I have reflected on a varied week and wonder whether we are alert enough to the presence of God? Do we only look in expected places? Might we find Him more powerfully in places of weakness?
Sunday – a youth service with an Olympic theme (the day that the flame passed by) reminds us that we might seek the medal, but the majority are losers and, in fact, Jesus is all about life for losers.
Tuesday – a meeting about the work of Christian Aid, supporting some of the most vulnerable in our world, facing the consequences of natural disaster or political ineptitude. Can we witness to God in these places?
Wednesday – Solihull clergy talk about Street Pastors ministering to those suffering the excesses of a Saturday night out, ‘Welcome’ for asylum seekers visiting the local UKBA centre, the possibility of a project with the elderly residents of care homes.
Then on to sorting the details of a number of funerals with their reminder of the finite nature of human life and achievement and reflecting on the life that exists before birth and after death. Our world and God’s domain are not as tightly defined as we generally think.
A church meeting then tends to focus on very practical aspects of the life of a community. One would like to think it would centre on things of a higher nature, but actually it is all part of where God is at.
Thursday brings involvement with the Churches and Industry Group, supporting chaplaincy in the workplace. What are our expectations of God in industry, commerce and business? Certainly the Christian church is viewed by others as being ‘out of its zone’ when it involves itself in this very dominant area of life. Do we believe this?!
Then I find myself in Winson Green, one of the most deprived areas of Birmingham with little going for it, except that there is a Christian community witnessing to God’s presence and interest in people’s lives and enabling folk to find a strength in that.
Saturday – the anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005, my first summer working in Tavistock Square (previous job). Could I say God was present in the carnage that I witnessed there? In many ways, certainly not, yet in the self-giving of so many caught up in those events, the pain and the agony shared, the life-giving gifts offered freely, God was very evident.
A vulnerable and frail world and humanity, yet it is here, perhaps more than in places of power and strength, that we can discover God. You might not be able to find Wally, but …….