Housing Ruins

Observing the Ruins

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derelict property
Christchurch homes left to rot.

Picture courtesy of stuff.co.nz

Last Sunday I wrote about the Housing crisis in New Zealand, because it matters to God. Then the night before last I watched an episode of Extreme Makeover from a long time back. A lady in Watts, Los Angeles, called “Sweet Alice” had recently been flooded out of her home, this was a disaster for the whole area, because “Sweet Alice” helps feed hundreds of homeless, she is like a Grandma to all the children in the community. Sweet Alice is a true woman of God and a blessing to all. So Extreme Makeover stepped in and rebuilt her home, but walking through Watts, the Extreme Makeover team leader, Ty, saw the ruins and poverty in the community. As deserving as Sweet Alice was, she was not the only one hit by the flood and he knew she would reach out with whatever she had to the rest of her community. He decided that they had to do more and that week, with a lot of help, he performed a miracle.

All the residents of Watts got new mattresses to replace those damaged in the flood. As well as her home, Ty and his team restored and rebuilt the community centre where Sweet Alice worked providing new computers for her to teach the community and re-decorating the basketball courts where the children spend a lot of their time, and more.

Have you taken a walk around your town/area lately and seen ruins? If you live in a rich suburb try going downtown, to a poor area and take a long look. Christchurch still has derelict empty buildings from the 2011 earthquake and there are many derelict properties, all across New Zealand. What is God inviting you to do about it?

Today’s Old Testament reading is from Jeremiah, whose life straddled the last few years the Jews (Judah) were living in their land and their subsequent conquest and deportation into exile in Babylon. His words in this prophecy are addressed to the king, who “....did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, (and)....filled Jerusalem with blood” (1 Kings 23:37) (1 Kings 24:4)

Over a century earlier, Isaiah was already warning the people of where their idolatry would take them. While they were spared in the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians in 701 B.C. eventually God’s judgement fell through the Babylonians.

A lot of the injustice of pre-exile Judah concerned economic issues. Like the other prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah essentially state that our worship must walk hand in hand with our lifestyle. God doesn’t want those who are only Christians on Sunday. So the way we treat our money and possessions, such as houses, cannot be separated from the way we relate to God. Which even comes down to the way we look at housework. . . when you think about it. What relevance do you think the prophets’ words might have in the context of your life?