Summary: This is the second major earthquake our city has suffered in the past seven months. We have this time suffered more physical damage and serious loss of life and injury. If you are reading this please take the time to pray for the people of this city.
[Why the hardest? February 22nd 2011 was a Tuesday, at 12.51pm the Quake struck effectively shutting down the City, New Zealand's second largest by population. As a Salvation Army Corps we immediately became involved in relief efforts, while dealing with our own minor issues and a community of people who were suffering. This sermon is a lament, it may be noted that it is a short sermon laments often are] For more information on the quake please look up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Christchurch_earthquake. Sermon Edited with this information 09/08/2013.
We come here today in a state of disbelief, a state of shock that having survived a 7.1 on the Richter scale earthquake on the 4th of September last year our city and or friends, our family and we ourselves have encountered one that was more damaging, more disastrous and deadly (185 deaths). The 22nd of February 2011 will be a date etched deep into our memories.
It is at times like this we see that life can be tenuous, a fragile thing, the scriptures tell us that, we are breakable and that our hope is to be in the Lord.
While we gather here today, let’s remember that this is a time of mourning, a time of lament, for to feeling anything else at this time would not be natural, let us remember the families of those who have lost their lives in our prayers, let us pray for those injured in the Earthquake and let us remember to care for one another and ourselves.
Time of Open Prayer.
There is no joy in what has happened. There is much shock and the pain of altered lives.
But this from Psalm 103: 13-19.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for He knows how we are formed,
He remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear Him,
and His righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep His covenant
and remember to obey His precepts.
19 The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
and His kingdom rules over all.
Let us remember just that; that the Lord’s love is with us from everlasting to everlasting, his love for us is eternal and that life through Jesus is eternal.
This, this mud from below, the broken lives and crumbling buildings are not all there is, we have our eternal hope in our Saviour Jesus Christ, our hope is in the LORD.
At times like this our focus seems to be on the damage that surrounds us and rightly so, fresh water, an energy source, a warm bed to sleep in, shelter from the elements are often necessary in our climate and most are vital. But this is a time when we are able to reach out being Jesus hands and feet to those around us.
We ourselves are aware that at a time such as this community is essential, for none of us are able to go it alone. This is a time of joining together with others where you can, offering the help you can give and accepting the help they can give, where you require it. Take the opportunity to share your experiences, for you techno speakers it is good to have an opportunity to defrag. Sharing helps with the healing process. Situations such as this bring out the best there is in people.In our prayers let us remember those teams and individuals who are putting themselves into dangerous situations, the rescue workers, those who are working at restoring services, those offering food and comfort, the many who are working so tirelessly.
Let’s also remember that this is a temporary thing. it will pass, we will recover from this, the city will be rebuilt and life will return to some sort of normal, it will be a different normal but normal none the less.
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him my Saviour and my God. (Psalm 42:5b)
As we move on as we engage in the process of rebuilding lets remember that the love of God for us is eternal, life through Jesus is eternal, and let’s trust in the Lord. For nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.