Perhaps it’s the weather, but I’m feeling nostalgic, maybe even homesick, for England today. In my desperation I’ve even got a London radio station playing through my browser. Even London traffic reports will seem somewhat comforting and familiar to me.
So, in honor of my country’s rich Christian tradition, I bring to you a moment of martyrdom. Hugh Latimer was born in 1487 and became chaplain to King Edward VI. In 1555, under the reign of Queen Mary he was burned at the stake. His offence was to challenge the Catholic belief of the real presence of Christ in the mass (the belief that Christ’s actual body becomes part of the communion bread – transubstantiation) and the belief that attendance at mass could actually gain you merit points with God. Being a true Protestant he believed in salvation by faith alone, not by works, even “Christian” works such as attending church.
He was burned at the stake with his fellow Martyr, Nicholas Ridley, and is reputed to have said this:
Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.
Today, if you feel under pressure for your Christian convictions, “play the man,” stay strong and trust that your witness is not in vain. And if you will, pray for England, that has become mostly a secular country, that God will bring revival there, and pray for my old church where I came to faith (Tankerton Evangelical Church) that they will be a strong witness for the glory of God.