Last night’s news included ‘desperate times’… several times.
When I first came to Lowestoft over 50 years ago a man and woman were arguing in front of some children. She hit him over the head; it led to a violent fight. The police were called. A policeman arrived, and tried to calm the situation down. The man got the policeman’s truncheon and hit the policeman and the woman…
Then a crocodile turned up and stole the sausages. Desperate times in Lowestoft.
A sparrow-hawk caught and ate his Sunday lunch, a pigeon, in our front garden. A magpie joined him, standing back nervously. Half an hour later sparrow-hawk left; magpie’s patience was rewarded – he ate and left. Then a seagull came and cleared up the mess.
Desperate times for pigeons.
Yesterday’s papers told of Boris Johnson in Glasgow. A costumed prime-minister raced against a clock to raise awareness of the ‘race against time’ climate summit in November.
Scottish Catholics have launched a petition calling on the Prime Minister to support the poorest communities in the world suffering from the impact of climate change…
Desperate times for our world.
Last night’s news? The earthquake in Haiti followed by tropical storms. 2000 dead, 10,000 thousand injured, more than 60,000 homes destroyed, 76,000 damaged…. Desperate times in Haiti.
And from Afghanistan… Taliban control, thousands of refugees, fears for women, children, Christians, gay community… Local soldiers returning, ex-servicemen asking: ‘Was the last 20 years for nothing?’… Desperate times in Afghanistan.
Reading Jeremiah 23… Jeremiah brings a desperate message in desperate times… war, unrest, injustice… the nation’s sliding towards invasion and destruction by Babylon.
Yet in desperate times there’s hope. Two familiar pictures: a good shepherd caring for his people, a living branch on a dead tree in a dry desert… pictures of the coming Messiah….
Today in desperate times we still need hope… Jesus, the Messiah… life amongst dryness and death… a good, caring shepherd to lead us.