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The Word on the Week

Word or World

In our decisions we are either influenced by the word of God or by the world order in which we live. In his prayer to his father Jesus said “I have given them your word” (St John Chapter 17 verse 14). He had faithfully delivered all that the Father had given him. The Holy Spirit would remind us of what Jesus said (St John Chapter 14 verse 26). He would take our conscience and, tutored by the word of God, be our guide. This is our defence against the world order with its strident voice demanding that we “get a life”!
As a small church in the centre of Dublin Grace has been in the valley of decision for the last 10 years. Two separate attempts have been made to purchase the airspace above our Hall, the second has just been successful. The deal was simple; the developer would get the airspace above the Hall to extend their Hotel and we would get a new church facility free of charge.
Too good to be true you say – where is the catch? We are so much more accustomed to financial struggles that their absence makes one cautious.
Some have hinted that the money used to finance it may be tainted. They would only use monies raised from the Christian fraternity. You are getting into bed with the world. Life is never that easy – the devil must be at work!
These ideas kept floating around my head till last Sunday when we were having our last service in the old hall. It was a light-bulb moment. Similar perhaps to the Psalmist in Psalm 73 when he saw with the eye of faith the fate of the ungodly (Verse 17). This is not a new thing. God has done it before!
The Promised Land came complete. It was free of charge. It was not deserved. It was an act of grace to a people who deserved the opposite. “when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—” (Deuteronomy Chapter 6 verses 10 – 11).
Again the Psalmist reminds them “He gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for – that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws” (Chapter 105 verses 43 – 45).
The law finds it’s fulfillment in the Gospel – “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians Chapter 3 verse 24).
We too are conscious of being recipients of God’s grace. We too deserve the opposite. The injunction that follows the blessing will be worked out in our temporary accommodation almost next door, provided by the Hotel.
Our “Promised Land” is still on an architect’s drawing board! In the meantime we press on with the task of proclaiming the word to the world.