Posted in Letter
Over recent weeks we have learnt a new phrase ‘taking the knee’ as our news coverage has focused on the campaign that Black Lives Matter.
And indeed they do and we cannot nor should we ignore the history of this nation’s colonial past and ongoing discrimination against some people because of the colour of their skins and cultural heritage. I talked about this in my letter a couple of weeks ago.
But increasingly, during recent days, I have been considering the action of ‘taking the knee’, if I were in a situation where I felt under pressure to do so what would I do? There is a political dimension to this act, not just one of respect and solidarity. It started with an American footballer who refused to stand to honour the American flag and national anthem, to honour the country which has so clearly oppressed and even caused the deaths of people of colour.
My spirit tells me that I should only bow the knee to God, he alone is worthy of my worship and homage. He is my Lord and to him I owe allegiance.
Paul writes this in his letter to the church in Ephesus
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
What a beautiful prayer this is declaring the work of the Trinity:
Our identity is found in our relationship with the Father.
We are empowered by the Spirit.
That Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.
If Jesus had not died for our sins we could not be called members of God’s family. Without being born again by the Spirit we could not receive Christ in our hearts.
My prayer for each of us is that of Paul’s for the Ephesians that we ‘may grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.’ That we will we allow him to fill us with his fullness that will overflow from our lives into the lives around us. Jesus calls us today to continue his work on earth to take the message of the good news that God loves each person we meet and that Jesus died that they might all have life in all its fullness. In our own strength this is impossible but in his strength nothing is impossible.
Last week Graham and I learnt the sad news that Bill Bruce died. Bill was a faithful member of this congregation for several years. Graham will say more in his email but I wanted to take the opportunity of this letter to remember and honour Bill. I was surprisingly saddened to hear the news, although it was not totally unexpected. Bill was a sociable man who wanted to be busy and had so many questions. As I thanked God for his life I smiled as I said ‘now all his questions are answered!’
There are many big questions in life, and even more smaller ones, but I sense that God wants us to know that to him Every Life Matters.
Where is the Lord calling you to go today, who can you speak to, sharing his love and encouragement?
Paul goes on in his prayer:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
Graham and Katy Hill, Local Church Leaders