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June 2016


19th June 2016

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

Wasting time with God

It may be that we are tired of hearing about it, but Thursday June 23rd will be one of the most important days in our life time – and in the life time of our children and grandchildren. Whether the United Kingdom votes to remain in the European Union or to leave, the consequences will be far – reaching and impossible to fully determine. We might ask for more information but the reality is that no one can be sure what is going to happen on June 24th and in the subsequent weeks and months. However we vote, we are stepping into an unknown future.

It is not the role of a Bishop to tell you how you should vote but it is my responsibility as a leader of the Church to remind you that you should vote and offer a Christian perspective to this crucial decision.

There will be many different opinions expressed in these last days leading up to the Referendum and it is important that we listen to all views and then reflect on them prayerfully, asking the guidance of the Holy Spirit as to how we should vote.

Prayer has been described as ‘wasting time with God’ and that is a very good description. When you are in love with someone you simply enjoy being with them – not necessarily ‘doing’ anything but just ‘being’ in their company. So it is with God. In prayer we meet God. We learn to see the world and other people through God’s eyes and we begin to see ourselves through God’s eyes too. We start to understand what it really means to be loved sincerely and unconditionally for ever.

When some of us help as volunteers at the Night Church in the centre of the night – clubbing district of Hanley, we often have young people requesting prayer – invariably for others (especially for their grandparents!) but sometimes for themselves. When they ask that we should ‘do’ the praying we always say that of course we will but invite them to join with us in praying too. The sad response is often that they could not possibly pray because they do not know how to do it!

However we vote on June 23rd we cannot be certain of the future we are passing to our children and young people but if there is one gift that we can give them that will always be of benefit to them, it is to know the value of prayer and how to pray.

+ Geoff

Full version of this article is available on the internet