22 April 21

I had an email today from a friend saying that things are tense. Well, I’m sitting doing the bible after we spent yesterday running around trying to fix things that had been organized and ordered and are not available. We have been sleeping poorly. It appears that evil is on the ascendant, and yesterday I did not even put the news on. Kea says that the usual blogs I read — the conservative ones and those in this little area of the interwebs — are making me angry. She’s right.

There is a lot of pressure on us to get anxious and fearful, and to be robbed of our peace.

Psalm 23
A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Acts 3:17-26
17 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

Christ knows we act as pagans, with our eyes darkened and our minds distracted, overmuch. If your vision is impaired — the windscreen is covered with bugs, you don’t have your glasses in — you can walk or drive into things. [1] But when we see correctly, we change tack. We don’t keep on driving into the side of the road or across the centre line. In a similar way, when our faults are shown to us by those who we love we work out how to change things.

This is never easy. But Christ came to give us a choice to take a parth that leads towards God, or to remain a wordling, having pride in our corruption. Christ works by love, but the world works by fear, for they know fear works.

What Machiavelli means is that we can betray those we love but we cannot betray those we fear. We give our love, and are therefore free to withdraw love when it suits us; fear on the other hand is thrust upon us whether we like it or not. This is why fear endures. This is why the bonds of love are weak, the bonds of fear are strong–and why mattering is a terrible power.

Fear works, but living under fear is terrible. It is the place of the serf. Christ came so we would not be under the tyranny of our sins, or the tyranny of our fears. We were not called to be like this.

So let us be wise, let us reform, and let us seek Christ. Perhaps this world will see that they do not have to be as miserable as our rulers require them to be. Perhaps they also will find Christ came to allow us the freedom to love God, and then our fellow brothers and then our neighbours.

  1. Sunstrike has almost led to car accidents while we have been traveling, and I’ve managed to bump into objects in unfamiliar places when I have contacts out and am visually impaired.