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CALL : +685 24414
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Tamaligi, Apia
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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

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Thursday 17 October
A light for the Gentiles

 

Read Psalm 79
O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. (verse 1)

A 2016 UK survey indicates that people who subscribe to no religion, known as ‘nones’, now outnumber those who do. All around are dire predictions of the ‘death’ of religion and the decline of religious practice. Rather than worshipping in church, people are flocking to art galleries and museums to seek and, it seems, to find transcendence and spiritual fulfilment. Art galleries are becoming the ‘new cathedrals’ according to media reports. Many talk about not being religious, preferring to be spiritual.

It can be easy to become disheartened, and sometimes to feel threatened, by the statistics and our multicultural society. Yet the statistics highlight the truism that there is a great deal of spiritual hunger around. People recognise that there is something within them that seeks a deeper reality – what we call God. How can we, as churches, respond if our neighbours are seeking this fulfilment not in church but elsewhere? Many approaches have been or could be tried – outreach centres, pub churches, Christian coffee bars; non-threatening spaces where spiritual hungers can be satisfied.

In the end, I think, as with most areas of human life, it boils down to the personal touch. As Christians, we are temples of the Holy Spirit. In us, rather than in the physical spaces of worship, in our love and acceptance of others, our compassion and charity, could not the doubtful and the ‘nones’ start to find the God they subconsciously seek?

† Father, may I be a beacon of light and life, to guide those who seek you in ways that will find you. Amen.