My brother-in-law, Des, is preparing a 665km kayak trip down the River Murray. It’s not just his love of kayaking that prompts this venture; there’s been a fire in his belly ever since he visited Kitgum, Uganda, with my sister Janet, who had previously delivered relief to the school and orphanage there, a place of refuge and rehabilitation for many orphaned by AIDS and war. A number of the children there are previous child soldiers.
So Des has initiated a sponsored fund-raising trip for the foundation that runs the village. Details are at http://www.irenegleesonfoundation.com/content/events/gjj8i0
I reflect on this as I prepare tomorrow’s message on The Power of Lament. The passage is Luke 13:31-35 where Jesus laments over Jerusalem. He recognises the short fallings of places of power that are meant to be places of healing. The imprints of rejected and murdered prophets and sages are here, and their ghosts continue to cry out the summons to healing, wholeness and peace. Jesus will be the next to meet his end, but he embraces his path willingly, for his end is not defeat, but teleos, accomplishment.
Jerusalem can be a symbol for wherever we are. We are called to embrace the pain of the world, but not in defeat. We engage suffering, not in self-indulgence, but in purposefulness. It is to accomplish expression of the shalom of which the prophets spoke and which Jesus achieved in completeness.
I suspect this is something of the drive behind what Des is attempting. May we all have occasion to reflect and respond similarly where we see opportunity.