Due to the lockdown we cannot ensure that our people recieve their church magazine, so we include it here for free: October Magazine
Dear brothers and sisters
If you watch the news, read the paper, scroll through social media, or even phone a friend, you will find numerous opinions on the government’s handling of the pandemic. You will be relieved to know that we won’t be adding our own analysis here, but it has got us thinking about what our response as Christians to those in authority should be. Turning to the Scriptures we find this encouragement:
‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’ - 1 Timothy 2:1-4
We see that a primary responsibility for Christians towards those in authority is to pray for them. Whatever our views on the government, we should be able to agree that they need our prayers and God’s help, as they have to make incredibly difficult decisions, especially in our current situation. You may notice that in our public prayers at church we regularly pray for the Queen and Prime Minister to reflect this responsibility. Perhaps the next time you hear someone speak of the Prime Minister, or the government, you could use it as a prompt to pray for them. We think you’ll find lots of such prompts! Whatever our view on what the government is doing, let us be a people who pray regularly for our prime minister, Queen and MPs including our own, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
You may also notice in the passage above that one of things we should praying for is for those in authority to allow Christians to live out their faith, and to share our faith with others. We are blessed in this country that we have the freedom to do these things without fear of imprisonment or worse, so let’s make sure we are using those freedoms. Let us not get so caught up in analysing the big picture stuff (such as Covid or national politics) that we lose sight of finding seemingly small, but significant ways to live out our Christian faith and to share it with others, in whatever ways are appropriate within the current guidelines. Phoning that neighbour, offering to do shopping, praying for a friend in need, dropping an encouraging note round, making time to read our bible, to name just a few. You may remember a previous editorial that we wrote earlier in the year (see May’s editorial online) where we reminded ourselves to encourage one another 'not to grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up' (Galatians 6:9), which seems topical as we celebrate our harvest festival this month. We are still working towards that day, when Jesus will return and put all things right, and there is still much good to be done in serving God and one another. So let us do what we can, in God’s strength; let us love our neighbours, let us pray for those in authority, let us share the good news, let us encourage one another and in God‘s Grace to not lose heart. Amen (from Rev. Mike and Natalie)