June 2023 magazine
Please find a link to our June 2023 magazine. Paper copies will be available in both our churches from this weekend.
In this edition you will find articles on Christians Against Poverty, the Coronation and Porch Boxes. You’ll also find a tribute to Frank Slater and pieces on the Open Group and Mothers’ Union as well as news and views.
The June 2023 magazine also includes this letter from Barbara Silvester….
#Not my King
I’m writing this in the post Coronation period and reflecting on all that has gone on in the last few days: Pomp, Pageantry, Party and Ritual. It’s a bit like the road to Emmaus period. Many thoughts swirling around in my head like a merry-go-round.
Whatever you may think about the republicans and their campaign; the slogan has certainly made me think about who is my King? This problem didn’t arise when we had a Queen – she wasn’t a King. The word King comes from the old English word Cynn, the name given to the head of the ‘kin’ or clan/tribe – the people you lived with. (It’s interesting that in South Asia the head was a similar word – Khan.)
My immediate thought about my King was Jesus of course! He is the one I pledged my obedience to many years ago when I became a truly believing Christian.
The word King is mentioned 2,314 times in the Bible, many of which refer to Old Testament Kings and in fact Matthew in writing his gospel spends the first 17 verses tracing Jesus’ genealogy back to Abraham and King David – 42 generations in all. So this link to an earthly physical monarch was obviously important to Matthew. But is this true today?
We have a hereditary monarchy which we can track back through the ages. We’ve ditched the idea of the divine rights of a monarch long ago and today in this country the Monarch is a figure head and legally disempowered, and it is interesting that during the Coronation service King Charles’s prayers were directed to the King of Kings aka God/Jesus. So we have our national King praying to our Spiritual King.
That of course throws up another question. Whose Kingdom do we inhabit? (A Kingdom being an area of authority.) Re-establishing the area of God’s authority was very much at the forefront of Jesus’ ministry. Over time since the Creation, since Adam, humans had drifted. What started with forgetting that God was in charge had become embedded in human-kind who had assumed they were in charge because they had established power over others and subjected lesser mortals and creatures to their will. God had become restricted to his space in heaven and humankind had claimed this world for itself.
Jesus’ battle cry was “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” He showed what it would be like through his teaching and action. When Jesus was proclaiming the coming of God’s kingdom, he was re-iterating what the Old Testament prophets had been yearning for; what ordinary people were longing for. They had been ruled so long by bad, oppressive Kings of their own and by foreign Kings who had conquered their land. Now Jesus was offering afresh the hope and trust that under God’s authority their lives would get better. Under his direct care and protection all would be well again. That is what the Kingdom of God still offers today, tomorrow and forever.
Just who do we owe our allegiance to? Who do we serve? In Luke’s gospel 16:13 Jesus says “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (NIV)
Ok. In that instance Jesus was talking about mammon-money/wealth, but where does it place us with a heavenly King and an earthly King?
Lots to think about. So where does King Charles III stand in our pecking order of God/Jesus, family, church, country?
Happy pondering, Barbara S.