“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city into which I have carried you”
Hello everybody, as I am sure you will all know and expect, all activities related to the Melling Baptist Community Hub have been cancelled until further notice. If, however, you have a particular need or question at this strange and difficult time, please do not hesitate to contact us via our email address and Jo will reply within a short time.
Please do check each day for a new thought and encouragement on Sunrise which we hope and pray will help you during this time.
"From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same,
the Lord's name is to be praised"
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
Exodus 20: 2-3
Remember the great toilet roll shortage of 2020? As the government announced the first lockdown a portion of the nation went into panic mode and began to buy up huge quantities of toilet rolls, pasta, hand sanitiser and tinned goods. We can look back and laugh now but suddenly some of those most basic items became the most valuable to seek out. Now don’t misunderstand me, some of that panic buying was done out of fear – we were beginning a period of our lives that was uncertain and a little scary. However, when you then discovered that there were people out there that had bought up stocks and stocks of basic items just to sell them online at vastly inflated prices – well the selfishness infuriated me!
Sadly we see acts of selfishness all around us on a daily basis. The person who blocks everyone in with their parking simply so they don’t have to walk that little bit further; the person who will jump in front of everyone else in a queue simply because they seem to think they are more important; or the person who drops their litter on the floor because surely it is someone else’s job to pick it up?!
If we are honest, we are all guilty at times of putting our own needs and desires first but today’s verse is a reminder that none of us should ever put ourselves or anything or anyone before God. The verse starts by reminding the Israelites where they had been and who had brought them to where they were – God. We too need to take a moment to remind ourselves today that God has walked with us through the last 12 months and has brought us to where we are today.
However tough life may have been God has journeyed with us and has remained with us and will remain with us. We have pulled together over the last year and grown as a community but we have grown as a community because God has been at the heart of it. When we hold God in his rightful place and put him first, that is when our relationship with him will grow and our relationship with one another will grow – so much so that we are told to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is this: love your neighbour as yourself”.
This first commandment isn’t about a God that wants us to put him first and not care about those around us; this is about a God who wants us to put him first in our lives so that he can show us how to live well together, caring for one another, helping one another and meeting each other’s needs.
So if you do need a toilet roll, let me know, I’m happy to share my modest stock!