Exminster Methodist Church, Main Road, Exminster EX6 8BT
Email email@example.com, Minister: Rev Ben Haslam, Telephone (01392) 256716
You may remember the last General Election being announced, about two years ago. A Bristol lady called Brenda was asked by a reporter for her reaction, and, from the depths of Brenda’s being came the anguished wail, “There’s too much politics going on at the moment!”. Her cry occasioned pained nods of sympathy across the nation.
I’m sure we often feel like that, like all we want to do is shut ourselves off from the outside world and barricade ourselves in. The never-ending, and fruitless, political dramas enacted within the walls of the Palace of Westminster become soul destroying to follow, whilst knife crime soars, Trump threatens yet another trade war, and uncertainty and fear abound.
Let’s not get carried away though. Politics isn’t the be-all and end-all. All politics should be for is creating and sustaining the right conditions for societies to function and flourish. Our Christian heritage, whether we realise it or not, has given our public life so much that is of incalculable value – the importance of personal freedom, of human rights, the principle that everyone should have access to justice to name just a few. Things which, if cherished, bring out our better nature. Democracy too, is a precious thing (even when it doesn’t yield the results we would like) which many people, even today, still don’t enjoy. The British humanist association once denied that our most cherished values have anything to do with Christianity, but this is nonsense – they most certainly do. Individual Christians, and Christian movements too, have brought about great and lasting change in many spheres of life. The Church is at its best when it takes to heart Jesus’ call to be salt and light in the world, affirming what is good and godly, and challenging all that is not in accord with God’s purposes.
The most important thing that Christianity brings to politics, and to individual lives though, is hope. Hope that God is in control. Hope that how things are now is not how they always have to be. The hope that God’s purposes extend beyond this world and this life. The hope that comes when faith in Christ gives us vision, assurance and new life. The world needs us, not so much to be political in a narrow, party, sense, but to be unafraid of speaking with our distinctive voice, and to demonstrate in the world the truth of what we believe – that through his sacrificial death and glorious resurrection, Christ has opened up the way for us to live a new redeemed life. A life guided by God’s Holy Spirit, in which we are invited to discover God’s unique calling on our lives and in living that out, to find purpose, wholeness and ‘life in all its fullness’. That’s how Christians change the world, and the more people discover this for themselves, the better for the world. Let’s pray accordingly!
A time of prayer At the recent Annual General Meeting two objectives were decided upon. They can be found at the top of the next page. The second one invites anyone from the congregation to come to a time of prayer before the morning service once a month to pray for God’s guidance for the way ahead. The first occasion for this is on Sunday 2nd June at 9.30 am. Your presence will be welcome.