The Word on the Week

Wars and Rumours of Wars

It was reported recently that next year – 2015 – could be the first year since 1914 that the British military have not been engaged in fighting somewhere in the world. This week’s announcement from the Welsh summit of 60 nations put paid to all that! Prime Minister Cameron has pledged 1,000 troops to be available to destroy the new Islamist State’s war machine.

It is this machine which has shown superior media savvy in the modern warfare of traumatisation. The broadcast of the public beheading of a journalist effectively shred the emotions of Americans, and had the Deputy President ranting about hell, shows just how effective such provocation is.

The UK journalist who faces a similar fate will test Cameron’s resolve not to follow Germany, France and Italy and pay ISIS a ransom. In this type of psychological warfare hard choices have to be made.

While all this is going on Russia’s move into Eastern Ukraine makes progress. The current cease-fire would seem to be but a ploy in the light of Putin’s boast that he could take Kiev in two weeks.

In a bid to curb Putin’s expansionist ambitions NATO plans to strengthen its defences in the countries it acquired from Russia in the ‘90ies when Russia slipped from being a world power. The use of “sanctions” imposed by the West on Russia are designed to create economic hardship but these must be muted as Eastern Europe is dependent on Russian oil and gas. You don’t have to be a military strategist to realise what an increasingly powerful weapon this becomes as winter approaches.

These are only two of the many hot spots in today’s world where wars are raging. The human suffering of people fleeing from conflicts is immeasurable but its scale at 50 million refugees is the highest since the 2nd world war.

Jesus was never in any doubt but that the world as we know it would come to an end. When it would happen has not been revealed but the three synoptic Gospels all predict that it will be preceded by wars (St Matthew Chapter 24 verse 6). In addition to various physical phenomena another sign is that the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to all nations (verse 14).

This Gospel heralds the reign of Jesus in all who have yielded their allegiance to Him: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (St John Chapter 1 verse 12/13).

To those who remain faithful and obedient through the difficult times of persecution St Luke encourages with the words, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Chapter 21 verse 28).

The daily news will not give much to rejoice over unless we can see it as part of a chain of events leading up to the return of Jesus.

As St Peter put it “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2Peter Chapter 3 verse 13).