I recently posted to following in a school newsletter and it was well received by the school community in a time of much uncertainty. I have included it with this website on Christian Education as students and teachers are not immune from asking this Question. It refers to a devastating earthquake in Christchurch and 'prediction' of a more devastating earthquake in a couple of weeks which is unsettling many people in the community. Got to say, this afternoon I attended a funeral and could not help to think of the many people who have been killed by a 'Natural Disaster', but have entered heaven because of an 'Act of God'…
As the year whizzes past I am sure that the older students will be pleased to have testing week behind them! Thank you to all who came to the school BBQ last weekend. What a fantastic turnout! We had several things planned for the afternoon such as a netball game and some short speeches, but as everyone was so settled into conversations and enjoying one another's company it seemed criminal to interrupt this with formalities. Obviously our school is very much about Christian growth and development and a big part of that is community and unity.
The situation in Christchurch is dreadful with such a toll of loss of life, limb and homes, I am moved by a song by contemporary Christian artist, Toby Mac (formally from DC Talk for those who bounced about in the 90's) called "City on our Knees‟.
When Bron and I were living in the Cayman Islands it was shaken by a Category 5 Hurricane which pretty much decimated the country. The effect on the island, as with the quakes here, was a country asking one of the most important questions of our lives, "Where is God?‟. On the news we have heard reporter after reporter offering up thoughts and prayers to those affected by the quake, in an unprecedented move the Speaker of the House, Hon. Lockwood Smith opening the House in prayer and Churches packed by people returning to "their roots‟ across the country. With the rumours of more earthquakes I know of many Christians who are having long time acquaintances questioning them about God and Church. Praise the Lord!
The images of the old Churches lying in ruin have been difficult for many people to take. But as we have seen God's churches falling and at times taking life, we know that it is time for His Church to be strong, unified and to share the life He has given to us with others. In adversity there can be great unity.
With people, the rich and poor alike, being brought to their knees we can gain comfort that in our weakness He is strong. When the Apostle Paul petitioned to the Lord for a "thorn‟ to be taken (his adversity) from his flesh, his Lord replied with, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". (2 Cor 12:9)
I know there are many theological answers to the question "Where is God when things go bad?", but one thing is certain, He is where He always is. He said to the Church at Laodicea in the Book of Revelation, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." (Rev 3:20)
In such a time as this we need to be on our knees and ready for those who ask.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
Thank you to all those who have offered practical help. Last week we deposited a little over $1,200 to the Red Cross. For those who have offered accommodation to Christian families I will hold onto the responses as there are still people looking for a home away from home.