At the beginning of this month we celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Queen Elizabeth II rightly commands an enormous amount of love and respect around the globe. Famously she takes her duty as Queen very seriously. She encourages, and does, a tremendous amount of good around the world. Her Christian faith is very evident and influential on her. If you doubt that listen to her last Christmas message. Unlike Her government, the Queen ‘does God’.
I recently heard the Bishop of Bristol say that in this Diocese we ‘do good’ well but we could ‘do God’ better. We can of course always get better at both but my reflection on us as a church is that Bishop Mike’s comments hold true. Our deeds (works) are to glorify God (faith). See James 2.
I suspect many of us find giving financially to good and worthy projects easier than living openly as those who follow Jesus. We find ‘doing good’ easy but ‘doing God’ is harder. We have to recognise that it is increasingly difficult to live as Christians in our culture and rise to that challenge. Spirituality is fine but to let that influence the way we live, the way we interact with others and the way we think about issues is not. Society would love our faith to be private but Jesus commands us to be public; ‘Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:19); ‘you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). We, the church are called to witness, to ‘do God’ as well as good, to be bold in proclaiming the gospel, to be ready to give an account of the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).
And that isn’t always easy. God knows that. And so the Holy Spirit was poured out on all believers at Pentecost to empower us to witness and give us the words to speak.
So would you join me this month in praying each day for the Holy Spirit to fill each of us, and give us boldness to ‘do God’?