Monthly Reflection – August 2013
I hope this month’s reflection finds you all well.
We are blessed
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4: 8-11
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…. If they persecuted me they will persecute you… for they do not know the One who sent me.” John 15:19-21
The reason I have titled this month’s reflection as ‘We are blessed’ is that scenes and news from inside Egypt have emerged of Churches and Christians being attacked- when we compare this to the apparent persecution we have to suffer here in the UK it should be clear to us all that we are indeed blessed to live in a country where we can still profess our faith without that fear of attack, injury or prosecution.
I for one always thank God whenever I stand at the front of a church to speak or sit writing at my computer that I have the freedom to do his work- So today and everyday it is important to remember those Christians who face persecution around the world and lift them up in prayer- not just in Egypt but in many other countries around the world that isn’t being reported in the News. When we hear the tragic details of Christians being attacked and killed in Egypt it does bring to our minds that people are dying for their faith even today.
The other day I was speaking with a friend of mine who is having some problems with people at their work place overtly making fun of their Christian faith. It has been a mixture of snide comments and leg pulling which has now gone beyond a bit of harmless teasing. I was subject to some minor leg pulling from my team when I joined the Police so I was able to empathise totally with how it felt – my team at Hemel Hempstead nick named me ‘Dibley’ (As in the Vicar of) I took this as an acknowledgement of my Christian faith being evident to them- they were more worried about calling me Dibley than I was! There are some officers and staff at Watford who now refer to me as ‘The Padre’– again I quite like it as it shows that they know I am a Christian! Whilst the friend of mine was concerned enough to speak to their boss about the comments being made- they were also able to say that at one point when the teasing and comments were at their worst another Christian member of staff walked in to the room- now that is Gods provision!
There are a number of ways we could look at or respond to others making comment about our faith- But we must remember what it says in the scripture from John 15; Jesus tells us ‘If they persecuted me they will persecute you’.
Currently in the UK we do see things going on that seem to marginalise Christians and Christian beliefs. We can feel as if our views are being ignored or that our views on various issues are seen as wrong- it is important I believe for us to remain strong in what we believe and honestly and tactfully with love in our Hearts profess the word of God truly. It is when we truly profess the word of God with love in our hearts that god touches those around us- if you ask for his help in these situations then God will do the talking through you!
Also be encouraged that when those around you are taking pot shots at you- it means that they know you are a Christian! It means that you are standing tall for God and shining his light into the darkness of the world. We don’t need to be discouraged because Jesus said to his Disciples ‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’
So I will leave you all with this simple prayer and ask you all to pray for each other and for those around the world who are facing teasing, bullying, persecution and death for standing up for Christ.
‘Dear Lord, please help those in the U.K. and around the world who suffer persecution for standing up for you; give them strength and courage to remain faithful to your word and keep them safe. Help us here in our work places to stand strong in your name and profess the truth of your word to those around us. I pray that you go before us every day and guide us when we speak of you’
Branch Leader Hertfordshire C.P.A.
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