Opening THE Book with Rev John K-S July 2021
Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston
As I write, more than 3 million people have died from Covid-19. In Yemen we continue to witness the worst humanitarian crisis this century. Climate change and plastic waste threaten food production, whole communities, and the biodiversity of our planet. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that at least 79.5 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes, among them nearly 26 million refugees (around half of whom are under the age of 18). In the Ukraine and the South China Sea, Russia, and China are flexing military muscles that could turn to war
In the UK many are facing unemployment, frightening debt, and losing their homes while more and more people require the help of foodbanks and other voluntary or statutory agencies. What place then for religion? Is not religion at best an irrelevance to making a living and surviving in the world, and at worst, part of the cause of the world’s problems?
The fact is that bad people will always find reasons to do bad things. Bad people and bad things are not caused by religion or by communism or any other “ism”. Rather they come from envy or greed or fear or selfishness or the lust for power. The Bible teaches that there is a better way to live and a way that has been made possible because of God’s love and providence, above all through what God has done through Jesus Christ. Last month I wrote that “The Bible is the only book that truly has the power to completely transform one’s life from the inside-out”. It is, in fact, God who has that power. Jesus said that he had come that people might have “life in its fullness”, the best that life can be. The Bible tells us how
If you really want to discover how to have peace in a world of conflict and turmoil, how to find comfort and hope in grief or despair, how to have the best for your life, your marriage, your family – read your Bible (in a modern English version) starting with the Gospel of Luke. Then go on to the Gospel of John. And ask God to speak to you as you read the words. I promise – it will change your life!
also published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine
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