Sunday, 5 January 20

This year does not seem to be about whimpers, but bangs. Trump has taken out one of the Iranian generals: the left clutch their pearls, between setting up selective outrage about the bushfires that threaten their lattes.

All this is designed to amplify a sense of crisis, and remove any power, or more importantly courage. The failure of this elite is clear. I have listened to friends and family while on break, and the cynicism level is higher than the fire risk.

This does not matter. This life is not about this moment. It is about eternity. We are to stand up for Christ, regardless of the political situation, regardless of the season, for those before us did it far harder than we have to.

Hebrews 11:32-12:2

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

The song for this Sunday is repeated. Mainly for the second verse.

To reveal the kingdom coming
And to reconcile the lost
To redeem the whole creation
You did not despise the cross

For even in Your suffering
You saw to the other side
Knowing this was our salvation
Jesus for our sake You died

Christ did not despise being emptied, made human, or the death he would face. Like us, he feared. Like us, he was tempted. Unlike us, he did not yield.

And sometimes, like him, we need to set our face like flint and do our duty.