Yesterday was one of those days – not the sort where everything went wrong, or a day which you don’t want to go through again, but the sort of day where you learn so much and leaves you with a lot to think about.
The first thing I learned was about an incident in the Bible where Jesus meets whom we call the woman at the well. The problem with living in the West is that we apply our way of thinking to people and situations in the Bible. The result of this is that we don’t appreciate what we read, or miss the meaning. The phrase in question is when Jesus tells the woman she has had 5 husbands, and the man she is currently with is not her husband. Our natural (Western) reaction is that this woman has divorced 5 men, so she must be a bad person. In fact, in her culture, a woman cannot divorce a man, but a man can divorce his wife. In other words, the reason this woman is divorced, is because the men she married divorced her – she has been rejected 5 times. This is different to how we would interpret the situation here in the UK – the woman is divorced, therefore she is at fault. The truth is, she knows she has been rejected and so would have felt ashamed as she walked around the town. She would walk with her head bowed, and may possibly have been excluded. Then Jesus appears, tells her all about her situation, but He doesn’t reject her. (Of course He doesn’t accept her sin – she would need to be forgiven, but that isn’t my point here). No one is too bad to be forgiven and we can all find acceptance in Jesus.
The second thing I learned yesterday was a particular place in Columbia was so desperate to be released from the grip of drugs and poverty that a group of pastors got together to pray. Then, over a period of months, amazing things happened, and the town prospered. This caused me to think about the situation here in the UK – the church wants to grow, and people would say they are desperate, but we are not behaving as if we are. When people really want something, they behave in a certain way. Their focus is solely on getting the thing they want, and nothing gets in the way. That’s the difference with the UK Church – we say we’re desperate (not just for numbers, but the fact the UK is losing it’s morals), but we’re not desperate enough to act like we want change. Our behaviour hasn’t changed – the prayer meetings are still half-empty (or more) and it’s hard to get people to meet together to pray. We’re not desperate at all. (Maybe individuals are, but I’m thinking collectively here).
There’s more things I learned yesterday, but I need more time to think about implications and have discussions with the people who caused me to think about it. Enough to say that it’s regarding Capitalism and Communism, and how it affects what’s happening at the moment with the global economy. Maybe another day.