5 November 2021

The old Anglican Church used to have prayers of deliverance on this day, for Guido Fawkes. This was in the middle of the wars of religion.

Thi king ordered a day of celebration, with bonfires.. It is still celebrated to this day, though many of us, given the tyranny of parliaments, think that it would have been better if Fawkes completed the job.

There were many things the Stuart Kings were bad at. One was forgiveness. They never forgave or forgot those who did wrong. Charles II exhumed Cromwell so he could execute him, and sought out all those who signed the death warrant of his father so they could be executed.

We are not to do this. We are instead to forgive them.

This includes debt. Debt has an end date. The jubilee is a foretaste of what Christ did for us.

Deuteronomy 15:1-11

15 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbour. He shall not exact it of his neighbour, his brother, because the Lord’s release has been proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release. 4 But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess— 5 if only you will strictly obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. 6 For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.

7 “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, 8 but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. 9 Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near’, and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. 10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

Hebrews 9:15-24

15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

This is where we have to be careful. Fawkes was a Catholic agent in a time when the wars of religion were very real, and people recalled Bloody Mary burning people. England was Protestant, and woe betide the recusant. France was Catholic, woe betide the Huguenot.

That war of religion ended. We now have a war against all branches of Christendom, based on ideas that are anti-christian.

So when we deal with those who offend or oppress us, we must be prepared to forgive. Christ gave us. The current system, grinding our freedoms down, will end.

And then we will need to deal with the deceived and the repentant. Here we will need gentleness.

For we are not like them.