Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Lesson For Today. Matthew 27:24

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Now I know our Chief Constable likes a good Bible story, one only has to read his welcome to the 2009 annual report of the Christian Police Association.

It must be said though, judging from what's writ below, our Matty seams to be a bit of an Old Testament man, just the kind of chappy you would want to run a modern police force.

It would appear however that our Matty is no longer to be the shining light of Leicestershire plod, he's on the move in fact.

Matt Baggott has been appointed as chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The chief constable of Leicestershire replaces Sir Hugh Orde, who is leaving the PSNI to become president of the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Members of the independent Policing Board scrutiny body had interviewed four candidates for the post, which attracts an annual salary of £183,954.more

There you go now, well done the panel,

The interviewing panel consisted of Policing Board chairman Barry Gilligan, vice-chairman Brian Rea and MLAs Alex Maskey, Dolores Kelly, Ian Paisley Jr and Leslie Cree.

just what the province needs, a Protestant Jesus freak with a penchant for quoting the Old Testament, just the man to reach across the religious and political divide.

~ ~ ~

God's Promises Being delivered

For many, I suspect recent months have been a real ‘eye opener’ about the fragility of our society and its overreliance upon wealth, ambition and power.
Not surprisingly, anxiety and uncertainty seem to be the prevailing emotions of the moment as we enter into prolonged economic recession. As members of the Police Service, we would probably add fear, conflict, alcohol and drugs misuse as symptoms of a far deeper malaise than the credit crunch.

I am often struck by the relevance of the Old Testament to the times in which we live. There are so many sobering accounts and stories of nations and people deliberately ignoring God’s goodness and truth, going their own way and choosing to be selfish, inward-looking and complacent. Sadly, the consequences of lives damaged and broken always seem to be the same. Yet throughout, God is utterly consistent in pointing out the dangers, waiting to forgive and restore, and demonstrating the everlasting truth of his love and compassion. Our nation’s
rebuilding and future is not dependent upon more debt, but upon a focus on ‘the way, the truth and the life’.

It is no surprise that, as the year has unfolded, so too has the God-given influence and practical impact of CPA. The book of Malachi recounts once again the outcomes of turning away from God, but also strongly emphasises the fundamental reality that ‘those who feared the Lord talked together and the Lord listened’. I truly believe that as we pray and seek ways of being ‘salt and light’, whether through fellowship within the Service or building bridges between churches and local policing, we will see God’s promises being delivered. It has been great to see so many practical initiatives as part of Hope 08, and the relevance of CPA acknowledged both within and outside of the Service. The Holy Spirit undoubtedly takes what we offer in humility and uses it for the glory of God.

As we move through 2009/10, my encouragement is that we will be the thoughtful servants in Malachi, and that our prayers, attitude and actions will bring many to the reality and hope of the cross.

Matt Baggott