By Rev Robert Barthram, Jul 2 2014 07:22PM
Isnt it the way of things that you dont get a letter for a couple of months and then you get two together? Almost like busses!
Earlier this week I concluded an Elders Meeting by saying how we would be able to get home to see the second half. I was of course referring to the opening game of the football World Cup and I knew some wanted to watch it.
When I got home I did see most of the second half and then endured the usual post-match experts. This time however it was a little different. It began with the presenter explaining how a crowd had gathered outside on the beach front road in Rio de Janeiro, they had protest banners and had thrown some missiles at their glass fronted studio leaving it damaged and the people inside clearly quite unnerved. I read the next day how the presenter had gone outside afterwards to speak with the protestors but that had not gone well. My impression was that here was a bit of a clash of two worlds, the pampered and protected world of sport and the media and the world of those who live in the shanty towns of the world’s cities.
This letter was to be about something else altogether but it isn’t because before writing this I was checking my emails and saw a photo taken after that game of football. It was taken by a British photographer and showed some of the crowd leaving and passing a large rubbish bin. A fan was throwing an empty water bottle into the bin and inside the bin was someone scavenging for scraps. A dramatic contrast of two very different worlds clashing, normally they coexist with little contact but not this time.
As Christians we should always be aware of the realities of our world, not seeking to ignore them but seeking to do something about them. Apparently some complained about the photo as it was not the image they wished to see portrayed of their country but ignoring something doesn’t mean it is not there. To look the other way should never be our reaction. Awareness should prompt positive action.
Often as Christians we are very aware and trying to act, giving help to those around us through supporting local food parcels or further away through Christian Aid. It is certainly not wrong to enjoy sport over the coming months or have rest and holidays in the beautiful world God has given us but we should never close our eyes to the realities of this world, they can show up at any time.
Active and aware as we can be: we must never get complacent about this world or our place in it. Although locally as Christians we tend to be among the more comfortable, globally Christians can be among the struggling and suffering, as well as often the oppressed and persecuted. This is often a reality we are ignorant of. So much is unknown to us but we must be proactive in educating ourselves and therefore better equipped to act.
Over the coming two months I hope you enjoy sport, gardening, holidays or whatever. Always though whatever we enjoy in life be aware and active for those who struggle and suffer in our world including our brothers and sisters in the faith.
Yours in Christ,