I feel safe and secure in my cave, my home, while the world rages and only enters via the screen in the corner of the room. I have happily excluded myself from engaging, other than from a distance, glad that Covid restrictions enable me to feel I am doing the right thing.
However, I do feel a discomfort, even an anger, which I trust is righteous, because what I witness is far from the good creation that was God's in the beginning. There is great need for salvation, yet people listen only to themselves and what seems good to them.
Outside, firestorms, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes - political argument, armed conflict, virus - all bring our world towards a breaking point and I know that change needs to come.
There is much in crises, natural and human, that seems to speak of judgment, yet God's voice is not heard in them alone.
Attention is drawn to our human failings, but it is the still small voice within that we must listen to. It is the Spirit within which moves us to the creative that lies beyond judgment. God will not add to our sense of despair and impotence at the chaos of the world, but rather encourage us with his gifts.
God's still small voice called Elijah from his cave of retreat and security to anoint kings and prophet (1 Kings 19). When we feel at the end of the road, not able to do anything significant to change the situation, are we, perhaps, called to the same - to anoint those who are in positions to act and bring change - those with particular gifts, those who seek to govern or lead, those who seek to shape our human life and those who will speak for You in our world.
What then does it mean for us to anoint others? It begins with the recognition of and an appreciation for God's gifts in them. Then to bless, encourage and share in, as far as we are able, this move towards the new creation.
Practically it may mean things such as:
Engagement in the political process, enabling our voice to be heard between elections.
Support and affirmation for causes bringing change that we understand to be from God - climate action, building peace, enabling the less able .....
To support those who seek our deeper understanding of God's purposes, giving attention to the prophetic voices speaking into particular situations.
There are many stories of which we are each part. Our family, our nation, groups, causes etc. are just some. We are all part of the story of creation, God's story, key elements of which Christians understand are told in the Bible. The story stretches from creation in Genesis to new creation in the book of Revelation, with us somewhere between the two, playing our part, filling in the detail, shaping the plot.
I recall learning about the various books of the Bible, constructing a picture of a library covering history, song, prophecy, Gospels, letters and much more. It is absorbing to reflect on one's own story, the larger stories of which one is a part and that greater story which is God's.
The fruitful reflection for each of us is around what part we play in God's creation, redemption and new creation.