David Allen, a member of Mission Council, reflects on one of the themes surrounding Prayer and Self Denial 2019: “Does God care for these people?”
Does God have favourites? We get to live in relative comfort and safety in New Zealand while many around the world live in fear and poverty. We get the privilege of hearing the gospel in words, images and language we can understand while many, many people have yet to hear. Is that fair? Does God care? Does God have favourites?
We can all throw out the easy answer: “Yes, of course God cares. Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.” Maybe the more helpful question is: how does God care? Let’s face it, life is unfair. So, how does God care for those who have received the short straw in life?
As I write this, we are in Holy Week, leading up to Easter. There is much we don’t understand about our world, about suffering, about God. But this week reminds us of what we do know—“God so loved the world that he gave…” It wasn’t ‘fair’ that Jesus suffered and died, but he chose the cross to show that God cares. Not just for the Jewish world of the first century, but for every people, every tribe, every race across all of history. God cares so much that he gave himself, to share our humanity, our pain and our frailty, and to call us into his family.
God still loves the world and he is still giving—every time someone is loved in Jesus’ name, is helped, fed, listened to, respected, encouraged, freed, given choices or offered the gospel, in Jesus’ name, the world sees once again that God cares. He calls us to join him.
James 1:27 The Message:
Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight…
Vice-President, Baptist Union and NZBMS