Ulster’s ‘time of peace’
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
But there are others who prefer to view these developments through the lens of 1 Samuel 4:21.
Cranmer shall not bother to quote this verse, and shall leave it to communicants to discover its contents for themselves. Their complaint appears to be centred upon the decline from pure principle to impure pragmatism, and the tragedy of entering a political alliance with unrepentant terrorists.
Cranmer, however, dismisses such cynicism, and accords with Dr Paisley. That the Roman Catholic and Nationalist communities have agreed to abide by the rule of law and submit to the authority of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and that Sinn Fein has agreed to sit in a corner of the Government of the United Kingdom, under the jurisdiction of Her Majesty the Queen as Head of State, is repentance indeed. It has taken perseverance, tenacity, persistence, humility, and grace. He can’t somehow see the Lord being displeased with either these spiritual qualities or these political developments.
Cranmer exhorts therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made…for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.