The Jericho Road is both literal and metaphorical. The Jericho Road in the Middle East is about 18 miles northeast of Jerusalem, dangerous, winding, and a treacherous road. Metaphorically and with reference to the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10, Jericho Road stretches around the globe and beyond the Middle East. Jericho Road is a hostile place, war zone, where there is violence; where there is oppression and where people are robbed of their dignity and freedom. The Jericho Road is always with us as families, churches and nations. The Jericho Road of EU Referendum, the Jericho Road of downtown Dallas shooting, the Jericho Road of the Refugee, the Jericho Road of racial discrimination, hatred and division. Jericho Road is about life, half dead marriage, half dead business, or life on the edge. Jericho Roads points to dead-end roads including the roads of separation and repression, where we assume that the ‘Remainers and Leavers,’ will go their own ways and where one group or one person thinks they have the right way, and the others do not. The Good News is that Jericho Roads are not beyond God’s redemption and healing. The Jericho Roads of life are filled with different people including priest, the Levite – those who interpret the Law, the lay leaders, the teacher of the law, and the good Samaritan. The good Samaritan in this...Read More
Author: Deji Okegbile
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12) This title is usually the other way around, but in such a critical time as this, America need to bless God. We bless God by living as true witnesses to our Christian faith to glorify God on earth. In dependence upon God, the American Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honour. The fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence put their lives on the line, ‘nine died of wounds and hardship during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, and in each case subjected to torture.’ According to Benjamin Franklin at the American Constitutional Convention in July 1797, ‘all of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor….’ In the beginning, America found a good friend in Jesus, in their pains, griefs, trials and temptations. When America was ‘weak and heavy-laden. Cumbered with a load of care? Precious Saviour …,’ was their refuge and Friend. The question asked by Franklin 219 years ago continue to resonate and calls for a sincere and humble reflection by all my American friends and other nations founded upon Christian heritage. Franklin asked his fellow Americans, ‘have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer...Read More
The narratives in the Old Testament reading for today, 2 Kings chapter 5 provides us a good source of reflection and healing to the current EU Referendum flavours and aftermaths. Our nation, United Kingdom is divided, we need healing from the dividing, and ‘disfiguring moral leprosy’ of petty bickering between politicians which gets in the way of national unity and progress. The divisions that plagues us crosses partisan lines hence, moral leprosy is a disease that divides homes, nations and leaders and could separate ‘individuals outside the bounds of human relationship and community.’ Like Naaman, we are all individuals of little and temporal values. Moral leprosy, ‘a blemish of best ideals,’ and democracy promotes hatred, betrayal and even murder. Moral leprosy infects with pride and arrogance above others. It fester wounds, hatred, discrimination, and division that pits a nation and even a continent against one another. Moral leprosy afflicts the rich and the poor. Many are holding what they don’t need or know how to handle, and many are in need of what they lack hence, healthy lifestyle becomes a giving and receiving. Naaman needs a community of healer, and the migrant lady needs a powerful and wealthy community hence, healing invites humility and love on the two sides respectively. Every warrior or super power nation is also a vulnerable human being or a nation in need of help...Read More
Naaman was above ordinary people and ordinary rivers. He thinks he can buy, ‘the best available health care.’ Indeed power of money can fail. Help and counsel taken from a nameless migrant lady, a victim of war, healed Naaman. The nameless lady must have the memory of what Prophet Elisha could do and what he represented. Beloved, we need to forget our importance and pride like Naaman to receive healing from our leprosy of pride, unforgiveness, anger, immorality. depression, and self centredness. I pray for someone, you will experience a ‘new skin, a new life,’ a miracle so amazing and humbling like that of Naaman ‘from leprosy to wholeness’ in Jesus name. thank you for...Read More
Prayers, hopes, and gratitude for incoming, outgoing British Methodist Presidents and Vice Presidents.
In this challenging moment in our nation and Methodist’s history and mission, let us thank God for the election of the Revd Dr Roger Walton and Ms Rachel Lampard , President and Vice-President of the Conference as they take over on 2 July 2016 from Rev Steve Wild and Dr Jill Barber, current President and Vice President. Roger who is currently the Chair of the West Yorkshire Methodist District and the Methodist representative to the General Synod of the Church of England was the Director of the Open Learning Centre for ten years, and the Director of the Wesley Study...Read More