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Registered Office:
Kent Workplace Mission,
c/o Larkfield Methodist Church,
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ME20 6PN

A Thought from KWM

A series of thoughts and reflections from the Chaplains and Trustees of KWM

Wednesday 11th December 2019

Herbert

Major Mark Herbert, KWM Trustee representing the Salvation Army

We all have questions that we don’t have the courage to ask:

To my wife of 34 years – ‘Are you still glad you said ‘yes’?’

To my very efficient PA - ‘I’m not that difficult to work for, am I?’

To anyone who can help – ‘What is the meaning of the carol ‘Little drummer boy?’’

To the God of Eternity – ‘Have you failed?’

2,700 years ago God spoke through the Prophet Isaiah to a world in darkness. This darkness described a world that tried to live without reference to God, so was without direction, without wisdom and without hope.

Once again God’s people had refused to heed his warning, to ‘repent of your sin or be exiled’. Into this context Isaiah wrote:

2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned….

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
(Isaiah 9: 2, 6-7)

Has God failed? These verses gave the promise of no burdens, no massive cares in our shoulders, no oppression and the promise that everything would be OK.

The answer according to Isaiah is wrapped up in a baby. It’s quite a claim! Babies are lovely, but they grow up! Most parents know what that I mean by this. Babies can unite people, but solving the problems of the world is another matter.
In these verses, light replace darkness, joy replace death and freedom replace oppression.

Is this some sick joke on God’s part? In the UK where the food bank is the new corner shop, 1 in 5 children suffer abuse and 15 year old girls are more likely to have a smart phone than their dad at home, Isaiah’s prophecy seems unlikely to be fulfilled.

Has God failed? We know the answer don't we? We only have to read our autobiography for 2019 to be reminded of tales of the unexpected – the highs, lows, success failures, joys and heartaches that make up our lives. God really does impart to human hearts ‘the blessings of his heaven’.

The prophet somehow is casting his thoughts forward so that we can read them backwards. The Hebrew language gives a real sense of timelessness, of a work in progress, of the mighty acts of God that are still to come.

We search for answers that are deeper than any snow that might fall. But here it is - God is Love and he does not keep his love to himself. We will be loved until the end of time as His love reaches down to each one of us and in his love we are safe and secure because there is light, life and freedom.

God is with us and will always be so.

Season’s Greetings

Mark.Herbert@salvationarmy.org.uk