For the gospel reading at the close of the week that marked our Queen's longest reign we heard Jesus ask his followers "Who do you say I am". We remember Peter's answer "You are the Messiah" and Jesus ordering his disciples not to tell anyone. Jesus explained that his reign was not to be an effortless transformation of victory over Rome's occupation, but a reign of self-denial and sufferance subject to the persecution of Roman rule even to the death of the cross. God's Kingdom was illustrated not as the parade of victory but rather as the pursuance of victory through that discipleship of self-sacrifice upon which is built the future Kingdom.
Whilst Victory in Europe bought rejoicing and hope, it also bought resolve to share in rebuilding a Europe divided by war, and fractured by the greatest mass migrations the world had seen. It was not until World Refugee Year that the last of the post war refugee camps in Europe closed in 1960, in the first decade of our Queen's reign. Now in this her sixth decade we are seeing again mass migrations of displaced persons. Once again Britain, and the nations of Europe are being challenged to settle and re-home orphans, young and old, elderly and frail, those mourning the death of loved ones the loss of homes livelihoods and nationhood.
These who say of Europe ‘there is our salvation’ cannot be denied the telling nor will they be deflected from their hope of deliverance, just as with our gospel, Peter and the disciples though ordered not to, told all the more of their hope in Jesus’ Messiahship. If we are to answer today's hope we will need to be prepared to offer such self-sacrifice as Jesus asked of his followers for the building of God's Kingdom.
Yours in Christ.
Rev'd Brin Singleton