God, Saviour & King
By Sammy Jordan, Project Lead HOPE For Every Home
At the end of 2022, the year that saw us say ‘God save the King’ for the first time in most of our lifetimes, Sammy explores how we might share the Good News of the one,
true King who saves... God, our Saviour & King.
An article by Stacey Hailes in the ‘Hope at Christmas’ magazine
King Charles acceded to the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, in September. In such a short space of time, the nation went from singing ‘God save the Queen’ to ‘God save the King’.
The change felt sudden – especially given that just a few months earlier, we had been celebrating the Queen’s 70-year reign. She was the nation’s great constant and comfort throughout life’s ups and downs. Then, without much warning, she passed away peacefully at her home in Balmoral. For many, it felt like a personal loss, because we are so used to seeing her face, whether on a postage stamp, on the TV, on currency, or in newspapers. She was loved by many and respected by leaders across the world.
In the midst of mourning, a new king was proclaimed. King Charles started touring the United Kingdom, promising to follow in his mother’s footsteps and to serve the Commonwealth for the rest of his life. Opinions on King Charles are quite mixed. We’ve watched him grow up in the public eye, sometimes doing things we approve of, other times making us wonder whether he is suitable for the role he has inherited. We might have seen how Netflix has chosen to portray him in ‘The Crown’. Only time will tell what kind of king he will be and whether people will respect him.
But there is a king who billions of people already adore. A king who set aside - for a time - his power and glory to be born as a baby. He lived without fault so that all of us who fall short of God’s standards can have a relationship with him. He’s a king that we have direct access to and don’t have to queue for hours to briefly see. He’s a king who wants a personal relationship with every single one of us, so much so that he was willing to die on a cross. God raised him to life again, claiming victory over death. It’s th king whom our late Queen loved and served. That king is Jesus.
‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus, the baby born over 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem, died being mocked as ‘King of the Jews’, but God raised him to life as King of Kings. This Christmas, that’s the invitation we can share with those in our communities who don’t know The King. Amid all that is going on in the world, we want people to know that they are invited to have a relationship with the King of Kings that can bring peace, love and joy to life. That all anybody needs to do is to choose to follow Him. And no matter what has gone before, when we acknowledge what Jesus has done for us and say sorry for the things we do wrong, the greatest King of all time welcomes us in forgiveness and love.
Here at Hope Together, we can help you share this story…
Get the Conversation Started...
When it comes to those initial chats, our magazine ‘Hope at Christmas’ is a great conversation starter. Maybe your friends have been to see the new Marvel film, Wakanda Forever; maybe you know people who follow The Great British Bake Off; or perhaps they’re footie fans, watching the World Cup. With celebrity features and articles ‘Hope at Christmas’ is accessible and relevant.
Perhaps, like me, many of your family or friends are worried about the cost of living. The Christmas issue includes top tips for saving money this winter and there are even prizes totalling £1,500 from The Entertainer to be won! To get your copies from just 12p plus p&p, visit www.hopetogether.org.uk/shop.
Continue the Conversation...
Do you already have connections with others who are open to faith conversations? If so, ‘Countdown to Christmas Hope’, our daily interactive Advent journey, is the perfect next step. It’s full of thoughts, stories, songs, puzzles and things to do which take the reader on a journey from, ‘Why does Christmas give me hope?’ to ‘Wow – Jesus is the hope of Christmas!’
‘Countdown to Christmas Hope’ is even linked to their own Facebook page where people can share responses, ask questions and comment on each day’s devotion. It’s a great way to engage with those around us in a culturally relevant way. Copies are available from www.hopetogether.org.uk/shop for £1 (50p bulk).
Christmas Chatter with Under 5's...
‘Jesus to the Rescue’ is the Christmas story with a difference! Using Happyland toys from The Early Learning Centre, ‘Jesus to the Rescue’ tells the story of how God sent his son, Jesus, to fix the broken world. Jesus, the rescuer, didn’t wear a uniform or even a superhero cape. When Jesus the rescuer first came into the world, he wore a nappy! Copies are available from www.hopetogether.org.uk/shop, £2 (£1 bulk), plus there are loads of free downloads to go alongside the book too!
Finding Faith Through Conversation...
Our new ‘Luke’s Gospel’ invites the reader into an eyewitness experience of the life of Jesus. The modern, fresh format wouldn’t be out of place on a coffee table…or in a coffee shop! Available from www.hopetogether.org.uk/shop for £3 (£1.50 bulk)
Finding Confidence for the Conversation...
The ‘Talking Jesus’ report produced in April suggests that 53% of non-Christians in the UK know a practising Christian. And it gets better… the report finds that non-Christians actually like us, trust us and want to hear our story! They want to know what difference following Jesus can make to their lives. Read it for yourself here www.talkingjesus.org
2022 has been a difficult year for many people and on many levels. BUT, amidst the challenges, there are opportunities. People are perhaps more open to a message of hope and conversations about faith than before. So, as we listen to the King’s speech on Christmas Day, and hearing ‘God Save the King’ in the national anthem, let’s remember and celebrate the birth of the Son of God, Saviour and King. Let’s be open to how God might use us to share our faith with others, and the hope we have because of Emmanuel, God with us.
Happy Christmas and
God’s richest blessings for 2023!