Saturday, 04 December 2021

Have a moment to take in good news...

DO you ever feel like you have information overload?

If you read a newspaper, scan social media, watch the TV news or listen to the radio, you are probably getting more bad news than your ancestors would have had in a lifetime.

Personal tragedies in distant countries and closer to home, international tensions, not to mention climate change and the pandemic — all coming flooding through the media.

In this atmosphere, it’s sometimes hard to stay motivated by love and not by fear.

I have found great comfort and wisdom in the Bible during these times — it offers me space to reflect, be redirected and inspired and to be still… in the words from the wonderful book of Ecclesiastes “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven, and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”

Fortunately, the media can also be a welcome source of “good news” too.

You may have watched some of the BBC’s recent coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show. It was great to see the Psalm 23 Garden win the grand slam of a gold medal, best sanctuary garden and best construction award.

The garden marks the start of a nationwide campaign to see community gardens created and inspired by the famous Psalm 23 from the Bible.

The Royal Horticultural Society website refers to “an opportunity to come together as pandemic conditions ease to create shared, beautiful spaces that reflect the insights and themes of the psalm and offer places of restoration and sanctuary for the future”.

So, in the spirit of Ecclesiastes, I will stop doing the talking and leave it to Psalm 23, a 3,000-year-old Jewish hymn, to speak to you.

If you are experiencing bad news or bad times, I pray that as you read these words, they become part of your daily experience and that they bring you comfort and hope for the future.

Take a few moments and breathe in some good news…

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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