Anyone who has witnessed a Simon Gatenby assembly will be familiar with the song “I feel good” by Fischy Music. It’s based on the chorus from James Brown classic and it causes both shrieks of delight and groans of embarrassment from the children of Medlock school (depending on the age of the children). What I love about this version of the song is that it starts with feeling good, it moves on to feeling sad and mad and ultimately arrives back at feeling good. These were certainly the emotions that I experienced on Sunday as I listened o the talk from Tearfund, which is one of the charities that we give regular support to as a church.
Firstly, I felt good. It felt really good to know that of the 51 years that Tearfund has been in existence, Brunswick church has been supporting them faithfully for 30 of those years. It felt good to know that the lives of those living in poverty across the world are improving through their dedicated work and that we are contributing to that through our giving. However, I felt sad at hearing how many people still live in extreme poverty. I feel sad that people don’t have the means to feed themselves and their families even the most basic of meals. I feel sad that children are being sent away from school and the opportunities that might help to lift their family out of poverty because they can’t afford to pay the fees. I feel sad that so many people don’t have access to the basic things that we take for granted.
Then I felt mad. I felt mad that governments and corrupt and oppressive systems keep people in poverty through greed and exploitation of people, resources and land. I feel mad that the people who can make the biggest difference choose not to and turn a blind eye to the fact that they are part of the problem when they could be part of the solution. Ultimately, despite that things that make me feel sad and angry, I want us to feel good because our long term commitment to Tearfund and other projects and charities is making a difference. What we do might feel like a small drop in a very big ocean but we believe in a God who multiplies the little that we bring to make a big difference.
“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).
As John Wesley famously said:
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you ever can.
Have a great week and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday for our All Together Service where we will be looking at the story of Nehemiah and afterwards for our bring and share meal.