Thought for the month
Provided by Jim Pearce – Congregational Worship Leader
During the time of the Reformation, John Foxe of England was impressed by the testimony of the early Christians. He gleaned the pages of early historical writings and wrote a book that has become a classic in the church: Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.
One story he tells is about an early church leader named Lawrence. Lawrence acted as a pastor for a church community. He also collected the offerings for the poor each week.
A band of thieves found out that Lawrence received the offerings of the people from Sunday to Sunday, so one night, as he was out taking a stroll, they grabbed him and demanded the money. He told them that he didn’t have it, that he had already given it all to the poor. They didn’t believe him and told him they would give him a chance to find it. In three days, they would come to his house and take from him the treasures of the church.
Three days later they did come. But Lawrence wasn’t alone. The house was filled with the people of his congregation. When the thieves demanded the treasures of the church, Lawrence smiled. He opened wide his arms and gestured to those who sat around him. “Here’s the treasure of the Church!” he said. “Here’s the treasure of God that shines in the world!”
Peter is himself a witness of Jesus in first-century Jerusalem and through his witness others themselves become witnesses. John reminds us that loved children imitate their parents as we do who have become children of the heavenly Father.
Jesus, in his final words to his disciples, forthrightly commissions them as witnesses. Without their testimony, the Church and our congregation would not be here.
Now being a fully fledged old codger, I subscribe to the Oldie magazine. It has some superb writing. There is a religious column written by a very erudite Nun, Sister Teresa. This month she wrote about the Book of Revelations, not a book I am familiar with. “He will wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 21:5).
I was tempted to copy the whole article but then thought that first it’s cheating and second, I would be breaking copyright law. The good Sister explains that in spite of all the terrible things that come our way with deplorable timing at last there will be a reversal of all that has hurt us. So, with the vaccination programme well under way and lockdown easing we should look forward to returning to some sort of normality and be able to see our families and friends
Hoping that you are all well and safe.