A few days ago, a colleague and I did a Q&A at work. She suggested that it was turning into a bit of a debate. “Which one’s Trump?”, one joker shouted. I laughed out loud!
But lots of people aren’t laughing.
All around the world, more and more people are fed up. Millions of Americans are fed up with politics. Millions of Britons are fed up – either of the EU or of leaving it!
Why are we so discontented?
Because behind all this, there’s a deeper moral discontentment. According to a Gallup poll, 86% of people rate the state of moral values in the UK as “fair” or “poor”. 83% think it’s getting worse.
Because society’s morals used to be grounded in Christianity. Jesus gives us both moral teaching, and the way to be forgiven when we don’t live up to it. Drop Christianity, and our society’s traditional morality no longer makes any sense.
But our consciences tell us that we need a moral foundation. Without it, we get a gut feeling that something about society isn’t right.
What should we do with this gut feeling? After all, some of its effects are pretty ugly…
Our church is running an event called “What’s gone wrong?” It’s on 8pm Thursday, 24th November at Starbucks Wanstead. We’re looking at why people are so fed up and how listening to God can give us hope and vision. Come along – I hope to see you there!
We have a new local celebrity! Ben Smitheram from Chingford is the new world Scrabble champion. As a tribute, this blog looks at Scrabble scores for bible words. For Scrabble geeks, this link explains how the scoring works.
Rebellion (max score: 158)
“Rebellion” means that we run our lives our own way and ignore God’s rules. We are all naturally like that. That’s why we deserve for God to punish us, and need to be rescued.
Salvation (max score: 194)
“Salvation” means “rescue”. When Jesus died on the Cross, he suffered God’s anger against human rebellion. He died in the place of all the people who trust in him, taking away the punishment that we deserve.
Adoption (max score: 176)
“Adoption” means “becoming God’s children”. If we trust in Jesus, God doesn’t just forgive us – he makes us part of his family forever!
Zaphenathpaneah (max score: 941)
And finally… it’s a shame that names aren’t allowed in Scrabble. Zaphenathpaneah (Genesis 41.45) could score 941 if laid across all three triple word scores – that’s over 5 times the highest score in Mr Smitheram’s winning game!
Opposite Wanstead tube on the Green, you’ve probably often seen a beautiful statue with a drinking trough. But as it’s in Latin, maybe you didn’t realise that it teaches us about Jesus!
It means “in her right hand is length of days and in her left hand is glory” and it’s a Bible quote (Proverbs 3 v 16). The words are about God’s wisdom, which helps us live long and live well. But they also point to Jesus, who perfectly expresses God’s wisdom and offers us eternal, glorious life.
Deep down, we all long for the “length of days” that Jesus offers. The Bible says that “God has put eternity into man’s heart”. We feel that we were made for more than 70 years. The universe can only ultimately be fair if there is a future life with rewards and punishments.
Some people say “won’t it be boring to live forever?” No – because Jesus also gives glory and honour to those who trust in him. In the future life, we will have much greater emotional, intellectual and spiritual capacities (see 1 Corinthians 15). We will see God’s glory in infinitely many ways – in the new perfect creation, the perfect people and angels who live there, and most of all in Jesus himself. We will never run out of things to be excited by.
Every human being longs for “length of days” and “glory”. Jesus holds them in his hands and gives them to everyone who trusts in him. Why not come along to church and find out how you can get them too?