November 2020: From Our Minister’s Study
Well what could one speak about without referring to ‘you know what’, and the ‘you know what’ which vanished for a while.
He’s talking about Covid -19 and Brexit, but only briefly. My word we have been through the mill recently.
If that was not enough the American election is in the final throws of renewing the tenancy at the Whitehouse or running a farce trying to get one man out because another has won. By the time you read this for all I know Mr Johnson may be building a wall around Greater Manchester or rerouting HS2 through the Mayoral Residence. Nothing would surprise us anymore
Conformity, discipline and doing the right thing seems to elude people in all generations. At the moment people seem to be going out of their way to say they are doing their own thing. They are thinking of themselves rather than others.
Sir Thomas More was described as a man for all seasons....Well Titus seems to be the man for the current season. You will find Titus in the New Testament just after the letters of Timothy. Titus, was a minister who travelled on missionary journeys with Paul. He was a person of clarity who was also trustworthy. He got landed with Corinth, Crete and Dalmatia because he was someone who didn’t say one thing and do another. When his letter was written Titus was the post holder at Crete and Crete could never be described as organised or single minded. Fortunately for them he is not a pulpit shaker like Paul. However, He does mean business when he gives them direction. You must however bear in mind that when you read Titus it is Paul supplying the narrative.
In chapter three, the job in hand is to get the people to concentrate on doing what is good.
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, ... “
We may struggle with those who lead, we may be a nightmare for those who we decide to need our wisdom but these verses from Paul’s letter to Titus have strong input for our current world view. They offer thought to what is proving to be a bumpy ride. The American Election is highlighting fault lines that have deepened in US society. Guns, Police violence, even Coronavirus laying waste the Nation with biblical losses has not brought unity among voters. Here after great unity in lockdown some have coldly said ‘we gave it go and now we are looking after no one, just ourselves.
We are about to have Remembrance which will be a very quiet affair with restrictions. But we need to remember how easily our world can change. Recall how the delusions of power brought horror to so many. Remember those who died in war. Some will use it as a time to observe our current fatalities in medicine, care and transport and security. In these rolls many laid down their lives and the conflict continues. The words to Titus have meaning for the present. We must show God’s love and we must resist those who challenge leadership in these complex times. We must not feed the quarrelling and we must pray for peace and health.