Using our voice...
Sing a Song of Justice?
We are all creatures of habit – and I reckon that some of our previous (pre-COVID) habits have prevented us from exploring new ways of thinking and doing life.
But the rupture to normality brought by COVID has, bizarrely, opened up new possibilities…
I’m thinking especially of my ‘churchy’ friends here: not just locally but nationally and globally.
Church buildings were for gathering for worship, weren’t they?
…and for running kids clubs, lunch clubs for elderly persons … and possibly for hiring out to the local Slimming World group.
But during the crisis, many church buildings were ‘repurposed’ to become pop-up Foodbanks; centres for distributing meals to those shielding; and community support hubs.
And so the outward-facing mission of the church has been powerfully reinvigorated during the past 8 months – and I am far from the first person to point out that the church, like Elvis, ‘has left the building’ …
Repurpose our voices?
Perhaps the same thing can happen with our voices…
The frustration that many feel about not being able to sing in church can be lessened by taking the opportunity to repurpose our voices … to align them with the beautiful verse in Proverbs, to speak up for others, for those who don’t have a voice.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the beautiful and vibrant times of worship in our churches…
… but, maybe, just maybe, while that isn’t an option, we could use the time and opportunity to repurpose our voices to speak up for others.
So, while we can’t gather together and sing, we can reflect and act in other ways to worship the Lord with our voices.
There are many organisations, Christian, of other faiths and none who are working tirelessly on behalf of, and with, people around the world…to find a way through and out of this pandemic.
And many are also pondering, praying and planning how to rebuild our world in a righteous way that has the heart of God, His justice and His Kingdom at the core.
These organisations eagerly seek YOUR support and YOUR voice to help them work in solidarity with others.
So, how about a repurposing of our voices – a new way for your voice to be heard – and make a difference?
In the time it would take to sing your favourite worship song or hymn, you could click through and sign up for more information on how you could help one of the organisations listed below.
Here are a few ideas to kick you off….
(and no, I haven’t forgotten about prayer! Keep reading!)
In the UK:
The Trussell Trust* is a good place to start. They report that this winter, it is estimated food banks will be giving out an emergency food parcel every 9 seconds.
They rightly point out this can’t go on!
They have a vision for a UK without the need for food banks and are campaigning for a Hunger Free Future.
Why not join their campaign? I have…
*The Trussell Trust is an anti-poverty charity, founded on Christian principles and supports a nationwide network of over 1,200 Food Bank Centres, including the Shepway Foodbank overseen by the Folkestone Rainbow Centre.
There are many organisations working in International relief, development and advocacy that would value your help in speaking up for others, not least in rebuilding our world after COVID.
Here are two brilliant organisations, each campaigning with a different emphasis… why not check them out?
· Tearfund Your Voice Can Make a Difference
· Christian Aid Building Back with Justice
But what about prayer?
I’m glad you asked!
Both of the organisations above have prayer resources – check them out - but here are others:
· World Vision Let’s Pray Together
· Thy Kingdom Come #PrayerfortheNation
This is a call to prayer by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and other Senior Church Leaders during the month of the 2nd Lockdown.
I know – that you know - that prayer and action are not mutually exclusive – so why not give both a go?
‘But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!’
Amos 5 vs 24
Thanks for listening!