The Best Thing in the Worst of Times

“The Best Thing in the Worst of Times”

“It was a time of turmoil in England and Robert Shirley decided to build a new church, in defiance of the new regime…

…”When I watch or read the news these days, I sometimes feel like throwing up my hands in frustration and despair. It seems that nothing is going right, not in this country or anywhere around the world”…

… “The financial crisis is getting more ominous, and no one seems to know what to do. Unemployment is a growing problem and thousands are losing their homes. Efforts to make things better just seem to result in their getting worse…

…”Beyond our borders,…..more and more nations are engulfed in revolution and political upheavals. Even stable democracies are facing riots and civil unrest…

…”Long ago”, the prophet Jeremiah cried out to God: “Why do bad people have it so good? Why do con artists make it big? … How long do we have to put up with this..the country’s depressed, the farms in ruin and all because of wickedness…”Jeremiah 12:1-4…

“There are days when I know just how he felt. Recently I came across a story that I found very encouraging, and I’d like to pass it on to you. It happened in England, about 350 years ago, in a village called Harold Staunton, near the city of Leicester…

…”The first half of the seventeenth century was a time of turmoil in England. After a savage civil war, the old order of things had been overthrown and the King, Charles I, had been “beheaded”….However, as so often happens in revolutions, the new rulers under Oliver Cromwell soon became the new oppressors. They were strict religious fundamentalists, intolerant of anything and anyone who disagreed with what they thought was right…

“They banned “music, dancing, and even Christmas”…. Many irreplaceable marvels of architecture were battered down or burned and left in ruins. Those who did not agree knew it was best to keep their heads down until the madness was over…hummmm…

…”Well, not everyone… In the village of Harold Staunton, the “Lord of the Manor”, whose name was “Robert Shirley”, decided to build a new church, in defiance of the new regime. That church still stands today. Over the main door there is a stone plaque with a carved inscription. It is very weathered, but you can still make out the words. The message is clear, even if the language seems a bit ancient to our ears…

The Best Thing in the Worst of Times

The Best Thing in the Worst of Times

“The inscription says: “In the year 1654 when all things were, throughout this nation, either demolished or profaned, Sir Robert Shirley, Baronet, founded and built this church. He it is whose singular praise it is to have done the best things in the worst times, and to have hoped them in the most calamitous.”

…”The church in Harold Staunton is not “huge”, but it has made a “big impact”. When I think about that, I don’t feel so helpless and frustrated. Robert Shirley, you and I have the opportunity to do “the best things in the worst times.” We don’t need to build a physical church; there are plenty of those. But by working together, Christians can reach out to a world of bad news with the Good News of the gospel….We need to preach that Good News…the Gospel…to eveyone!!!…

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Biblical Studies for the Soul, What's Happening in the World?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s