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Letter from the Local Church Leaders #2

By Katy & Graham Hill

Posted in Letter

By one method of counting we are now moving into our third month of lock down which started at the end of March.

And some voices are demanding that the Government give the details of how and when the restrictions will start to be lifted. As I write this letter at the beginning of the week Boris Johnson is back at work and has said that it is too early to safely lift the restrictions.

As we listen to the strident voices and hear on the news that some people have travelled from Kent to Yorkshire for a ‘day out’ and argued with the police about their right to do so I was reminded of the Israelites. Graham and I are reading through the book of Judges and within a generation of the death of Joshua the people were rebelling against the Law that Moses had given them, with dire consequences.

In my personal time of Bible reflection I am reading the Psalms; today I reached Psalm 119. Normally when I read the longest chapter in the Bible I take a deep breath and try to get through it in one or two sittings. But today I felt a check: what is the rush? Take time to meditate on it, chew through the words. So I just read the first section and pondered on it.

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart,

they do nothing wrong;
they walk in his ways.
You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.

Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.

I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me.

Psalm 119:1-8

The Psalmist seeks to follow the Torah of the Lord but knows he falls short of doing so. But that is his aim. The Lord blesses the ones who seek to walk closely to the ways he has given. We translate Torah as Law but a better translation is teachings or instruction. The Lord has given his instructions as an act of loving kindness. He knows what is good and what is harmful to society. When we obey his instructions not only are we blessed but the society in which we live is also blessed.

It seems that it is part of our human nature to make selfish choices which may seem good to the individual but when looked at more closely have consequences which are not good either for the person or the wider society. So many in our culture think that it is ok to do what makes them feel good and have lost sight of the bigger picture of what is good for everyone. We honour football players who kick a ball around for 90 minutes more highly than doctors and nurses who save lives. It is some children’s ambitions to become a celebrity. Famous for being famous but what have these so called celebrities actually achieved?

If anything good can come from this tragic time my prayer is that our nation will emerge with a greater sense of responsibility for our communities. A greater sense of value towards those who are doing the jobs which so often go unnoticed and are largely speaking the lower paid of society. And as the certainties which people used to put their trust in reveal themselves to be empty and futile my hope is that people will turn to the Church, the people, and there find a living and loving God.


Graham and Katy Hill, Local Church Leaders

Graham and Katy Hill, Local Church Leaders

And some suggestions for listening -

from Psalm 25:1-7 {One of those Psalms that Graham Kendrick wrote!}
and from a compilation of songs for this time of lockdown by him -

No need to fear / Keep my eyes on you / All I once held dear