Action Zones 

Opening THE Book 26 with Rev John K-S

JOHN KINCHIN-SMITHJuly 2020
 

Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church

 

Writing at the beginning of June for the July issue of Community News, it’s impossible to predict where the coronavirus pandemic will have got to. How will the easing of restrictions in schools, shops and the workplace have affected the tragic number of deaths? How will people’s mental health have been affected by extended isolation? One question that will continue to be on people’s minds will be “Why did this happen?” Actually the Bible helps to answer this last question
 
We were reminded last month that God’s will for his human children has always been that they should have “abundant life in all its fullness”. As parents, this is something we would always want for our own children. We have our own ideas about the best way we can help our children to be happy and fulfilled and we make rules to protect them. How often we get it wrong despite our best efforts! And how often they ignore our advice and choose to go their own way!
 
The Bible teaches that, from the very beginning, human freewill chose to turn away from God’s love and protection, resulting in the ills, misery and suffering of history. Part of our ‘Heavenly Parent’s’ rescue plan was to call a people into a special relationship and to give them rules and guidelines that would enable them to flourish and avoid harm. The Ten Commandments, given to the people of Israel in Exodus chapter 20, are the outer boundaries for human flourishing. They teach, as-it-were: “If you break these rules, the natural consequence is that bad things will happen”
 
OPEN BIBLEBut the Ten Commandments are very broad. The detail needs filling in. The rules we read in the Old Testament books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy fill out some of the detail. Many do not have a general application or apply today, such as the regulations concerning the religious ceremonies of ancient Israel. But many of the rules that appear strange to us are actually very practical and are about protecting the health and wellbeing of individuals and society. Many have a basis in what we now know today from science and medicine. Israel is warned in Deuteronomy chapter 28, for example, that one consequence of failing to keep God’s rules will be incurable diseases and horrible epidemics. We’ll return to this next month
 

also published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine

 


The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Yarmouth, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users

We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here

Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines