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Viewpoint from Revd Dan Waite 17/04/2020

Dan WaiteRevd Dan Waite
St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston


as published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury
 

The Bible shows us that “God is closer than you think”

 
During this spring and summer, in this long period of isolation and separation many will experience, due to the coronavirus, there are going to be times when we can all get closer to God. Twenty-first Century people can still be surprised when they start reading the Bible, and to find that it rings true to their own experience
 
dove leftThere is so much uncertainty in the world about right and wrong, about life and death, about God and what to believe. But if there is a creator God, who made us, and who loves and cares for us, then he wouldn’t completely hide himself from us. We can expect our creator God to show himself to us in various ways and that is exactly what the Bible claims he has done
 
The Bible may seem to be out of date when we compare it with many of the modern views and opinions which we hear and read in the media. Hasn’t psychology shown we have created God in our own image, don’t the physicists formulas prove that God does not exist? But have we fully understood the context. Physical sciences can only tell us about a physical world. Modern science has helped us enormously to understand our universe better, but God is spirit and beyond the physical realm
 
The modern view, of a person as a body and nothing more, has not proved popular. Most people still need to believe that life has a purpose, and that there is someone or something greater than ourselves. The Bible tells us of an ultimate creator God who created all things and continues to sustain his creation
 
Dove rightI am mindful of a WW2 story I heard a few years back. It’s 1945 and the American army has reached the island of Okinawa. Everywhere, as they went from town to town, they met with degradation, destruction, disorder, and despair. But then they came to a village named Shimbacoco where they found crops growing in the fields and everywhere was a picture of tidiness and order. They were met by two elderly men; one carrying a book, the American soldiers suspected a trap and were very wary. But when they found that the book was not a bomb but an old Bible in Japanese and the people happy and contented, with no jail, no brothel, no degradation, they were amazed. They finally got to the bottom of the story about the village. Thirty years ago, an American missionary had visited the village for a short time and just two people had become Christians. Over the years these two men had guided the villagers to live their lives in accordance with the Bible and the result was peace and harmony and order with utter chaos all around. Finding it difficult to believe what they were seeing, one soldier said to his officer, “if this can be achieved with only an old Bible and two old men who want to live like Jesus, we could be using the wrong weapons to try to change the world”

 

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