Dear Friends,

As we come to the end of 2017 – a momentous year for many reasons – even the most sleepy observer would have to agree that the world is “groaning” (Rom 8:22) under change and upheaval. 

Many of us have farewelled loved ones, watched political leadership struggle to cope, hoped in vain for some moral progress and wondered how Christ will “build” His church (Matt 16:18) as it seems to crumble. 

And we are in the middle now of the huge exposure of sexual predators.  The lifting of the lid in Hollywood and now in Sydney is bringing out into the open secrets long buried. 

When Jesus said “there is nothing concealed that will not be…made known” (Luke 12:2), He was talking of the future – but what a shock when it comes out in the present.

The Christian needs to be ready for the opportunities these events bring to us.  Part of our preparation is to ask the Lord’s help in our week to know what to say.  Part of our preparation is to think – even write down – what will help? A ‘word in season’ as these things get discussed. 

For example, who in this world would like their own secrets to be spilled across the news?  We must be grateful that though we have much to accuse us there is One who made ‘sacrifice for our sins’ (1 John 2:2).  This Jesus brings forgiveness and change – who does not need Him? 

Then the ‘moral high ground’ is very apparent in all this.  As the city produces programmes that speak and do every kind of evil, and as the city champions a lifestyle that God forbids – it suits the society to have someone to act as whipping post.  Pointing to someone worse than us is the style of the Pharisee – pointing to our own sin and seeking mercy is the way to be right with God (Luke 18:9-14).

And how divisive this all is as men and women are driven apart into the ‘wicked’ and the ‘righteous’ – and how much we need the gospel that changes men into those who protect women and changes women into those who respect men.  Truly we are silent for no reason.

Everything in our daily lives point to Christ:

Many years ago the Scripture was written which says “Whoever conceals their sin does not prosper – but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” Prov 28:123.

The one who pretends there is nothing to worry about is in for a terrible shock (sooner or later).  The one who exposes their own sin (warts and all) to the merciful God is in for a wonderful welcome (immediately and ultimately).  Everything (even a sexual predator) points us to Christ, and in the coming year you will find Him strong and sufficient.


Simon Manchester