Start with Chorus 107. To be like Jesus
I have centered this morning on a piece of music that actually comes out of South Africa, my reasoning being that we are to praying for the Malawi territory as part of our prayers. written by a man by the name of Johnny Clegg, a 63 year old Anthropologist, and a very good musician. Some of his music sounds a little like the local group (Sri Lanka) The Gypsies.
This particular clip has been used to support the work of an organisation called the Starfish Foundation. This foundation is a South African organisation that supports children suffering with HIV or caught in poverty.
You will notice at the start of the song that a man asks a girl on the beach what she is doing. There are so many star fish, there are many miles of beach, that she can’t possibly make a difference. As she throws a Starfish back into the sea she says, “It made a difference to that one.”
Please listen to the words of the song some of which will be challenging and maybe get you asking questions.
I am always challenged by the words of the song, which say, “The world is full of strange behaviour, every man has to be his own saviour, I can make it on my own if I try, but I’m searching for a Great Heart to stand me by.”
I find these words challenging, as I see that so many people are trying to make life work for them on their own. It’s a lonely journey on your own, it may build character but it is a struggle and it’s not the character of Christ. Personally I think we all want and need a Great Heart – an encourager to stand beside us to work with us, to boost us, reassure us, to be an uplifting presence in life .
There are many people around the world who requiring support, physical support, prayer support, who require assistance to make it through life, who are yet to encounter our Saviour as we introduce them to him. I think this song while an African song, was written out of a place of need that I believe we all experience prior to meeting Jesus.
The man who starts speaking // rapping in the song says this, “I’m searching the world for that Great Heart, that spirit that lives in a brave heart, that’s given the vision to take part, in the mission that’s driven to change hearts, through difficult living, I praise God who gives them wisdom to stay strong.”
One of the wonderful this about belonging to The Salvation Army is that we get this awesome opportunity to serve God through our service to humanity, to reach out to all of mankind, in our neighbouring communities, nationally, internationally, to be the servant of Christ who not only shares the physical, fresh water, food, soup and soap, fellowship but also the news of The Living Water who is Christ, The Spirit who will abide with the so that no one will be alone again. The Holy Spirit who is the encourager, comforter, helper and friend, The Great Heart!
Today is a day of praying for people internationally. We join with others in doing this with millions of others in this one Army. But are we doing what is required of us by our Lord? Are we fulfilling the mission of Christ? Are we being a brave heart, reaching out to as Christ to Christ, to those in need? What do I mean about being Christ to Christ?
Towards the end of Jesus time of ministry here on earth Jesus said this to his disciples.
Matthew 25:31-46New International Version (NIV)
The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
We can meet with the lost and the lonely; those who Jesus says are him, doing this one person at a time as we interact with them, as we pray for them, making a difference to that one, perhaps making a difference to many!
Sing 351 Life is a journey ; long is the road