With the wind chill factor, it felt like minus thirty-two degrees this morning.
It’s bitterly cold outside … maybe for some on the inside too.
In world news, the relationship dynamics in our leadership contexts, or the difficult work of self reflection, we may be feeling the bitterness of love grown cold on the inside of the human soul at personal, social or international levels.
If you are sensing a need to draw near to receive a warm hug in the painful cold of your own set of conditions and concerns, be warmed again in the love of God. As we stay close to the heat, light and flame of the Trinity, we are kept from becoming chilled to the bone in a world increasingly numb to the results of toying with various degrees of falling short of God’s glory in every sphere of life.
We seem to be living in a deepening spiritual ice age where thermometers testing the indicators of a thriving humanity measure a rapid lowering in the mercury’s rise, a message of arctic’s coming grip unless the fires of rebirth and revival burn again. One degree at a time, the temperature of fervency to be faithful to our faithful God drops as the world allows itself to be robbed of the shalom he gives. Whether in northern climates or in equatorial lands, this diminishing of faith and loving service is compounded by winds of change blowing through the currents of intolerance towards the claims of the Creator to be the sole authority under whom and in whom we live and move and have our being … and we feel the icy tentacles of sub-zero readings on the wall, sometimes within the very walls nearest to us.
A deep love of the Father generated by his Spirit which welcomes a secure union with all that is good, perfect and pure in Christ is becoming increasingly obscured by love of everything else.
Far past the freezing point of calling good evil and evil good, winds of twisted witness cooling credibility in the ancient paths and person of Jesus seep through the cracks of windows and doors left open to the prevailing sentiments of our time. A loss of warm fervour for Christ creates icicles of intolerance to the whole counsel of God which hang very visibly as markers of disintegrating love. An iciness covers hearts once warm to the blessings of family, once open to seeking the common good, once sacrificially prepared to go the extra mile to be peacemakers in a diverse world.
Jesus said, ‘Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.’ (Matthew 24:12)
We are becoming frozen in a time of shattering destruction where waters teeming with life will cease to flow if we do not collectively warm to the Sun of Righteousness who has come with healing in his wings inviting us to wholeness and peace.
It is here we are called to minister.
‘Light the fire, Lord. Revive your church to be a great hostel of hope. Fill each room of our hearts to house your love in extreme situations with a fiery outpouring of your Spirit.
Help us live a distinction between good and evil through the beauty of intinction as we take seriously the broken body and blood of Christ and invite people in out of the cold in his name. Let all bitterness thaw knowing that you are God.
Wherever we see someone stiffly curled in a tattered throw of ineffective solutions seeking protection from the cruel, bitter cold of compassion-less streets of injustice, unfeeling treaties made and broken with steely eyes of unconcern for the average citizen, lack of dealing with root causes of conflict wherever they be found, may we be your voice of welcome for all to enter the shelter of your grace together. May we experience the rising heat of resurrection light and power one degree at a time until the winter of this warring age melts before the majesty of your glorious return.
As we wait for freezing temperatures to pass, wrap us in the blanket of your love. Amen.’