So what do you say in the bulletin article after the week we have just had. The build up to and the day of voting was full of peace and even hope and joy. Then we had the delays in announcing resulting in violence in the city centre. Now we have a number of Zimbabweans dead. As I write this I sense that the whole city is quiet and the mood is one of sadness and heaviness.
In the midst of all this I was part of a funeral service for the mother of a Northsider. It reminded me that there are more important things than the elections and results. And the most important thing is eternity and where you will spend it. The lady who died was a wonderful faithful lady. We know where she is because we reminded ourselves of God’s Word and His Promises. In the midst of mourning there is joy. Too many of us have placed too much importance of earthly things, we have placed our trust in humankind, and we have been let down again. When will we learn to put our whole trust in God and in His awesome power? The funeral also reminded me, through Sarah, that while we did not know what the results were, and we did not know what was going to happen, we can have absolute assurance that Ann was with Jesus. We live in such an uncertain world but we can have full assurance in Jesus Christ. Where are you putting your trust?
And so what do we do in these times? Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. Mourn with those who mourn. Look after the orphan and the widow in their distress. For me, the message is, continue to be God’s church. God’s church is the hope of the world. What are you doing to grow and strengthen God’s church here at Northside?
I was also reminded that in these dark and heavy days, we can put on God’s garment of praise in place of the spirit of heaviness. The joy of the Lord is my strength! And that is what we are doing today as we celebrate our annual Harvest service. We come to give back to God recognizing that all we have is from Him in the first place, placing our trust in Him to continue looking after us now that we have less and as we let go of earthly things and trust Him, our hearts are full of praise and thanksgiving. And suddenly we find our hearts surprisingly warmed and lifted up. I hope that is your experience today!
Thank you to everyone who came to the church meeting last Sunday between the 2 services. We have a lot to be joyful and hopeful about. It is wonderful having the Sunday school, Bible class and the afternoon service with us this morning. We have a busy holiday ahead of us with Week of Transformation (6-10), the Project127 Orphan camp (10-14), BUZ Annual Assembly (15-17), the Icthys youth camp (22-25), the ACSI Christian Education Conference (27-31) and finally Bring it on (1st September). Please pray for all of these and try to get involved as much as you can.
God bless, Pastor Gary