A murder and subsequent resurrection are at the heart of the Christian religion, as Jesus Christ certainly did not have a legal trial with the judge being threatened (John 19: 12-16). However, our Lord’s killing did not take place on sacred land and had the purpose of saving us all from our sins. The account of Thomas Becket’s death is well known but also worth repeating. King Henry II wanted to bring the priests under the same law as the rest of the population, (sounds familiar doesn’t it). So when the Archbishopric of Canterbury became vacant Henry appointed his friend, Thomas, to this position. Thomas Becket was hurriedly ordained before assuming the top job. To Henry’s great surprise Thomas became “religious” and accepted the authority of the Pope over that of his King. The friendship between the King and Archbishop ended and despite many attempts at reconciliation over the years never recovered. Probably the fact that both men were hot-tempered did not help.
One day while he was in France, Henry II angrily shouted “Will no-one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four knights took the King literally and rushed over to Canterbury where Thomas was killed in his own Cathedral. Henry quickly realized his mistake and sent messengers after the knights, but he was too late and the four knights were already on the boat to England. This murder horrified the brutal Mediaeval World. Despite the fact that Henry II undertook penance he will always be remembered as the man responsible for Becket’s death. I’m sure we have all lost our tempers and said things we regret but St Paul writes that anger grieves the Holy Spirit. Read Ephesians 4:30-32.
Henry II should be remembered for his work on the law and the jury system of 12 men (today including women). A society cannot be called civilized without the law and as soon as possible after they fled Egypt God gave Moses the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), which provided the framework to guide the Israelites and later Christian societies. Jesus valued the law (Matthew 5:17-19), it was the interpretation he found more troublesome. Examples of this are found in Matthew 12:1-14 where Jesus is talking about the Sabbath.
So, as Christians how do we wish to be seen and how do you think the people of Deception Bay see us as individuals?
We could also consider how our fellow Church members see us and what we believe God thinks of us.