Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Building out of the rubble

Authentic Christian ministry often means building out of the rubble. Tomorrow we have a "Youth Day" planned (please pray!). We're going to try to teach Kenyan young people about the gospel, and then about godly living. This is in a society where many are sexually active even before teenage years and AIDS and other STDs, rape and underage pregnancies seem out of control. We would wish that all of the truths we want to teach were familiar, being taught daily in the home by fathers... but in reality, I would not be surprised if in a majority of cases of those who could come tomorrow, the fathers can hardly remember what middle name they gave their sons or daughters.

What then can we do? We can look at the rubble, sink down and weep. But then what after that? There's only one world to build God's kingdom in, and it's a world full of rubble. Adam filed the earth with it when he sinned and brought us all down. The amazing truth is that God's kingdom does actually grow out of the ashes out of disaster and disappointment. When it seems that we're getting nowhere and having to go back again and again over the same basic territory, God is actually laying the foundation of a glorious temple. We might not see it in our locations above the ground level for a long time, and on ground level we might just see the rubble, but the basis is being laid. So do not lose heart! Jesus came to the ruined wreck of a deeply confused, disorganised and misled Jewish church, but he found precious stones there that he picked out, polished, purified and built into his gospel temple. This is how it has ever been for God's servants, and is no reason to be discouraged.

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