Dear Church family,
My father use to say to me ‘If you’ve nothing good to say then say nothing!’ As a general principle, this is sound advice. However, I think there are times when to say nothing is unhelpful or unkind. The death of George Floyd has deeply affected many of us. As I reflect on the past week, and feel that I may not have anything good to say’, as a white church leader I want to stand with my black brothers and sisters -and I encourage all of us to do the same.
I don’t often reflect in this manner, I’m not a great blogger or savvy with social media, I tend to keep my observations and applications to the proclamation of God’s Word in sermons. Of course there is no way to give a detailed theological approach in this letter but the Bible tells us three things: (i) ‘For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice…’ (Psalm 11.7); (ii) Jesus rebukes religious leaders who give their tithe but ‘neglect justice and the love of God.’ (Luke 11.42); and (iii) Paul called us as a fellowship‘to grieve with those who grieve’ (Romans 12.15).
The events of the past week have given many great hope and expectation; I hope they are right! We need to be a church committed to listening, to learning and to change through the Lord Jesus. As Christians, we also know that because of the sin in our hearts, evil, suffering and injustice will emerge in other ways. The only hope for lasting justice and freedom from sin is in the kingdom of God – accessed through faith in the good news of Christ crucified and risen. So let us together, look to our loving Saviour, himself a ‘person of colour’, as our hope and ultimate justice and joy, the one who changes us from the inside.
Let us pray:
Father God, thank you that you are a good and just God. Please comfort all those affected by racism and injustice. We pray that you may help us see that ultimate hope is found through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Give courage to presidents, Prime Minister’s, community and church leaders, to speak and act for change. May you finally give yet more patience to those who are weary of being ignored. Above all, we ask that in this darkness, the glory of Jesus, the ‘light of the world’ (John 8.12) might shine ever more brightly. Amen.
There are just a couple of additional things I need to inform you about. Firstly, this Sunday Morning is Mission Sunday and we will be hearing from London City Mission amongst others. You will find attached the brand new Mission Newsletter, with all the latest prayer points. Please join us at 10am followed by virtual refreshments.
In addition, we are continuing with our live Zoom Evening Service at 6pm. Details will be available on the website and on social media. We will be picking up where we left off in Habakkuk – from wrestling to rejoicing, as Habakkuk waits for God’s responds to the evil and injustice he sees.
Finally, it’s with great sadness that I need to inform you that Wendy Goldthorpe, our Church Administrator, will be going part-time from July and then leaving at the end of August. Wendy and Jonathan are moving to Ipswich and we wish them well as the Lord leads them into a new mission field. Please pray for them, and for the Leader’s Council and the PCC as we consider the next steps. I will seek to keep everyone updated as and when I can.
With love and prayers in the Lord Jesus, Eddie