Continuing Neil MacKereth’s paper A Trumpet Call:
The theme of much of the foregoing is about whether it is right for our nation to ask for God’s protection when we are not willing to accept His advice and precepts. As mentioned above, it is only by His amazing grace and mercy that we can have a glimmer of hope.
For about 45 years, I attended C of E services and read or listened to the Confession, from the Book of Common Prayer, without paying much heed to what it really says. At last it has come alive to me; it has burst into flames of reality. It is absolutely a prayer for our time.
‘ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind In Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.’
These words have power to those who listen, but are completely without point to the indifferent: they can easily be ignored. However, the Coronavirus is like a trumpet call from the watchtower: it cannot be ignored. It is heard by rich and poor, great and small, rulers and labourers, saints and sinners. The Lord is telling us that the idols that we worship have no value.
Almighty God, on behalf of our undeserving nation, we cry out to You for mercy.
Neil MacKereth, 6th April 2020
AMEN and AMEN AGAIN!