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

We Three Kings…………………….

It was 1622, and the Bishop of Winchester, Launcelot Andrews, was preaching a magnificent sermon to King James I. Reckoned as being one of the best preachers ever, Launcelot Andrews’ words were later taken up by T S Eliot and transformed into his wonderful poem ‘The Journey of the Magi’.

What a vivid picture – we can see it all! The camels’ breath steaming in the night air as the kings, in their gorgeous robes of silk and cloth-of-gold and clutching their precious gifts, kneel to adore the baby in the manger.

Yet the Bible does not give us as much detail as some people think. Tradition down the centuries has added a great deal more. For instance, we know from St Matthew that the magi were ‘wise’, or learned men of some sort, but we do not know if they were kings or not. The Bible tells us there were several; tradition has decided upon three, and even named them: Balthassar, Melchior, and Gaspar.

But the Bible does tell us that the magi gave baby Jesus three highly symbolic gifts : gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Gold stands for kingship, frankincense for worship, and myrrh for anointing – anticipating his death.

There is a lovely ancient mosaic in Ravenna, Italy, that is 1,500 years old. It depicts the wise men in oriental garb of trousers and Phrygian caps, carrying their gifts past palm trees towards the star that they followed… straight to Jesus.

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