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Psalm 27:4-5, 8
One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. ‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, do I seek.

As I have read the news over the last few weeks, listen to TV and Radio and read articles on the internet a question as steadily risen in my mind…What are we all searching for? This ‘new world’ we find ourselves in has challenged a lot of the old assumptions about how we were, and still are, living as the human race. It has raised questions about the distribution of wealth, it has exposed or made more prominent the fragility of a ‘just in time’ supply chain, it requires answers about the benefits and costs of globalisation based on the values of an unchecked, unrestricted capitalist market economy.

And even setting aside all of these questions it has shown how much damage can be averted to our planet by us now seeing, in real time, the marked reduction in the output of CO2 into the atmosphere. All these questions and others besides have led to a soul searching on a global level that I don’t think has been seen since the last world war. And I do mean ‘soul searching’ in a very real way – an article in the Guardian (which can be found here ) tells us that ‘A quarter of adults in the UK have watched or listened to a religious service since the coronavirus lockdown began, and one in 20 have started praying during the crisis’… so what are we searching for? A new way of life? certainty? hope? rescue?... I think many people are beginning to ask questions about our old way of life that highlight what is missing.

I also think this is as true for those who have faith in Jesus, as much as it is for those who don’t. This ‘new normal’ affects everyone the same, the virus is indiscriminate and reminds me of Ecclesiastes 9:2 which says ‘All share a common destiny--the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good, so with the sinful; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them’. Therefore, in this new place, this new time, we are all asking questions, all pondering what will life be like in the weeks, months and years to come... we are all searching. So, what should we search for? What should we strive for? How should we seek?

Well, I think Psalm 27:4-5 & 8 is a great place to start answering that question… the place to start is always to spend time with God, to ‘live in the house of the Lord’ before we consider any other questions. To live in someone’s house means getting to know them, what they like and dislike, what they hold as important and valuable. All other questions are we seek to answer are embedded in knowing what God holds as important.

To live in a person’s house is also to know their character and what they look like. If we marry someone we are privileged to ‘behold their beauty’ each day, it uplifts us, it makes us happy. So, to does spending time with God just for who He is. Just spend time ‘beholding his beauty’, read about him, spend time in prayer with Him.

To live in a person’s house that is good to you, and loves you, is also to accept their protection. But staying in the house means following their rules. If you invite someone into your home you expect them to respect your values and wishes, so the same is true of God. If we want his protection, we need to live in His house in the way He wishes. So, in these times learn how God wants you to live, learn the scriptures, listen to your church family and walk with the Holy Spirit each day.

So what am I seeking… I am seeking for a better future for myself, my family, my church, my community and the world… but that all starts by seeking God first and living in his ways… as it is explained in Matthew 6:33 ‘seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’… get the first question right and all the others will follow.