MP tells 10,000 Christians to claim promise of Jesus for capital
Originally published by Christian Today, 28 Nov 2009
Labour's Vice Chair for Faith Groups last night called upon 10,000 Christians to help make Jesus' promise of life a reality for the people of London.
Stephen Timms was speaking at one of the largest gatherings of Christians in the country, Festival of Life.
He drew on John 10, in which Jesus says, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Lamenting the high levels of knife crime and killings among young people in the capital, he told the crowds, "Whatever this full life that Jesus brings is, it isn't this."
"We need to claim this promise for the capital," he said.
Mr Timms paid tribute to the many churches working to bring peace back to the streets through initiatives like Street Pastors.
"Many Christians are active in the community and putting faith into action," he said. "We must work together to bring hope back to our young people and make the UK a hopeful country again. The church has a crucial role to play in that."
He insisted that faith and politics did go together, as he called on more people of faith to consider going into politics to help transform community values.
God was, he said, "calling us to be active in influencing and shaping our society."
Christians joined in praying for God's Kingdom to come in the UK and that the fulfilment of Jesus' prayer in John 17 "that they may be one".
"There is power in unity," said Wunmi Oladunjoye, Senior Pastor of Holy Ghost Zone church in South London. "As the body of Christ we cannot achieve much without the Trinity. For us to have great power in the world Jesus' prayer must be answered."
Also addressing the crowds was Senior Pastor at Ealing Christian Centre, Richard Buxton, who said the UK had "badly backslidden" in its Christian faith but that God had brought men and women like the largely African and Caribbean crowd to re-evangelise the nation.
He urged Christians to keep their spiritual weapons "well-oiled" by maintaining unity with the Holy Spirit.
"May nothing hinder God from arising in our church and in the nation," he said.
Festival of Life is hosted each year by the Redeemed Christian Church of God at London's Excel centre.