It is always good to be honest and realistic. In that way we can rejoice in the good and address the bad. It is part of what Jesus meant when he spoke of his being the truth. Since he dwells in us we too will become increasingly "true" as we grow in Christ.
This harvest and for the coming weeks we will be dwelling in the Bible book of Lamentations. This was a lament written after the destruction of Jerusalem, after the world of the Israelites had fallen apart. They were brutally honest in their grief. How could they be anything else?
Yet as they faced this reality, they discovered that God was with them. Perhaps this was their greatest discovery. This was supremely fulfilled in the coming of Jesus. "Emmanuel, God with us."
Sometimes people ask if God is judging us in the current epidermic. If they mean, 'Is God standing over us like an angry schoolteacher with a stick', then the answer is clearly no. God shows us what he is like in Jesus, God with us, bearing our pain and suffering.
Sunday Live from St Paul’s and St Mary’s
But if they mean, 'Is God bringing us face-to-face with reality and then being alongside us to forgive us and show us the way through', then there is a real judgement. For God is working out his truth in our lives as we face truth. God’s judgement works itself out by his working in us so that ourselves are convicted, convinced of our wrong, seep within (John Chapter 16).
We become convinced of our wrong. We do not feel condemned but convicted. They are very different.
We are indeed facing all sorts of truths: we have become more aware of our environment, there has been time to reflect on what we have been doing to the world, we are asking big questions about work, we are facing our own mortality.
This week, what truth is God convicting you of? If you are convicted, you are already well on the way to a changed life. For God is with you, “Emmanuel”