Thursday, 8 July 2021

Down, but not Out


July 2021

Dear Friends

I am writing this on 15 June.  Yesterday our Prime Minister postponed ‘Freedom Day’ for four weeks until 19 July.  Some think he did the right thing; others disagree.  I think the delay will do more harm than good so I am disappointed, but not devastated.  All human governments are temporary, even the unelected tyrannies that some people in our world live under, and God has promised to Jesus Christ the kingdoms of the world.  So whether I support or oppose our government I must also wait patiently for Christ’s kingdom to mature.  Our true Freedom Day is his alone to give.

Last night I phoned a couple who are due to get married in church in three weeks’ time.  Their wedding has been postponed twice already; this is another big blow.  They’re perplexed but not in despair.  They know that being married is more important than what can or can’t happen on their wedding day.  And they know that our marriages are reflections of The True Marriage that lies at the heart of history, the forming of a deep eternal bond between the perfect groom, God’s Son, and all those called together to collectively form his bride.  No lockdown can postpone That Day.

Today I buried a man who died on the day he received a vaccine injection.  No vaccine can remove our vulnerability to the last enemy, death.  But our great enemy cannot forever prevail against Jesus who broke the bonds of death and rose again.  He promises that those who trust him, even if they are struck down, will not be knocked out.  Our Resurrection Day will certainly come and no human authority can cancel it.

So what’s ahead of us now? Just a four-week delay, deeply damaging to a few but a minor inconvenience to most?  Or a new world where we continue to be so scared of illness that we keep shutting down life?  I don’t know, although I know which I hope for.

Ultimately my hope is not in anything created – in health or governments or vaccines – but in the Creator and his Son.  As Paul the apostle wrote:

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”   2 Corinthians 4:8-10


Graham Burrows