Be The Change
Hebrews 11:29-12:1 (GNT)
29 It was faith that made the Israelites able to cross the Red Sea as if on dry land; when the Egyptians tried to do it, the water swallowed them up.
30 It was faith that made the walls of Jericho fall down after the Israelites had marched around them for seven days. 31 It was faith that kept the prostitute Rahab from being killed with those who disobeyed God, for she gave the Israelite spies a friendly welcome.
32 Should I go on? There isn't enough time for me to speak of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33 Through faith they fought whole countries and won. They did what was right and received what God had promised. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 put out fierce fires, escaped being killed by the sword. They were weak, but became strong; they were mighty in battle and defeated the armies of foreigners. 35 Through faith women received their dead relatives raised back to life.
Others, refusing to accept freedom, died under torture in order to be raised to a better life. 36 Some were mocked and whipped, and others were put in chains and taken off to prison. 37 They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were killed by the sword. They went around clothed in skins of sheep or goats—poor, persecuted, and mistreated. 38 The world was not good enough for them! They wandered like refugees in the deserts and hills, living in caves and holes in the ground.
39 What a record all of these have won by their faith! Yet they did not receive what God had promised, 40 because God had decided on an even better plan for us. His purpose was that only in company with us would they be made perfect.
(12) 1 As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us.
It is disputed if Mahatma Gandhi actually said it, but I love his quote ‘Be the change that you want to see in the world.’ For me it means do not just complain about the way things are but do something about it. If others then see you doing something to change the situation; be it speaking out, protesting or living differently, then they too will be inspired and join you.
There are a couple of landfill sites on the outskirts of the village I live in. Years ago it was found that PCB waste from England was being dumped in one of the landfills. England’s stricter environmental standards meant it was not allowed to be dumped there, instead it was driven up to our village for disposal. Angry at the injustice of this and fearing for their health the residents of the village protested to the council and environmental agencies. They blockaded the landfill site and eventually their voice was heard with the company stopping the dumping of the PCB waste. The village was saved from the dangers of hazardous waste because ordinary people had the courage to speak out and take action.
So many people today are disillusioned with politics. The political mood of the nation and the world for that matter is very divisive with political opinion either on the extreme left or extreme right. The media appears to thrive on this polarity and so it can be very difficult to hear a balanced view from the middle. This is causing apathy with people switching off from politics as they think their voice will not be heard. It is easier to stay silent.
But it is vital for our communities and our world that we do not switch off.
Lord of Justice
The Bible is full of men and women who answered your call
to interrupt the silence of injustice and apathy.
Inspire me with the example of those who have went before me,
fill my heart with your courage
and give authority to my voice
so I can speak up for equality and justice for all.