July 2020

“I will give you words and wisdom”
Luke 21.15 (NIV)
I am writing this in April, at a time when we have seen our lives and the lives of
people around the world, radically altered. In this chapter from Luke’s Gospel,
Jesus is talking of a time of trouble that is to come, when the disciples will have
to be ready to bear testimony to their faith. He assures them that in this time
they will be given words and wisdom (v15) and tells them “by your endurance
you will gain your lives” (v19). These are words for our time too.
Over the past months it has been hard to see so much suffering and so many
deaths, but we have at the same time witnessed extraordinary courage and
bravery in the NHS and those working in Care homes and in the front line. We
are assured that God is always with us in our suffering and hardship. His love for
His people endures forever. He will lead us beside still waters and give us His
When we listen deeply to God in our contemplative times, God blesses us with
the riches of His Words and gives us wisdom. Jesus will give us the right words
to say when we are with those who need reassurance and comfort. He will also
give us the wisdom when to speak and when to keep silent. Many words can
be said in silent listening.
In these challenging times, especially when people are in lockdown, many have
found new ways of talking with, and listening to those who are hurting and in
need of comfort and encouragement. Church services have been held on-line.
Many have been able to nurture and consolidate friendships, and make new
friends, by means of Social Media. There has also been a noticeable change in
the posting of messages. Instead of negative and cruel words, we are seeing
words that are positive and encouraging. We have been able to send messages
of hope to give help and encouragement to our friends and neighbours when
no-one can be certain of the outcome.
We can however always be certain of the endurance and faithfulness of God’s
divine love that will sustain us and give us hope for all eternity. “Heaven and
earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (v33).