There is a saying, ‘You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear’! Which means, in brief, if something is rubbish and ugly it is going to stay that way! Of course there are exceptions to this rule. In the regeneration of our cities which has been taking place over the last few years there have been some victories. Areas of urban and industrial deprivation have received a lick of paint or new landscaped areas where there were slag heaps and derilict buildings. There have also been land clearances which have just left brown belt sites that sit waiting for the developer that never comes and pieces of ‘art’ in our cities that leave us wondering who ever thought ‘that’ is art!

I do believe that regeneration is good, as a rule, but that transformation is better. Transformation only happens if the heart of a community is affected positively by the change that takes place. If we feel that the change is one that benefits us personally then we can feel the power of transformation within in us. This is the role of faith and, whether it is faith in the seen or unseen power that regenerate and and transform the positive effect is only felt inwardly and outwardly if the heart is touched – put right.

Jesus said, in his famous Sermon on the Mount, ‘”You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.’ Matthew 5:8 (The Message)

It takes a renewed faith to turn the sows ear that we sometimes feel our lives and the world around us into the silk purse of blessing that God intends. If we place our faith in the love of God in Jesus for our lives then whatever the view we have of ourselves our the world in which we live, God will be turning it into a silk purse by Christ’s sacrificial love.

Lord, help me to see today your love at work in me and in the world in which I live. Let the sows ears in me, that people may see as hopeless cases, be the object of your work of regeneration and transformation. Amen.