Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.’…Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God; you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come. May this be instruction for the people, O Lord God! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have wrought all this greatness, so that your servant may know it. Therefore you are great, O Lord God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people, and to make a name for himself, doing great and awesome things for them, by driving out[g] before his people nations and their gods? And you established your people Israel for yourself to be your people for ever; and you, O Lord, became their God. And now, O Lord God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, confirm it for ever; do as you have promised. Thus your name will be magnified for ever in the saying, “The Lord of hosts is God over Israel”; and the house of your servant David will be established before you. For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, “I will build you a house”; therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant; now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue for ever before you; for you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed for ever.’
Writing this in August means that I have no idea what will happen tomorrow; will we leave, or will we stay? I can be sure that there will be a legacy of our time in the European Union.
In the passage from Samuel we read of King David settling into his house and, most significantly, enjoying a rest from his enemies and this rest was a gift from God. David did not claim that he was responsible for his house, for the peace he enjoyed or for anything else. He thanked the Lord for providing it all.
It is 400 years since the first slaves arrived in America which was part of the English (later British) Empire and those slaves worked and died to make many men rich. The attitude of the slave owners was that some people were inferior and could be used however their masters wished. Has this changed or is modern day trafficking and slavery part of a legacy from those times? Over the past couple of years, I have spoken to many people who say that they want out of Europe because they don’t want immigrants coming to Britain. Is their attitude another legacy of the time of the British Empire?
We can’t change everyone’s attitude, but we can follow the example of David and thank God for all that we have. We can lead by example and welcome immigrants and show how much they contribute to the United Kingdom. We can also follow the instruction of Paul in 1 Timothy 2 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
I thank you for all that you are.
I ask you to give wisdom and strength to our leaders at this time.
Lead them in a way that will bring peace and unity across this land.
I pray for the all leaders and citizens across Europe
and the whole of your world that they will work together for peace.
I pray that these leaders, and citizens will work towards a solution to climate chaos that threatens your creation.
Thank you for hearing my prayer
In the name of Jesus your son
John Collings, Lay Preacher, member of Rutherglen URC