He’s gone! So let’s keep praying
It’s a month of goodbyes. Four I will note. First, many expect a change of political party in government that will greatly influence parliament. To say ‘he’s gone’ may or may not be a welcome change – depending on your political views. What is the Christian responsibility towards politics? In Paul’s letter to his younger colleague Timothy he says: ‘I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’ (I Tim 2v1-2). Prayer draws on heaven’s resources for those in leadership, so that we can live in a way that pleases God.
Second, we say goodbye to Tim, Caroline and Hannah Vasby-Burnie. After three years with us as Assistant Curate we hope his experience will prove to be useful for future ministry in Wednesbury. What should we pray? The apostle Paul’s hope for his colleague was to hold firm to the faith he once embraced and now is now entrusted to teach: ‘watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers’ (I Tim 4v16). Two main temptations are either to water down the message in order to avoid offence, or to pull back from living a godly life so as to appear more relevant. They both have disastrous consequences. The good news of Jesus Christ is life giving. So, we pray that the V-B’s will both live and teach the whole counsel of God.
Third, we say goodbye to the Bishop of Stafford who retires so as to safeguard his voice. We are thankful to God for his ministry in the Diocese and hope that during his retirement Bishop Gordon and his wife Ann will be aware of God’s continued grace and have new opportunities to further the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Finally, we remember Jesus’ ascension and exaltation to the right hand of the Father. Jesus said that his own departure would be followed by an important arrival! He would send the church his ‘Spirit of power, love and self-discipline’ (II Tim 1v7). We’re to pray so as to avoid resisting or hindering the Spirit’s work in our own lives, for we have been saved and called to live a holy life. Jesus’ ministry continues today through his Spirit-empowered church to call people to turn back to Jesus, to live by faith and look forward to the day of his return.
Christ Church Parish Magazine – May 2010