Chapter 161 [Day 312]: Sunday 24 January
OVERCOMING EVIL WITH GOOD
Good chilly morning everyone,
Often when I ask someone how they are, the reply is ‘I’m good!’. The word ‘good’ is used in so many senses – describing how their team played = it was a good game. Installing kitchen units = they’re a good fit. We offer to reward our children if they are good. We ask visitors if they’ve had a good journey. Even when people pass the comment ‘it was a good service this morning’ I’m never entirely sure if what they mean they knew the songs, the sermon was inspiring, or that the service actually finished on time!
Over the last year we have witnessed so many expressions of thanks to doctors and nurses, emergency service personnel, teachers and many other key workers. Waving banners, putting rainbow pictures in windows and many original ways that grateful people have sought to raise money for charities and services. Hundreds of volunteers helping out at foodbanks and thousands of examples of generosity to others.
We can say that such selfless acts are examples of good people and certainly the absence of media headlines of terrorist bombings and other atrocities has been a welcome change, albeit replaced by constant negative reports about the effects of lockdown and increasing death rates from the pandemic across the world. Nonetheless we do appreciate and recognise those people who ‘do good’.
There are many Bible verses that speak about goodness – here are a few -
Psalm 100:5 - For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 34:14 - Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Romans 8:28 - And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.
Jesus told parables about the Good Shepherd, Good Samaritan and the seed that fell on the good ground. One day Jesus was approached by a man. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”. “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honour your father and mother.’ “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad because he had great wealth..” (Mark 10:17-2)
So here was what we might describe as a ‘good’ man. He had kept all the law and commandments, but obviously felt there was still something missing in his life. As Billy Graham used to say – we are all born with a God-shaped blank in our hearts and minds. It’s like searching for a missing piece in a complex jigsaw – only the right piece will fit to complete the picture. And as we search, the lovely analogy goes further – we spend our lives searching and when we find it it’s not only the right piece but also the right peace!
Last Sunday we were reminded how falsehood and lies can be overcome by truth. In today’s service we are reminded of how the Christian can be protected from evil by the breastplate of righteousness, or good. The service includes several well-known songs and readings, a special treat for any Lego enthusiasts, and the programme lasts 42 minutes >>> https://falconlodgechapel.sermon.net/21731893
Barbara Tough had her operation on Thursday to repair her fractured arm and came home from the QE hospital last evening. However, Barbara is still weak from the surgery and rather fragile, so would appreciate not too many phone calls, at least over the next few days until she has rebuilt her strength.
That’s it for today – enjoy the service and stay safe even if you do go in the garden later to build a snowman!