Promises That Are Never Broken
Sunday 15th July 2012The Archbishop of York today writes in The Sun about promises that are never broken, the Yorkshire Regiment homecoming service and following God's call.
If you checked inside your wallet when you bought this paper today, you may have been fortunate enough to come across a piece of paper with a promise to you on it.
As you know, bank notes are promissory notes. If you manage to keep one long enough to examine it, you will see that it says, “I promise to pay the bearer on demand, the sum of £…”
This promise is signed by the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey. And, whatever we think of the banks at the moment, we still trust them to redeem this promise.
A promise implies commitment and dedication – and a hopeful future. So, as long as promises are kept, we have a sense of security. That is why, when trust is lost, we become insecure.
Last week, in this column, I spoke of how God calls every person – man, woman or child – to welcome him, to receive his friendship and love. This week’s prayer tells us of the promise which comes with that call:
you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you
that we, loving you in all things and above all things,
may obtain your promises,
which exceed all that we can desire….
Some people like to imagine how they would spend the money if they won the Lottery. But, God’s love provides us with greater treasure than we can begin to imagine. And through that love, we receive God’s promises. God himself, living in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Enabling us to live, act and love as Jesus lived on earth.
The word ‘promise’ comes from a word meaning “send forth’. Jesus is God’s Promise, sent to the world to show God’s faithfulness and love for us, by living and dying to make us his friends.
He is God’s Promise of life, joy and complete peace and safety. He is the Promise which never gets broken – the same yesterday, today and for ever.
I had the honour this week to attend a homecoming service for the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment at York Minster.
We could learn a lot from the selfless devotion to duty and the genuine commitment to serving others, we see from our brave servicemen and women.
I know there are great fears that cuts to our armed forces risk hitting those who already give so much to our nation on a daily basis, as they try to bring peace and hope to places of conflict like Afghanistan.
Indeed in the latest restructuring we will lose the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, as it is absorbed into the rest of the regiment.
Let us remember our brave past that overcame fascism, anti-Semitism and a vile dictatorship – and let that great history inform where we are going in the future.
A society which forgets its memory becomes senile. Let us celebrate the things that make Britain great.
If we cannot find the money to ensure our wonderful service personnel are properly paid and properly equipped, we should be ashamed.
We owe them all a great debt.
Following God’s Call
We’ve had a lot of rain recently. Indeed, I keep hearing weather forecasters saying we are having downpours of Biblical proportions!
Well this week I am getting on board a giant Ark!
Before you start to panic, it’s not what you think. This Summer in York we are holding the biggest community event the region has seen for over a decade. Hundreds of local people will star alongside professional actors as we tell the stories of unlikely heroes like Noah.
It’s not just the performers on stage contributing, many more ordinary people are involved in set design, costumes, and music – it’s a real community project.
The York Mystery Plays have been told by the people of York for hundreds of years and it’s deeply embedded in our city’s cultural heritage.
It’s not just a wonderful spectacle for the city, it’s also about telling the story of the eternal battle between good and evil – from creation to the last judgement.
God is at the centre – from beginning to end. And he calls us all to follow no matter who we are or what we have done in the past.
The same offer is there for you today…even if you’re not good at woodwork!