsibility for ones own actions.
The scale of the refugee crisis represents a huge challenge to us all. As we witness the appalling conditions endured by refugees, we remember that Jesus and his parents were also refugees, fleeing to Egypt to escape persecution. As Christians we are called to respond to all refugees and asylum seekers as human beings, loved by God; real people with names, histories, needs and desires just like us.
Who will be there for them when the news media turns its attention elsewhere? Ours must be a sustained commitment to show God’s love by supporting those in need, through prayer and action, over the long term.
In doing so, it is not for us to be concerned with the impact on our own standard of living or ability to flourish. Our political leaders are well placed to determine how national resources are best deployed. How we respond, however, can set an example to those in charge, and even help to shape the direction of policy.
We urge you to unite with members of your local church to pray and consider practical ways to help refugees. Below are some examples.
Christianity is united on this issue. Click ‘Church Responses‘ for details.
To find out more about how you can help click ‘Refugee Action‘.