Thanks for all these thoughts on walks etc - we will look forward to seeing you by 9am Friday - we will bring our own lunch and so be ready for the off.
re: your thought for the day, your question about the 'mind of Christ' is a really good one; unfortunately He doesnt offer any soundbites on Afghanistan, Iraq, the Labour leadership etc!!!! (No soundbites but much teaching in the Gospels, Acts and in Paul's letters, don't you think, Peter?) So we have to rely on the big picture of scripture as a whole I think. Both the Old Testament and the gospels were written during tumultuous times politically and socially from slavery in Egypt, warring nations, constant attempts to stamp out the people of God, the failure of the Jewish kings to meet expectations etc;. In the NT there is the total occupation and dominance of the Roman empire with all the injustice and inhumanity that accompanied it. The apostle Paul made good use of his Roman citizenship and was not, of course, rebellious or revolutionary. Unlike our Western governments and the public opinion that allows them to be so. But only when it comes to weaker countries who can't hit back (apart from with terrorism).
When it comes to Romans 13 v 1-7, my commentary has: "The Christian and the state. Though the Christian has no right to punish (12 v 19-21), the state does have that right and the Christian must respect it. Paul's confidence that the Roman state is, on the whole, just and beneficent is matched in 1 Peter 2.13-17; 3.v13."
How is the mind of God and of his Messiah expressed? Constantly reconciliation with God through his Messiah is the theme, BEFORE reconciliation with our neighbour is possible. So the sermon on the mount (which most people take as great advice for life) is all about mourning our sin, hungering for God and His righteousness, seeking peace with God first, and only then can we live in our messy world loving our neighbour in need.
So I cannot expect a world that doesn't live under the lordship of Christ to follow his way any more than the OT Israelites, or NT believers could expect those around them to do. Should those who do live in the lordship of Christ follow His (non-aggression) way, however difficult or costly? That doesn't mean I shouldn't do 'all the good I can to all the people I can just so long as I can', but I think it suggests that the main witness of Christian believers is to enjoy living under the lordship of Christ.- enjoying his world, his peace, his forgiveness, and do all I can to be reconciled with my 'neighbour'.
This may not be what you wanted to hear, as you are still in'campaigning' mode, but I think our world will remain messy until Christ comes again !! But our own little, individual world should have the minimum mess (or hypocrisy) in it.
Every blessing Tim, and thanks again for all the prep for our time away.
"What we sow today we will reap tomorrow". Mayhem, instability, civil war in the Middle East is now spreading, with revenge attacks, to our own Western nations that are bombing, missiling Syria and Iraq - and, for many more years to come. Nearly all the politicians we vote for have unleashed the dogs of war, opened the Pandora's Box, well and truly stirred up a hornet's nest of anger and hatred against Israel and the West.