Have you ever played Jenga? Players take turns removing one block at a time from a tower constructed of wooden blocks. As a block is removed, it is then placed on top of the tower, creating a progressively more unstable structure. The player causing the tower to collapse loses the game.
We are living in troubling times. The eruption of violent conflict in the Middle East raises another shadow over the world where so many innocent people are suffering unimaginable hardship and pain. So many challenges threatening to disrupt our lives are colliding all at once. The ongoing war in Ukraine, cataclysmic events around the world, earthquakes in unexpected places, devastating floods, unprecedented heat waves causing terrible forest fires threatening people and their homes, dramatic and unpredictable weather patterns and then of course, war and unrest in many other parts of the world where many marginalised people groups are suffering untold grief and devastation. Closer to home we have the seemingly unstoppable flow of illegal immigrants arriving on our shores, upheaval in the financial markets and instability in our political system.
One by one we remove the blocks in the Jenga ‘game of life’, and create an unstable world where nothing is certain anymore.
Larry Norman, a Christian Rock Singer released an album way back in the 70’s called “Only Visiting This Planet.” A verse from one of the songs on the album “Peace Pollution, Revolution” was prophetic. It goes like this:
“The water is polluted and the air is filled with death
Someday it won’t be easy to stop and catch your breath
But it’s all in Revelation, it’s part of the design
And if you’re truly wise, you’ll keep your eyes on Palestine”
He was dropping a huge hint that what is predicted in the Bible is coming true before our eyes. The Middle East is not only the place God chose to break into time and space 2000 years ago, it’s also the location of his second coming.
On Remembrance Sunday, we will take time to honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who bear the scars of conflict. Please pray with me, that those living with pain, anxiety and stress, may find peace in the one who said, “My peace I leave with you…Let not your heart be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14)
One of the songs we sing in our Community Choir is “Donna Nobis Pachem” – “Grant Us Peace.” May you and all those you love and care for, know this peace today.
Blessings, Revd Steve