Planning meetings have taken on a whole new experience. When I was a Pastor and planning the Church BBQ we would have to plan a contingency for if it rained. The meetings I attend now are far removed from the simplicity of factoring in the weather. It is all about when will we be out of this pandemic? Will we be able to gather by then? What restrictions will be in place? So my diary has dates that are provisional and back-ups and events that are online or online with possibility of a few in-person and in-person gathering with online also. The diary looks crazy.
Let me just save some time and just get straight to the point:
Are we in danger of longing to be back to normal more than we are longing for Him?
I hope that when the Church comes out of the pandemic and goes back to whatever normal it is that we do so with a longing for the justice of the kingdom; a desire to walk right with one another and a craving for God to move with salvation in our cities and towns. If those were the 3 overwhelming desires of everyone within Church then that would be something worth coming back for. Anything else, programmes and plans, will come to nothing if our appetites are not for Him.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5 v 6)
Jesus said this at a time when the Jews were heavily taxed and the money used for the building of the Herodian’s lavish palaces and homes for the gentry, hunger was very familiar to most.
Today there are people who stiff suffer at the hands of their governments and broken infrastructures. We are still to discover the true findings of the negative impact of this pandemic but prior to it at the commencement of 2020, a report by the Social Metrics Commission stated that 4.5 million children were living in poverty in the UK. That will have greatly increased.
Of course that doesn’t compare to the many famines that have happened and are still going on around the world. Fuelled by war, corruption, ideologies and apathy from the rest, many are hungry today.
But on that mountainside were people hungry for God to once again step in and end the suffering of His people which historically was seen to have been caused by their wandering from Him. Jesus is teaching his disciples but the crowd are listening. I wonder if Jesus had this Scripture in mind when he gave this Beatitude?
Psalm 107: 4-9 “Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”
The Church needs to find its hunger point again.
We do not have everything. We cannot by our own efforts see Church growth and effectiveness. We boast and advertise our riches but it all comes to nothing. We need God to enter. We need to be able to say, “He has filled.” So …
Are you hungry?
Do you have an insatiable longing that can only be satisfied by God?
Is there a strong desire for more?
Are you pouring out your soul?
It is better to be hungry than not needing a thing.
So let’s hunger for Him today.