God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

In January 2020, just before the pandemic took hold, Jilly and I spent a couple of nights in a hotel overlooking the Royal Mews in London. It was tantalising to be so close to the mystique of royalty, and yet so far away.

During this past, sad, week, I have regularly found myself feeling sorry that I never saw or met Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. As far as I am aware, she never knew of my existence – and this would be true of multitudes of her subjects. How could she? She was, after all, mortal. It is remarkable how many lives she did touch personally. But not mine – although like so many others I felt I did know her, and I grieve her loss.

Hearing stories from those who got to be with the Queen and her family at Balmoral, I have to admit to feeling a twinge of envy for their proximity to them. However, even that ‘nearness’ was limited and temporary. But we have been called into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is King of kings and Lord of lords. He knows His own people fully, and we are getting to know Him more and more. We can talk to Him any time in the day or the night. We don’t just get to pay an occasional visit. May we never lose the wonder – the sense of sheer privilege – that it should be so. We have been brought, by grace and mercy, into what Leslie Wetherhead called ‘the Transforming Friendship.’

Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons (Mark 3:13-15).