Zechariah 8

Into the third day of “Shared Conversations”, with Southwark, Guildford and Europe dioceses – 50 or so of us. What could have been for me the worst session when we were asked to open our hearts, was not too bad given I was the only male in a group with two other understanding women. But there is enormous pressure for marriage in the diocese of Southwark to be opened to same-sex couples, not just in state ceremonies.

Two out of a great many comments invited: “I don’t mind being sacrificed for a good reason, but that does not include the Anglican Communion….” I presume this referred to the institution, not individuals.  “Speaking truth in love” – that was mine, from Ephesians 4, I see it is also from Zech. 8:19.

Zechariah 8 begins this day.  The chapter has been an inspiration since student days when I first read David Sheppard’s “Built as a City.”  God’s picture of how things can be in the renewed city (of Jerusalem), if the people will respond to him in obedience.  Here is the vision of God’s Shalom/Salaam.  All people, from the youngest to the oldest, living together in safety, peace, freedom, harmony, reaching the full potential of their lives.  Corruption and strife are to be replaced with truth, justice and caring properly for one another.  The renown of God-centred living will spread far and wide, drawing people from other nations and cultures to seek God.  “Do not be afraid…let your hands be strong…”

Then three days for a “National Prayer Retreat” – organised by Jonathan Oloyede. I look forward to that more than I did to these three days. Anyone who picks these blogs up sooner than later, please pray. More later…..