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Viewpoint from Rev John Kinchin-Smith 19/06/2020

JOHN KINCHIN-SMITHRev John Kinchin-Smith
Rural Dean of Great Yarmouth


In May 1940 when France had fallen and the British Army was trapped at Dunkirk where they were to be annihilated, King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer to plead for Divine Intervention.  So widespread and so deep was faith in God that literally millions of people flocked into churches to pray.  At Westminster Abbey there was a queue a quarter of a mile long as people desperately tried to get in to pray.  Here was a generation that knew God was real and could be petitioned through heartfelt prayer.  Immediately after that Day of Prayer, a great calm descended on the English Channel, enabling hundreds of tiny boats to sail across and rescue 335,000 soldiers
dove leftThose who study the events of the Second World War appreciate just how close we came to losing the war and losing our freedom.  But at numerous crisis points when it seemed all was lost, the people of our nation witnessed God’s hand at work bringing deliverance.  If this seems fanciful, God’s interference was acknowledged by the Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command after the Battle of Britain, by Winston Churchill in 1942 as the tide of War began to turn in our favour, by General Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander) following the D-Day landings, and by Field Marshall Montgomery following the German surrender.  In a message sent to all his troops, Montgomery wrote (quoting Psalm 118), “This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes”
Dove rightThe Covid-19 pandemic has been compared by many to a war against an invisible enemy.  How are we to respond?  Of course we should continue to follow the advice of government and the scientific and medical establishment.  Of course we should continue to care for our neighbours, especially those who are vulnerable, lonely or self-isolating.  But can we believe that what God did for the wartime generation, he can also do for us?  Our nation urgently needs his help and protection.  You and I might keep our promises, but if God makes a promise, it will never be broken.  And one of God’s many promises in the Bible still holds true: “If my people … humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

(With thanks to an article by “Strengthen the Faithful”)

as published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury


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