Some weeks ago I wrote to my local MP (Member of Parliament) and asked him if he could arrange a tour of Parliament in London and also obtain tickets for “Prime Minister’s Question Time.” I made this request because my daughter had arranged to have two young church people from America, friends of her eldest son, stay with her. I thought that they would be interested in touring such an historic site and I got a quick and positive response from the MP. So, last week, I took these two visitors together with my eldest grandson and grand-daughter on a trip to London to visit the usual sites. The highlight was the tour of Parliament where we were shown around the House of Commons and the House of Lords as well as the other rooms and lobbies. We saw where royalty, over the centuries, had been involved in State occasions.
The few acres that house the palace of Westminster has been estimated at a value of at least £1 billion and the buildings and all of its treasures are priceless. Paintings of royalty over many centuries, gold and silver everywhere, statues and busts of politicians as well as many other treasures make up a storehouse that has few equals anywhere. I had previously toured Westminster 20 years ago and it had quite an effect on me all those many years ago, and this latest visit again had the same effect.
We also saw “Prime Minister’s Question Time” where the verbal jousting between the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and other MP’s takes place. It is half an hour each Wednesday when the house is sitting and where sound bites proliferate and point scoring is the order of the day. Finger pointing, shouting, accusation and some humor abound – the politics of confrontation, not co-operation. Those not in government who belong to other political parties are called the opposition. It is an adversarial system of government.
The wealth of the place and the system of debate caused me to think through, again, the differences between the way of God and the way of man. Man can get very carried away with his own importance and wealth but God states that “the silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:8). We are allowed the use of the earth’s resources whilst we live out our physical lives but it is the great God who owns it all. The wealth that we saw in the palace of Westminster (as well as the priceless Crown Jewels in the Tower of London that we also had the opportunity to see) will pale into insignificance when the reality of Revelation 21 takes place. In verse 18, it states that “the city was pure gold like unto clear glass.” Both before and after this verse, other treasures are revealed that will make the current earthly treasures seem very ordinary indeed — yet, at this time we can only stand and wonder at the workmanship and beauty of man’s creative art with such precious metals. Maybe we got just a glimpse of the future wealth that God has in store for us in His Kingdom.
The verbal confrontations that took place was the direct opposite of how we, as true Christians, should behave now, and how members of the God Family will live forever in the Kingdom. There will be no more slanging matches, no more adversarial confrontations, no more insults — just love and outgoing concern for other members of the God Family in a spirit of total cooperation. How different will that be to the way that the politicians today conduct their business?
It was an inspiring visit to see the “mother of Parliaments” in action. It was also a sobering lesson that what God has in store for us in His Kingdom will be greater than we can ever contemplate at this time. We will be surrounded by unimaginable wealth and unimaginable peace and cooperation — for all eternity. Now that’s something to get really excited about!