Hope!

Just after receiving some news this morning that casts doubt on our future. At the same time I got into good banter on Facebook with a younger friend who shared ‘a chance to win a BMW!’ I’ve seen SO many of these I commented that there must be hundreds of free BMWs being driven around by now.

For me personally, I refuse to live in fear; fear is the opposite of faith! My future, my tomorrow, my life is secure in the hands of Jesus. However, for the younger generation around me, including my own kids, I seem to lose all hope. Are they to be reduced to hoping to win some big prize some day, like the lottery (for those who do it) or a gameshow? In this country, we have it all; part of the G7, loads of wealth to go around… no, hold on, it’s all tied up in offshore accounts in other countries! By the few that do have it. Seriously: a recent BBC program about graduates and their futures saw an expert tell fresh university graduates that to have a decent pension when they retire, they’d now need to put aside around £200 each month for the next 40 years!!! That’s on top of trying to repay their student loans and maybe be able to get a mortgage that will not end up in negative equity. Of course, they can expect to get good wages here…. NOT!

Which is why most of my friends hear me talk about revolution. Democracy? Don’t make me laugh – hasn’t existed here for around 30 years, at least! Something needs to change, and it doesn’t have anything to do with a flag flying over a building! That hasn’t shown signs of saving you so far! Just watched a program last night about people who are starving in the UK. Real! For a long time now, I have wanted to ask veterans of WWII how they felt about this great nation that they returned to from their triumph over Fascism, what hope they saw in a changing nation and what they see now in a nation changed beyond recognition from the one I was brought up to believe in. I could have been a patriot, in a different time.

So, while I myself may find hope and a future, most likely somewhere else in this world at some point, I am left both angry and bewildered at what I see around me: a mess, just a total mess for a generation to clean up. May they have the courage and will and ability to do it.

Grace be with you.

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A Day Of Rest?

Brief thought on our observance of our Lord’s Day:

Having been laid low by a chest infection, I’ve been unable to get to church today, a first in a long time, and one of the very few Sundays I have ever missed (I even attempt to find a local church to attend when on holiday). For once it has felt fairly nice (despite my illness) to have a ‘day of rest’ – is that not what it’s meant to be?

Yes, I take my ministry seriously – worship is something I believe passionately that all believers should engage in wholeheartedly, and I miss not playing.

Yes, we should “not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing” (Hebrews 10:25).

Yes, we are to attend The Lord’s Table and remember (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

But consider this: for about six years I drove a wheelchair minibus for the disabled on a long run to church and back (a round trip of around 75 miles) twice on Sunday. The few nice Christians who were unwilling to even give me space to get the bus out of the church car park didn’t help with the time it took or my temperament! I was grateful I had no afternoon Sunday School run too, as other drivers did – some were only sitting down to eat lunch and tea throughout the day! Though I also did it on Monday and Wednesday evenings after a full day’s work and an hour-long commute home.

How much of our tradition-built ceremonial observances are biblical? Didn’t Jesus challenge the Pharisees on their extensive regulations by saying “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). Can we get a balance on this?

Grace be with you.