“I will not leave you desolate” – what a powerful phrase. We have all had the feeling at one time or another that we are alone in a very, very, dark place. That no one is listening or is interested in us. There appears to be no joy or purpose in our life. We are alone and frightened. We feel that we are at the mercy of the monsters lying waiting for us in the darkness of despair. Without Christ we are alone. There is no light on the hill. There is no beacon to guide our way. Without Christ we face our inner Demons and fears alone.
I will not leave you desolate is the promise. It is as if Christ turns a spotlight on each one of us thus declaring that we are the centre of his love. It is as if he takes us by hand and leads us to safety. Psalm 27 declares “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Of course when things are not going well for us our faith in the promise of Christ is tested and sometimes tested profoundly. Having just returned from Greece one can discern in the people their struggle with life. It seems to me that it is always easier to believe in God when we are not personally challenged by something confronting. In Greece unemployment has hit 27%. In some places over 40% of shops are closed. Investment has all but disappeared. Hunger is a reality for an increasing number of people. They have every right to feel abandoned and alone with no hope. In some there is abject desolation. Yet, underneath the misery and insecurity of the times one senses the Greek spirit will ultimately prevail.
What do we need to do? Christ himself gives the answer “truly, truly, I say to you he who believes in me will also do the works that I do”. And what are the works of Christ? – The work of Christ is to help your fellow man in any way that you can in the name of Christ. What does this mean in the context of the human tragedy being played out in Greece? It means that we disregard the history and politics of the economic fiasco. It matters little to a starving person the reason for their starvation – what matters is the need to find food. This means that we need to, as the people and Church of God, assist as best we can in helping with the human misery being faced by a proud people whose very DNA does not permit them to cower to despair. For all that they need all the help we can give them.
I can say much more about what is going on but I think you get the picture. Our job is to assist them, as indeed it is to assist all less fortunate people, regardless of colour, race or belief, and to assist them as best we can, for all of humanity is creating God’s image and likeness. After all, if we believe in Christ we must also believe in his salvific work.