Sunday, May 07, 2017

Putting up with putting up

Sermon for the third Sunday after Easter 

A snap General Election on 8th of June! Who are you going to vote for? Is it an easy decision, or are you in two minds? What influences your decision?


Recent votes have taken the Establishment by surprise. We have voted to leave the European Union - a decision that many protest strongly; a decision that people want to vote on again so that the country can come to a better answer. Who says it's a better answer? How do we know that it is really better?


We Christians always look to God for His opinion. Some of us try to vote according to Christian Principles, scouring Scripture and praying hard to hear what God wants. Yet we often see Christians disagreeing even within the same Church after praying and listening, and voting to what they believe they hear. Does God have a political party? You might as well ask what His favourite football team is!


St Peter tells us to "submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake" and that we should be subject to our masters "with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy: in Christ Jesus Our Lord." Essentially, he says "just put up with it!"


What a strange phrase! "Put up with it" Yet that is exactly what we should do. The Christian is not obsessed with politics because we see our government as Christ the King. We are to put up with secular governments because we accept God as our only ruler. As Christians, our presence is to sanctify the world. Thus is the calling of the Church. By submitting to a government - even if it is corrupt - we are sanctifying it - putting it up to God in our prayers and in our sacrifice of suffering. Indeed, as Christians, we even sanctify our suffering so as to bring God's greater grace into the world.

When the government goes against God, then we follow God like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in disobeying the law that goes against God, accepting the punishment and, like these holy men, trust God to do the rest.

To do this, we need to lift ourselves above earthly thinking and live our lives as Christians, for fleshly lusts war against the soul. St Peter says that we do this when we honour all men, love the brotherhood, fear God, and honour the king.


On the 8th June, let us listen to our conscience, vote if we believe that we should, and put up with the resulting Government - putting up with it into Heaven itself.

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