Hide and Seek

As a kid I loved playing hide-and-seek. It was exciting getting warmer, then colder with the expectation of eventually securing the prize. The Wise Men followed a lone star across the night skies seeking the prize.

Even as they appeared to be in sight of their prize they lost sight of the star, they were colder, and experienced the chilling welcome from Herod.

How tiresome of God to be a fan of hide-and-seek! He hides his greatest revelation and expects us to search for him. On becoming a Christian, I naively thought that was ‘job done’. Somehow I had a hold of God for myself and therefore eternity was mine.

Of course, all I had was an initial impression of the supernatural reality that crafted, held and sustained everything I knew and experienced. While I thought I was my own reality, I slowly came to appreciate that my reality only made sense and had any substance in as far as I sought the source of that reality, God.

For too many years I rested on my laurels, comfortable in my conviction that I knew God and God’s ways. Only as challenges struck did I begin to realise that I’d taken my eyes off the prize and I was marking time with a minimal understanding of the nature of God and the relationship he freely made available to me.

I came to recognise that who I was intended to become was designed within God’s heart from the dawn of time. God tried consistently to awaken my hunger simply by sowing seeds of invitation.

God’s secrets are hidden and God invites us to seek them out. It may well take a journey, as with the Wise Men, or require an unexpected interruption to the daily routine, as with the shepherds. Yet however the seed lands within my conscious experience, I alone have the power to determine how I shall respond – if I notice the seed at all, that is.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

HALLELUJAH CHRISTMAS

I am sure that most of you are familiar with the song ‘Hallelujah’ made famous by Leonard Cohen.

I am indebted to one of my Methodist friends, Muriel Sowden, for sending me some new, and very inspirational words, which have been written for a group known as Cloverton.

I’d like to share these words with you all:-

I’ve heard about this baby boy
Who’s come to earth to bring us joy
And I just want to sing this song to you
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
With every breath I’m singing Hallelujah
Hallelujah

A couple came to Bethlehem
Expecting child, they searched the inn
To find a place for You were coming soon
There was no room for them to stay
So in a manger filled with hay
God’s only Son was born, oh Hallelujah
Hallelujah

The shepherds left their flocks by night
To see this baby wrapped in light
A host of angels led them all to You
It was just as the angels said
You’ll find Him in a manger bed
Immanuel and Savior, Hallelujah
Hallelujah

A star shown bright up in the east
To Bethlehem, the wisemen three
Came many miles and journeyed long for You
And to the place at which You were
Their frankincense and gold and myrrh
They gave to You and cried out Hallelujah
Hallelujah

I know You came to rescue me
This baby boy would grow to be
A man and one day die for me and you
My sins would drive the nails in You
That rugged cross was my cross, too
Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah
I plan to use these thought provoking words at the Beaufort Hill Methodist Church this coming Sunday.

Peace be with you now and for evermore

Geoffrey

PS – You may view Cloverton’s video by going to:-

http://youtu.be/43OQi0KJC8g

 

The Shepherd

I heard about an interesting old tradition involving shepherds.

When a shepherd dies, a piece of wool is placed on his chest before he is buried.

The reasoning behind this tradition is absolutely fascinating.

Legend has it that when the shepherd dies and presents himself at the Golden Gate, St Peter will look at his book and say: “I don’t understand why this man expects to be admitted, because according to my book he never used to go to church.”

Then St Peter’s secretary will explain: “Yes, but you see, sir, there is a piece of wool on his chest, and that means that his reason for not going to church was that he was employed looking after his sheep; they need his tender loving care seven days a week.”

The legend continues as St Peter replies:- “That is quite all right then, please come in.”

If this legend were to be true there would be other people wishing to be considered – nurses, policemen, firemen, mothers looking after their children etc.

This suggests that if you give St Peter a good reason for not attending church it will be accepted – but it has to be a GOOD reason and not just an excuse!

Some people may try to argue that there is no need to go to church because they say that you can worship God in the open air.

But the obvious question following that comment is – “Yes, you can worship in the open air, but do you?”

John Wesley in the eighteenth century regularly preached to hundreds and thousands of people in the open air and he visited all four corners of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland in his travels.

But today there are very few opportunities to attend open air services.

Take the example of a University Student. I am certain that it is quite impossible for students to pass all their examinations without attending any of their subjects’  lectures!

Why then, I wonder, do people think that they can be perfect Christians without ever attending Church on a Sunday, or any of the other Church activities?

How many Christians share their faith and beliefs with their friends and family?

Often, when you go to church the pews are half-empty and the energies in the church are lack-lustre but think what it would be like if the football crowd who sang passionately during their Saturday football match also attended church the following day and sang hymns with as much passion and gusto as they did when encouraging their football team to greater heights!

I can dream, can’t I?

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey