5th March 2021

One of the consequences of the pandemic has been the raising of national barriers. Opportunities to travel the world for business or pleasure have been curtailed. International trade has plunged (impacting the poorest countries most severely). Travel restrictions might have been a useful approach to stopping the spread of disease, but let’s face it – we passed that point long ago.

But along with the physical restrictions on travel, there is a growing fear of those other people… over there. Travel corridors between safe countries. Where have we heard that before? Between West Germany and West Berlin perhaps. Or how about the “air bridges” between Germany and Russia in the Second World War? The very words with which we are becoming familiar harken back to dark days in the history of the world.

If we put up barriers and only meet with those who are like us, then maybe we will be safe?

In his talk on Wednesday evening, Keith suggested that the churches should be at the forefront of reaching across international barriers. Christians are first and foremost citizens of heaven, not of any earthly nation. That which unites us – our faith in the risen Lord Jesus – transcends any national boundaries. Or at least it should.

This is the theme of Romans chapter 4, where Paul recounts something of the story of Abraham whom God promised would become “the father of many nations” (4.18). God’s promise was not bound to a single nation – Israel – but was to encompass many nations. God’s kingdom is not limited by geography. So, think of another country… and pray for the people who live there.

Ian Waddington