Lion and Lamb
Lion of Judah and The Lamb

 

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In The Word
 
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning."
John 1.1

 

 

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OLD NEWSLETTER

 

LETTERS TO INTERCESSORS

(Studies In The Word)

2009_01

The Light of Life


When I was a child, it was quite common to go to the cinema on a Saturday afternoon. The Movietone News would come on and we would, all too often, see the latest news and pictures on the atom bomb tests being carried out in the Pacific in the 1950's. The lasting impression I have is of two things; the awesome power and shape of the mushroom cloud, and the blinding explosion of light that was generated by the bomb.

It is this blinding explosion of untameable light and power
that colours my perception of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Can anyone even conceive of the possibility of Jesus NOT rising from the dead with overwhelming definitive power. Jesus has life in such abundance that nothing, not even death, could hold him. His life is so abundant and so powerful that not even the largest of nuclear explosions comes anywhere near the explosion of his life on that first Easter Sunday. Does anyone doubt for one second that the life Jesus offers us is eternal? Such power can only be eternal! With such life streaming out of him, is it any wonder that people followed him and will continue to follow him?

It is this extraordinary life of Jesus that we are called to minister into the death and dying that is such a part of HIV/AIDS. It is this extraordinary life of Jesus that we are called upon to minister into preventing the spread of HIV.

One of my biblical commentaries has this to say about John 8.12 (‘I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life’).

“Jesus professed to be not only the inexhaustible source of spiritual nourishment, but he was also the genuine light by which truth and falsehood could be distinguished and by which direction could be established.” (Merrill C Tenney).

In the sin and lies of our society that lead directly / indirectly to becoming HIV positive, we can and do confront the sin and the lies, with the truth that appears when the light of Christ is shone upon the reality of our lives. Where is the church that is continually teaching the reality of 2 Chronicles 7.13-14 and then ministering the life changing absolution that is released by Jesus through the shedding of his blood ‘for the forgiveness of our sins’, Matt. 26.28?

In the misery of sickness that is the consequence of HIV, we can and do confront the sickness with the absolute authority of the life that comes through Jesus Christ. Where is the church that is being continuously obedient to the command of Jesus in Matt 10.7 to ‘preach that the kingdom of heaven is near, heal the sick, raise the dead?'

In the dying moments we can and do, confront death with the reality of the eternal life in Christ that cannot be consumed by death (‘Your life is now hidden with Christ in God.’ Colossians 3.3). Where is the church that is ministering salvation in Jesus right up to and through the process of dying itself?

HIV/AIDS has acted as a spotlight upon our total humanity. It has shone a light on poverty, on selfishness, on degradation, on our sexuality, on every aspect of our lives. HIV/AIDS has also triggered the greatest battle against truth that this world has known to date. We need the light of Jesus Christ and we need the life of Jesus Christ.

This Easter, can we remember and act on the reality of the explosive power of the light and life of Jesus,
that truly can, does, and will continue to, transform the world, including the world of HIV/AIDS.


AIDS Dementia and Other Neurological Problems

A number of our contacts are reporting behaviour patterns and diagnoses of AIDS dementia where the virus has directly affected the brain and or damaged the immune response in the brain. There is a wide body of technical literature to help understand what is happening and we would refer you to two sites for fairly well balanced reports for background information.

The first is www.aidsmap.com/cms1032592.asp?type=preview . This is a fairly technical paper. The second site is wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_dementia_complex which gives a good balance of technical information and understanding for the layman.

From our own experience, we have seen the impacts of the virus on the brain through one patient losing the sight in one eye whilst driving him to an appointment; tunnel vision developing in a young woman; the onset of cytomegalovirus in several patients; and observed and also had reported to us, the slower rate of intellectual development of positive children at school. Behaviour change in the patient is probably the most disconcerting aspect for the carer.

There is a debate as to the role of ART in slowing the onset of AIDS dementia, but on balance it seems to be beneficial.

The following web address leads to a WHO paper on Mental Health in HIV/AIDS patients covering dementia and psychosis http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2005/9241593083_eng.pdf .

End Note
Jesus is the light and the life. Without him, the work that we all do would be impossible. As we come through the end of Lent into Good Friday and the crucifixion, let us not forget that what Jesus went through, was for each of us and for all who follow him. But let us also, move on to the events of Easter Day, when Jesus rose from the dead in might, power and majesty. Let us never forget that Jesus, full of Love, full of Life and full of Light is the unstoppable power for change in our fallen world.

Jesus is the risen Lord - He is risen - Hallelujah