Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday Sermon: Church of England, A-Levels, and a Prayer

Subtitle: Don't jump to any conclusions

My initial reaction to the headline from Christian Today was an incorrect assumption.

I had thought COE (Church of England) was offering or promoting a prayer service that would enable Christians, via prayer actively change their UK school A-Level examination results, for the better.

The way it would work  could be

1. You screwed up terribly on an A-Level paper
2. Though this was of course God's will, nevertheless you put in a prayer
3. A prayer to still pass you at this A-Level
4. So then an examiner who would have failed you,  would instead look at the same words you wrote and because of your Christian Prayer, [say] pass you, or otherwise improve your grade.
5. With this better grade you were able to enter the University of your prior choice.

Oh, and then I remembered the first rule of Internet / Paper journalism

The Headline may bear no relation to the article content

Further, using devices like irony and satire, some columnists can sometimes title an article with exactly the reverse information contained therein.  Imagine that. So I had to read the article:

Church of England offers prayers for anxious A-Level students awaiting results

It turns out my fears were totally misplaced and so I must eat humble pie.  The key lines in the prayer are:

For I am convinced that neither entry requirements nor exam results, neither anticipation nor doubts, neither success nor failure, nor any expectations, neither last minute fears nor anxieties, nor anything else in life, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Which I can simply reduce to

Jesus Christ's love of you can never be separated and that remains even if you sustain cataclysmicly bad examination results.  Eg   You failed all your exam results,  [god's will], you will not get to University based on them, but you are still loved by an Infinitely powerful and good god.

So if that is really how you feel, then I suggest you put this sentiment onto your next resume and CV.  Because your honesty and openness should not be discounted.

Say A Little Prayer