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Psalm 146 says it all: "Put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of man." Or, in my own modern translation, "Put not your trust in politicians, nor in any human being." And the Psalm goes on, "Happy are those who have the God of Jacob for their help: whose hope is in the Lord their God."

That was how I started my post on August 25th when the choice was between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. You can scroll back and read it again, if you wish. It is not just that the members of the Conservative Party made the wrong choice at that time: the malaise and confusion in our society goes much deeper than any single politician or party can remedy. The fault lies in us, the people. We have turned our backs on God.

There is only one source of stability in an ever-changing world, and that is the one unchanging God. There is only one source of wisdom and guidance in the midst of all our confusions, and that is in the Word of our Creator God.

There is little enough that any of us can do as ordinary citizens in a country that seems to be collapsing all around us and taking leave of its senses. But here are some things we can do.

1. Pray. We can pray for our government and politicians that God will give them wisdom and insight, courage and resolution. We can also pray for those who are responsible for our national institutions, for example, the NHS, schools, transport, and communications. These are large and complex organisations, made all the more unmanageable by developments in technology that destroy the personal nature of all our relationships.

2. Help each other. We all have circles of personal relationships that are an antidote to this impersonal web that suffocates so much of our lives today. We need to foster these personal relationships, within families, friends, neighbourhoods, clubs or churches, and use these links to support, encourage and help one another in any way that we can. It is like building an ‘underground’ community, independent of all those on-line relationships, official and unofficial, that we are caught up in.

3. “Gossip the Gospel.” We need to take any opportunity we can to tell people about Jesus the Saviour of the world. Perhaps there is a growing sense in all our hearts that we need someone to save us from the mess or messes that we are in. Tell people that God has sent us just what we need: a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Christmas could be a great opportunity for doing this.

4. ‘Look up’. It is not a good idea to let all the alarming reports and predictions of the newspapers, TV, and the internet, to dominate our thinking and leave us in a state of constant anxiety. Jesus warned his disciples, in some of his last teachings, of what was coming upon the world. Some of these things like ‘wars and rumours of wars, earthquakes and famines in various places’ (Matthew 13. 7-8) - these would be part of our existence in every generation. But Jesus also warned us of a more far-reaching collapse: “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity, at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these signs begin to take place, stand up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21.25-28).

I would love to think that the Lord’s coming again is imminent. Some of these predictions in the Gospel ring bells with me in the present situation. But I am aware that our predecessors have hoped for this before, and the Lord has still not come again. So I hesitate to predict it now. But what I do know, is that it is a relief from all of today’s gloom and doom, to lift up my eyes to Jesus, the same Jesus, who walked the earth 2000 years ago, lived, died and rose again to save us, who is coming again in power and great glory, to redeem us and this desperate world, to judge the living and the dead, and to usher in a New World, made perfect for ever.

So, “Lift up your heads to the coming King.”


Next week: Immigration – oh dear.

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