Hello everyone! This morning I enjoyed a walk to church
through the crispy snow and ice, as May had felt it was too cold for her to
venture out today. I love the bright and
cold mornings as long as the main roads are kept open, so I can get to work. We
had a very good service this morning led by Donald Rolls, who is a partially
retired deputy head teacher; he retired from full time work and now goes in for
odd days to do administrative work. He
began his children’s address by asking about the name of banks in our locality
and discussing how we had all been affected by the credit crunch; he admitted
that he had invested the lump sum he had received last summer just before the
credit crunch began!! However he had had
slips of paper distributed throughout the congregation, which he now asked us
to read out. We were to read them out
and then say what deposit we were offering for deposit in the bank of heaven. The
topics read out included a Bible quotation and a phrase about belief in God,
where the deposit put into the bank of heaven was ‘goodwill’; suffering for our
faith; the one I read which was about praying in secret to your Father in
heaven Matthew 6v6 and the deposit I put on deposit was ‘prayer on my own’. Whatever we deposited in the bank of heaven would
be secure from losing its value now and in the future.
He used ‘the Light of Jesus’ as his subject
for his sermon. He incorporated some
excellent illustrations in the sermon.
He described a trip he had taken with a class of year eleven pupils to an
outward bound centre, when they went for a midnight walk. It was totally dark but they walked with
leaders ahead and behind. At one point
Don could see no one else around, but could hear a little ahead voices of young
people who suddenly thought they were lost and alone, and unmistakably there
was panic in their voices. He came up
over the hill and shone his torch and they ran with relief to the light and
realised that they were not alone but quite safe! He also described an experience in a cave with
a number of people, when the lights were switched off and he could not even see
his hand in front of his face! For about
10 seconds there was no sound, then there was some uneasy shuffling and
coughing followed by the request for the lights to be switched on again, as
they were feeling increasingly uncomfortable.
In those cases the light brought them comfort in their fear. Another story he told illustrated that even
more graphically than those two stories.
In the third story he described a sailor who had been press ganged into
joining a ship. He was determined to be
as awkward as he could and refused to conform to life on board; he was always
in trouble but no punishment made any difference to his behaviour. Finally the ship’s captain told them to put him
in the hold, which they did. Still he
refused to change his behaviour so the captain told them to hang a lamp up,
when they next gave him food and drink, which they did. Almost as soon as they closed the trap again
the man came hammering on the trap to be let out!! When he was brought out he explained that the
light had shown him just how bad his surroundings were; there were large rats
all around and filthy conditions, and now he knew the circumstances in which he
was living he could not wait to get out!!
He was a changed man, who worked without complaint or rebellion! He was fine when he could not see his
surroundings, but as soon as he saw them, he could no longer bear to stay. Those illustrations are extremely apt to
describe the affect that the light of Jesus has on our lives; his light
illumines our way, brings us comfort and helps us to realise how dark and empty
our lives are without him in our lives.
I found his talks very helpful as without realising how much Jesus loves
and accepts me and enables me to live life to the full, life would not have as
much meaning to me. This is the day that
the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.