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Discovering God's Kingdom – Growing the Church

Sunday 31 May

Isolation. Separated, cut off; as I thought of the word I was taken back to  ‘South Pacific’ – to the song Bali Hai which comes at the opening of the film.

Most people live on a lonely island,
lost in the middle of a foggy sea.
Most people long for another island…

Well over the past few weeks a number of us have experience what it is like to be isolated. For some it has been a period of stress, while for others a period of freedom. For most, perhaps, a difficult period because the isolation has been enforced and not chosen. We have had to be confronted by ‘self’, unable to be distracted by the hurly-burly of life and unable to escape from our inner beings through spending our time dashing hither and thither in a vain attempt to justify our existence. Lonely islands cast in a foggy sea – a sea of uncertainty, indifference and fear.

We have longed for another island where all will be right with the world; where we will feel safe, secure and valued. All that we have wanted is the appropriate ship to take us from one island to the other. We have put our trust in human resources, in the wisdom of government and, as a last resort, perhaps prayer.

As we approach Whitsun (Pentecost) we are reminded of a different group of people living on a lonely island due to their thinking that they have been abandoned. They dwell on a locked island brought into existence because of their fear for their lives and their future. Suddenly everything changes! The fog lifts and they are blessed with fire and wind that scatters the darkness and sets them off towards a new island of service and hope.

We can only pray that when our isolation comes to an end we too may experience that power of fire and wind to lead us into a new future on an island that draws us nearer to each other and the living God.

Brian Anderson