A year ago today I was inducted to the pastoral charge of Tarbert. It has been a wonderful, whirlwind of a year in which we have seen God at work in amazing ways. I will blog about our first year in Tarbert at a later date. However just now I felt it appropriate that in light of the referendum result and the ensuing turmoil that we focus on the true King, who continues to reign unchallenged and sovereign . I reproduce below a reflections article I wrote after the 2010 General Election for the North Lewis Newspaper Fios.
King of kings
After what seems like an interminable election campaign , a new coalition administration has finally been established to govern our country. Like many people I was just relieved to see us reach an end to the incessant round of politicians and pundits giving their opinions on how the election would go . As a Christian I am afraid I struggled to decide who to vote for as in terms of morals and ethics all parties seem to be much of a muchness. The mantra of all parties seems to have been to focus on the economy, which is fine and I support them in that. Our country and our community in particular needs not so much an economic recovery but a full blown economic revival. However whatever divergence there was between parties on the subject of the economy seems to largely disappear when the subject of faith arises . There seems to be tacit agreement on downplaying the importance of faith by all parties in modern Britain. This was well illustrated by a statement from a previous government ‘spin doctor ‘ who famously interrupted the then Prime Minister on one occasion with the phrase ‘ we don’t do God ‘.
Do those of us who fear for our country in turning its back on God have reason to fear ? Will the creeping secularisation of our nation continue ? Will those who seek to base their lives, their choices in life and their actions on the word of God become ever more marginalised ? It is easy to become discouraged, and apprehensive for the future. However the word of God seems to show that even the most powerful of people, can actually be instruments for God to use as he wills. In the book of Proverbs 21: 1 we read ‘ The kings heart is in the hand of the Lord he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases’ . I found this to be a comforting verse. It serves to remind us that whatever the government, whatever the political dogma underpinning a governments laws and policies, that those for good or for ill are ultimately guided and directed by a greater king.
The Bible speaks of kings such as David and Solomon whose actions at times fulfilled God’s will. However and even more interestingly the Bible also shows that God’s will was explicitly fulfilled in decisions taken by rulers who would be thought of as ‘ungodly’.
A good example of this is Cyrus the great, king of Persia. This mighty ruler, far more powerful in his day than our prime minister is in ours, was directed by God to bring to an end the exile of the children of Israel to Babylon, and to permit the re-building of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
In the book of the prophet Isaiah 44: 28 God makes his plans known and makes reference to Cyrus saying ‘ who says of Cyrus “ he is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please” ’
Rather than being anxious about the future and even cynical about those in power, we should constantly remember to pray for and support our leaders, as sometimes they can like Cyrus unwittingly bring about the plans of the King of kings and Lord of lords.