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  • Jenny Smyth


This is a transcript of Jenny’s talk from Ignite 2023 which introduced the annual new theme ‘God on the Ground’.


I have been thinking about gravity. The term gravity can be defined thus: ‘Gravity is the force by which a planet or other body draws objects toward its centre’. Without gravity all sorts of problems arise. We only have to think of the complexity of doing ordinary everyday tasks in space.

Living in a gravity free environment is also very damaging to human health. We lose bone density and our muscles atrophy. There are a host of other harmful physiological changes that take place too. But gravity itself is unseen. We only feel and observe its effects.

I am grateful for this unseen force that acts on me, keeping me grounded, enabling everything to function in an orderly way and also keeping me healthy. We humans are designed to function in a world where there is gravity. Where there is order.

I recently came across another use of the word that set me thinking ‘Economic gravity’. I looked it up and found that this is a theory of economics that describes the anticipated amount of trade that takes place between nations according to their size and proximity.

Now I am no economist but the phrase ‘economic gravity’ interested me. The linking of this unseen force with finance. Am I susceptible to Economic gravity? In our western culture, where so much is measured in economic terms, where the bottom line is almost always a financial one, has this thinking had an undue influence on my sense of value, on how I measure worth?

What other unseen forces act on me? Influence my thinking and determine my actions?

I was struck by words from Isaiah 61

‘The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, He has chosen me and sent me’

Surely this is the force that, above all others, should determine and direct me?

Could we liken the work of the Holy Spirit in a person to Kingdom gravity?

Is my thinking, above all else, influenced by Kingdom gravity? Is it Kingdom gravity that grounds me? Our new annual theme is ‘God on the Ground’.

Through the year we will be exploring signs of God at work, on the ground, in the tough, dirty places in the world, looking for signs of his redemptive transformative work and asking ‘Where is God’s spirit prompting us to join in by getting our hands dirty on the ground with Him?’

During the course of this incoming year, we will share stories of God at work on the ground through his people bringing kingdom transformation. Be encouraged and be inspired. Let us all be sensitive to Kingdom gravity drawing us to get our hands dirty in our communities for the sake of God’s kingdom.

Bishop Ivan Lugoloobi sends me short ‘thoughts for the day’ by WhatsApp. This is what he sent me this week:

As we live out our lives in Christ, He lives out his life in us by the Holy Spirit. This is the visible evidence of his kingdom … people who walk in love, faith, holiness and prayer, on the ground every day.



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