Saturday, 30 June 2012

It's Time

It had been a sad day. We'd just got home from a memorial service for Rev Michael Cohen, who collapsed and died in Israel at the beginning of May, to discover that our dear friend and previous Chairman of The Absolute Gospel Company had passed away this morning. Then also in May, we'd lost another great Christian friend, Brian, who lived in Germany; and it was only just over a year ago that that great man of God, David WIlkerson, was killed. It started to feel as though a whole 'layer' of Christian leaders was being stripped away.

Mulling it all over, the thought came, quite simply, that for too long other Christians - and I can hold my own hand up to this one - have been content to bask in the reflected glory of these men of God, whilst merely cheering from the sidelines. It is time for a new team to step forward, take up the baton and contend for the faith.

Monday, 11 June 2012

69p Per Week!

"I dread to think how much this lot is costing." This was the remark I heard from a workman at the site of the Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace. I was surrounded by cables, rigging and all sorts of paraphenalia as great efforts were being made to have the venue ready. The Victoria memorial was encased in a great crown-like structure: would she have been amused, I wonder? There was a great sense of anticipation in the air. Flags and bunting and giant pictures by the Thames: red white and blue everywhere. In a few days time these relatively sedate streets would throng with the voices of thousands of people with many millions watching on television.

I remember watching the Coronation on a giant screen in glorious black and white, watching Meteor jets whizz across as part of a mass flypast - my first introduction to a fascination with flying. Then there were the weddings: Princess Ann, Charles, Andrew, Edward. I remember being in the Lake District pulling into a pub car park as part of the Lower 6th on a geography field trip and listening to the wedding of Princess Alexander. I confess to being a Royalist. As someone wisely said it's not the power the Queen has, it's the power she denies. Gary Barlow, he of 'Take That', remarked in a recent article that the Queen's power is a warm, benevolent power, unlike some leaders he has met where he has detected an aura at times of darkness that goes with the abuse of power.

Last Sunday, in our local parish church there was a combined thanksgiving service celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The vicar spoke using two chess pieces, a king and a queen. The king of course represented King Jesus and the queen our monarch. He drew comparisons between the two, the most striking being that King Jesus' Kingdom will never end and will be characterized by justice, peace and love.

Our Queen is a very shrewd and wise lady with a strong Christian faith. It is often forgotten that at her Coronation she made a solemn promise to the King of Kings that she would defend the protestant faith and her Christmas broadcast last year reminded us that we all need a Saviour.

The workman I mentioned at the beginning of this piece had missed the point. "Have you thought how much in billions she contributes to the national purse through tourism?" I had replied. Apparently (goodness knows who works these things out) the Royal Family costs the taxpayer 69p per household per week. There's bit of trivia for you!

The word of God says:

"Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; all you who have no money, come buy and eat. Come buy wine and milk, without money and without cost." Isaiah 55:1

Our salvation is free, but it will cost us our whole lives. May God bless our Queen, A lady who has given 60 years of continuous public service with a quiet but strong Christian witness.