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Watchword for the Month

‘Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.’
Ps. 4v6 NIV

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Bishop Joemath

Dear reader/listener, I am Augustine Joemath, still serving at Moravian Hill, a project of new beginning in the iconic Moravian Chapel in the historic District 6 in the CBD of Cape Town, and Bishop of the Unity.

2020 has been a tough or rough year and many will find many other words like impossible to describe it. Some of us have been lucky to survive it while many others have succumbed to the deadly Corona virus that has the potential to even make the start of 2021 a difficult beginning. Yes, on top of all the corruption and lies and bribery and GBV and political fights that have stained this past year, we still had to deal with a fight to keep ourselves and our loved ones alive. Jobs and lives were lost. Most activities either at home or in the workplace had to be done in new and innovative ways. And so, like David many of us worldwide are asking: Who can show us any good?

As we start this new month of the new year, we earnestly ask ourselves and all around us: Where will we find answers to the problems and challenges that we are dragging along? Countries have closed their doors for travellers to hunt for greener fields. Neighbours and friends are closing their doors in fear of the possible infections. The evils are alive and diminishing our movements and possibilities. The question on many minds and hearts will be: Will 2021 be a better year?

If we listen to David, then it sounds like there is firstly nowhere to turn to find answers of help against all that threatens life and endangers peace and honest living. Is that the feeling with which you are also stepping into 2021?

But David then realises all is not lost. Amid a feeling of desperation there is a remnant that still promises solutions and hope in a time where helplessness and hopelessness abound. Who do you turn to in times like these? Somewhere in all this chaos there is what David says in ‘the godly’ that refers to those who are close to the Lord. Those are the ones who the Lord has set apart and are close to his heart. (v.3) Do you see them around you? Are you one of them? Do you need someone like that now? Today? In this year? Who can that be?

David describes them as those whom God will answer or listen to when they speak to/call upon Him. How I love to have such friends around me in 2021. How I would love to be such a friend to someone in 2021. Let us hear the stories of how people came close to you in this past year. Let us hear the stories of how you could be such a friend in times gone by.

We are, however, still warned to be careful. We may be angry at the state our world is in or the things that happened to us, but do not sin in your fight against the conditions we find ourselves in. Do not let the bitterness and resentment overwhelm you to a point of sinning.

What solutions did David see for himself, and for us too, when he looked at the state of his world? The one answer I see to this is to find yourself those godly friends to associate with in 2021. Do not fight your situation alone. There are others who feel likewise but have sought their refuge in the Lord. They are the ‘godly’ he is speaking about. Take hands with those who love the Lord and stand together in these difficult times we find ourselves in.

Secondly, there are various points where he indicates the power of prayer in his fight to find a better life. I hear David speaking about V.1, ‘…answer me when I call you…’ or ‘…hear my prayer…’ or v.4,‘…on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.’ A prayerful lifestyle should very much be our area of approach day and night as we face the new year.

And then there is the clear wish and prayer of David: “Let the light of your face shine upon us, O God.” Do not look away from us, o Lord. Do not leave us alone, dear Lord. Shine through our darkness and pain and brighten it. Among all the pain and suffering of the past we are thankful for the moments when we saw God’s face, God’s grace, God’s love. We are thankful for the blessings that still come through onto us. May 2021 show many more as we seek his face individually and collectively.

I wish you a blessed and successful 2021. Overcome all challenges with the help of our Lord.

Prayer: Dear Lord, be with us as we start January 2021. Help us to a good start and to give our best. Help us to remain godly despite all the challenges we foresee. Amen.

Bishop. Joemath