13th September 2018

I Believe 

“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.”
John 12:27 (NRSV) 

Recently, with the successful conclusion to the annual youth summer camp, our congregation took the opportunity to sing I Believe,[1] one of the campers’ favourite anthems. I Believe is fascinating; a chart topping song that strongly hints, without ever mentioning God, that the divine exists – if you have the eyes to see Him.

However, some of its lyrics did make my heart sink: “I believe for everyone who goes astray, someone will come, to show the way.” My mind wandered away with the thought that I don’t actually believe that in my life. I see too many people where no-one has shown them the way. There are people who live in constant pain or fear. Others in frustration and permanent anger. Some have lost their houses; others have lost their families. Who is showing them the way?

Then I heard the gentle whisper of rebuke: “He has come to show them the way.” Of course! I had foolishly forgotten my Lord’s great purpose for becoming flesh. “Every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail” (Revelation 1:7). God promises that everyone who has ever lived will, at some point, find themselves face to face with Jesus. The full details of all this are hazy and unfocused, but we know Christ came so that all may know God’s true purpose: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).

Everyone who has gone astray will see the One who was pierced; they will find that our God took the step to join us in our damaged world, and suffered alongside us. There is no other way to God other than through the Son, who walked “through the darkest valley” (Psalm 23:4), or as the King James Version poetically puts it: “through the shadow of the valley of death.” As Jesus knows the way through this valley, He will be there to meet and greet us; He will offer to be our guide to life everlasting.

Yes, there is One who has come to show the way, to all who have gone astray. I too can join in singing: “I believe. I believe.”

Prayer
Father, you sent your Son in the power of the Holy Spirit to come and find us all. All of us were lost sheep, all of us had gone astray. But Your Son took the hardest road of all—the Cross—so that everyone will get to see Him face to face. What a wonderful God you are!
Amen
 

Study by Ian Woodley

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About the Author:
Ian Woodley is an Elder and Pastoral Council member of the Edinburgh Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International (Gracecom for short).

Local Congregation:
Gracecom, Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
Ravenscroft Street
EDINBURGH
EH17 8QJ

Meeting time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Peter Mill
Email: peter.mill@gracecom.church

[1] “I Believe” has an interesting back story. It was commissioned and introduced by Jane Froman on her television show in the US, and became the first hit song ever introduced on TV. Froman, troubled by the uprising of the Korean War in 1952 so soon after World War II, asked Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl and Al Stillman to compose a song that would offer hope and faith to the populace. More background to this sopng can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Believe_(Frankie_Laine_song)

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