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Dear COA Family,

Recently the talk of the town has been the Ridout Road saga. Much has been spoken, discussed and even debated in Parliament and at coffeeshops about the circumstances revolving about the rental of B/W bungalows by certain ministers. There have been differing opinions regarding what has transpired.

Yet from a Christian point of view, what mattered most is evidently the high importance and priority that many people attach to earthly wealth, possessions, status, recognition and property. Luxurious housing and large tracts of land, which are out of reach of the common folk, are at the centre of the dispute. Undergirding all of the arguments regarding the appropriateness or not of what has been done, is unmistakably the high value that modern society has bestowed on earthly treasures.

What does our Lord Jesus have to say about this? Hear what he says to the rich young ruler in Luke 18:22:
“Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

The Lord, in response to the young man’s question about how to attain eternal life, was actually challenging him to give up his attachment to his earthly possessions. The reason was because in valuing his wealth so highly, the young man had placed his earthly treasure as his god. And no man can serve two masters in his heart – Jesus cannot be the Lord of his life if he continued to love money.

Last Sunday, Angel preached the Youth Sunday’s message on God calling Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac on the altar. And just like Abraham, Angel was convicted by the Holy Spirit to sacrifice her love and identity in the sport of netball. Yet, in both cases, the end was much more wonderful and glorious. Abraham received his son back together with God’s renewed favour and Angel was greatly blessed. There is much love in our Lord’s call for us to surrender earthly things in order for us to receive heavenly treasures!

It is in this light that last week’s Collect becomes so meaningful:

“O God… increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that with you as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not our hold on things eternal.”

Let us, in all our doing in this earthly life, never lose sight of and compromise in our faith, such that we risk losing what is eternal and infinite in value – which is the abundant life in God forever and ever!

God bless,
Revd Ian