Back to the Grass (Roots, That Is!)

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Part of my morning routine is to read through our local newspaper. This morning my eye caught an article by Anthony Furey. Recently the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that an adult of sound mind, but suffering from overwhelming pain, can be legally helped to commit suicide. The government has a year to come up with some kind of legislation to that effect. The article, Suicide and the So-Cons, (http://www.nugget.ca/2015/02/10/suicide-and-the-so-cons) argues that “social conservatives” need to stop trying to force law-makers to pass legislation to prevent such things as assisted suicide. Instead, they need to work within society to give people better choices and to persuade them to make better decisions.

The term “social conservatives” would include most of us who are followers of Christ. And I have to say that Furey makes a good point. We, as Christians, can’t legislate right behaviour, any more than foreign governments can mandate peace in the Middle East. We can’t make people do, at least not for long, what isn’t embedded in their hearts to do.

We simply can’t expect regenerate behaviour from the unregenerate. While we, as believers, need to make our voice heard, we need to be speaking to the people who, at some point in their lives, will be faced with end-of-life choices. We need to introduce them to Christ, to the suffering Saviour who knows that nothing happens without a divine purpose.

What is our theology of suffering? What does God say about life—and death? And perhaps the most critical question of all—are we ready to die? Our pastor made the comment in last Sunday’s sermon that we have to consider that suffering here, no matter how hard it gets, is nothing compared to suffering an eternity in hell. But we don’t talk much about these things at a grassroots level with those who will ultimately make the choice to live or die.

This morning I was also reading the story of Jesus walking on the water. You’ll remember the context. The Lord had left his disciples to cross the sea while he went up onto the mountainside to pray (John 6:16-24). A storm came up and the disciples were hard pressed to make any headway. They saw what they first thought was a specter walking toward them on the water—and were terrified. Jesus identified himself and said, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” As soon as they took him into the boat the storm stopped.

The events of our day, and our slide as a nation down into the dark and dangerous pit of secularity, frightens us as believers. It certainly should concern us because we know from history, back as far as the history of the children of Israel, what happens when God is abandoned by a nation.

On the other hand, though we feel like the disciples on stormy seas rowing into the wind, the Lord is with us and we do not need to be terrified by events over which the Master of the seas and storms has perfect control.

What do we need to do?

Pray. Pray for our authorities, our nation, our churches. Pray for revival within our churches and the movement of God in secular society which will result from that revival among God’s people. The Lord said: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). That we certainly need!

Evangelize. Introduce Christ to as many people as possible. In doing so they will discover better choices and learn to make better decisions based on the absolutes of Scripture.

Trust. God is walking on the stormy seas. Don’t be afraid. As difficult as things may seem, He’s got it all under control.

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