Pew news 15th September 2019

International affairs are certainly not dull at the moment.  Nuclear powers face each other down.  Ructions in one part of the world seem to spill over into others.  Populations are on the move.  Economic and military balances are shifting.   

Amid all this, don’t take your eye of Jesus!  Raised from the dead, he holds all authority in heaven and on earth.  He rules the nations with an iron sceptre right now, even in the midst of his enemies (Psalm 2:9 and 110:2).  Can you see it?  I thought not!  All we see is arrogance, greed and chaos.  But do you believe it?  I hope so.

 There’s much more going on in this world than the news networks and intelligence services know.  

I read a brilliant book over the summer on today’s global shifts: about the relative economic and military decline of the West; the rising influence of China; the economic resurgence of Central Asia from Iran to Pakistan.  I put the book down when I’d finished, sighed knowingly and thought to myself: “This book has left the Galilean out of the picture!”           

Let history teach us.  Immediately after the Roman Emperor Constantine became a Christian (318 AD), he set about Christianising the Empire.  His successor, Julian tried very hard to undo his reforms.  Julian was fatally wounded in battle.  Tradition says that – realising that his death would mean Rome’s future belonged to Christianity – he groaned: “You have won, O Galilean”.  

No one in the apostles’ day saw the Roman Empire becoming Christian – with all that entailed, good and not so great.  They could have imagined a Christ-centred civilisation rising from Rome’s ashes to shape Europe for over 1000 years.  Likewise, who knows now what sort of China will emerge as the Chinese church grows?  What is Iran’s future?  Or the West’s?

Jesus, the Galilean, will decide.  And the church will be at the centre of his unfolding plan.