Synod can be a pretty emotional time.
When things are going well it’s a bit like being on a natural high. All is well with the world, faith is encouraged, and hope runs amok.
When things are going badly, or even just badly from my point of view, it is hard to stay optimistic, easy to be discouraged and tempting to become cynical.
This issue of Journey is filled with stories of the meeting of the 26th Queensland Synod – not all of the stories, but just enough to give you a taste of some of the things that happened there.
There was laughter and tears, and it all seemed pretty important at the time.
But then, in conversation with World Vision CEO Rev Tim Costello about progress on the Millennium Development Goals, it struck home that during the five days the Synod met at Alexandra Park more than 100,000 children somewhere in the developing world died of hunger and easily preventable diseases.
Suddenly, what seemed important at the time fades into insignificance.
Try this test. Meditate on all the good and wonderful things that happened at Synod and then think about the billion people who live on less than one dollar a day and ask yourself what really matters.
Mr Costello tells us that, "We can actually halve the number of destitute people living in the poorest countries without having to sacrifice our own lifestyle."
John F Kennedy made the same point back in 1963 when he said, "Never before has man [sic] had such capacity to control his own environment, to end thirst and hunger, to conquer poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and massive human misery. We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world – or to make it the last."
Well, we avoided the nuclear holocaust, but as Jesus said, the poor are still with us and, thanks to our neglect, are dying in their tens of thousands.
Yes, it is hard to stay optimistic, easy to be discouraged and tempting to become cynical but when I ask my self the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) question I hear a clear response.
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."
Get on with it, Bruce…