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This is going to sound off topic for a moment. It is not, so I ask that you bear with me for a short while.
For those of you who know your social media, you will know that subject matters that get discussed on Twitter carry a hashtag. When you log into Twitter it will give you a list of trending topics. You can join in by typing in the subject matter listed, so long as it has a hashtag in front and all the words are together, so for example you could type “I think Port Renfrew is a good place to go fishing” #BCFishing
Occasionally there is humour, so for example on Sunday evening there was a subject matter entitled #VeryBritish999Phone Calls, all meant to stereotype British behaviour in the making of 999 calls, so for example, someone typed Someone just started talking to me on a bus, what do I do? Or, I said I to a familiar face there other day, now I feel I should always say hi, but I do not know that person. Obviously I joined in, one being a complaint about the football overrunning the following programmes and could all 18 million views be arrested, but the most popular of mine was “I have been looking at Rightmove and I see the house I lived in 1976 has undergone some changes and I wish to make a series of complaints”. The no of likes made me wonder if some people had been looking at Rightmove at houses they used to live in and tutted away at the changes
But does that not in itself tell us about our attachment to what we feel sentimental about in the past, what we see as part of our emotional home if you like. The Israelites in Egypt understood this, especially when they started being oppressed. When Shiphrah and Puah hid babies among the rushes, it was out of common decency, but also out of protecting a people, and it was this protection of the most vulnerable among their society that history was changed. The slavery was brutal, and many Israelites were pining for a deep memory of the past. As we know, among those babies was Moses, who was used by God much later. Not when he was an adopted Egyptian Prince, but an old man with little income and on the run.
When Moses came along, he reminded the Israelites of their ancestry, of a land that God had promised for them, that they did not need to suffer under Pharoah. A new country was coming into being
Let’s look thousands of years later, to some two thousand years ago, and St Peter’s declaration that Jesus Christ is the Messiah when he asked his disciples who they thought he was. Now many saw Christ as someone who would overthrow the hated Roman Empire, their concept of salvation was different to what was eventually on offer. In the midst of the brutalities of the Roman Empire, and brutal it was in spite of the bridges, aqueducts, sanitation, roads, medication, education, public order, and irrigation, Christ came to Earth to sacrifice himself so others would be freed from sin, and in proclaiming Peter as the rock on which he would build his church, we see the beginnings of the Christian Church, in the general spiritual sense, which in spite of it’s faults, has done much to spread the Gospel and change lives
What happened to the Israelites in Ancient Egypt, and the disciples in Roman occupied Israel, was that in the midst of suffering, a new era and movement was born which fundamentally changed lives for the better and history as well. It is not for nothing that Christ told St Paul, as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12, that God worked in him best when he was weak, and I imagine the same goes for the rest of us.
We all have had difficult moments in our lives, times of stress and difficulty, times when we feel God is far from us, but that does not mean he is far, in fact he is probably very close to us. Whatever difficulties we face, God can use them, and us, to help change us and the lives of others for the better, what we need is discernment and a careful ear. If you are going through difficulties, take heart, God can use you and while not responsible for your bad experiences, can use them to help others.
We all face difficulties. Moses, Peter, Christ, ourselves, but God has used that to his advantage and changed lives for the better and there is no rule to say that he cannot continue to do so, so let us accept God being prepared to use us to change lives, and society, for the better