Submitted by Jan on Tue, 28/03/2017 – 09:33
Fifth Sunday in Lent
Year A (2016-2017)
Bible Book: Ezekiel
Verse: 1 – 14
One of CABSA’s guiding principles is Our search for answers and solutions – with wisdom from the Holy Spirit. In a situation as complex as the HIV pandemic, there is no other way than for us to seek the wisdom and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit – the continuing stigma and judgement from all sectors – and the faith-based sector in particular – is a worrying reminder of the lack of wisdom displayed by so many. Typically when an individual or church body is unsure of how to deal with a situation, the response is likely to be reactionary and stigmatizing – this is hurtful to the people or person concerned. This causes division, judgement and a sense of stale-mate in dealing with the topic at hand.
This reminds me of the passage in Ezekiel about the valley of dry bones. This image depicted the Jews in exile, and the dry bones represented their spiritual state – one of dryness and death. God wanted to put His Spirit in the remains of these people, to build them up, “bone to bone” and “attaching tendons, flesh and skin; putting breath in you and you will come to life” (v.6). Our heavenly Father loves us so much and He shows us “unfailing love and with him is full redemption” (Ps. 130:7)
Equally, in the words Jesus spoke to Martha when Lazarus had died, He said “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (Jn 11:25-26)
Herein lies such a great promise of redemption, support and wisdom – why wouldn’t we rush to receive this? Human nature means we try to sort things out on our own first – and only when we have failed, do we fall on our knees and plead to God for help.
The worldwide context of HIV is so complex – in terms of relationships, gender issues, socio-economic factors, spiritual dimensions, health issues and political will – there is no combination of brains on this earth capable of successfully dealing with it.
As the body of Christ, we need to call out to God for His heavenly wisdom, so that He can put His Spirit in us. Only then can we do the right thing at the right time, knowing that we are relying on wisdom from the Holy Spirit.
To think about: When you find yourself facing a predicament, do you panic and try to solve it yourself, or do you call on the wisdom of the Holy Spirit that is in you? By calling on our heavenly Father’s wisdom, may we fight together in a respectful manner in the fight against HIV.
Written By: Janine Ward (Co-CEO, Jewels of Hope), Asset-Based Community Development Trainer and trained ‘Churches, Channel of Hope’ Facilitator.