Vicar's Letter May 2017

I am conscious I am writing these words for a community saturated by the debates generated by the general election campaign.  Maybe you are participating in these debates at home or at work and with friends and neighbours.  Maybe it’s just you and the television or radio.  Or maybe you have got fed up with it all and are trying to keep away from it.

It is not easy to keep away entirely.  After all, the outcome of this election will shape our country’s relationship with the rest of Europe and the rest of the world as well as the state of our public services and especially our health and care services and the future of our young people.  We are all having to consider who is telling the truth, who has the qualities to lead, who has the capacity to care, in other words, who can we trust?

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we say the words ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.  On earth as it is in heaven’.  The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer that Jesus taught his followers to pray when they asked him, ‘How should we pray?’  Whenever we pray any prayer, even when we pray unanswered prayers, the prayers shape us.  And when we pray a prayer that Jesus gave us to pray, we are being shaped by his words.

Jesus also told his followers a lot of parables to help them understand what he meant by ‘The Kingdom of God’.  From these parables, we understand it to be a place of peace with justice, an inclusive kingdom, a kingdom full of hope and possibility as well as being a kingdom that requires from us an urgent response.

Praying this line from the Lord’s Prayer, I think, has led me to trust in a God who really cares about the world I live in and urgently desires that it becomes a much better place.  This implies that I too should have higher expectations of how the world should be and work to make it better.  But, at the same time, the act of praying prevents me from falling into despair when we seem unable to make the world better.

If you want to join me, as the election campaign rages, in praying that God’s Kingdom will come, I will be in church every week day at 8am and 5.30pm doing just that.  I’d love to hear what you think we should be praying for and I’d love for us to be able to pray together.  Alternatively, come to our Sunday services advertised here.

May God bless us all.

Robin


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