Young children have many questions. Often they come out of nowhere, suddenly sprung upon the unsuspecting adult.
Why do I have to go to school?
How do birds fly?
Where do babies come from? (which as every father knows, has the answer “ask your mother”)
But I have some questions too.
How much deeper would the ocean be without the sponges?
What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?
Why do psychics have to ask you your name?
Why is dyslexia so hard to spell?
Questions reveal that we are thinking creatures, naturally inquisitive about the world around us, with a capacity to wonder and ponder. But God made us that way, and he wants us to be constantly seeing the benefit of questions.
Sometimes we will be asked questions. In the bible, Peter says.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter chapter 3 verse 15)
Sometimes we should ask questions, but we fail to do so.
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God (James chapter 4 verse 2)
So here’s a question for you, a very personal and pertinent one. It’s a question you will see on posters around the Beacon at the moment. If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
Can I challenge you to think about your answer to that question?
Can I then challenge you to ask God that question?
And as you do so, remember the bible promise
God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Ephesians chapter 3 verse 20)
And maybe, after all that, why not ask a friend or a neighbour if they could ask God one question, what that would be? You may be surprised where that leads in a conversation.
Pastor’s Patch – May 2017
Some time ago my wife and I received an invite to a family wedding; but this was no ordinary invitation. Resembling a brochure from a high-end services company, there was a printed folder with 5 pull-out cards detailing the invitation, the order of the day, the meal choices, the gift list and the website to respond with replies and choices. I was gobsmacked to subsequently learn that the couple were spending £23,000 on the wedding celebrations. This is not a wealthy couple, but this is a couple who are following the current trend to spend increasing amounts on a single wedding day. Nevertheless, my wife and I adjusted our plans to attend the wedding just to support the couple as they began their new life together.
However, my wife and I have also been invited to another, very different, wedding. It has been a long time in the planning, and will make the above-mentioned wedding reception look like a stale sandwich in a greasy-spoon roadside café. It will have all the joy and celebration of a wedding, but it will be never-ending joy and celabration. We have been invited to “the wedding of the Lamb”. Anyone wanting to attend will need to adjust their plans in life in order to attend, but it will be well worth it.
We read about this wedding invite in the bible
Let us rejoice and be glad…The wedding of the Lamb has come
and his bride has made herself ready
(Revelation chapter 19 verse 7)
Bible Commentator Phil Moore notes that “World history will not end with a funeral, but with a wedding.” This wedding is a picture of how Jesus will be enjoined to his Church forever, this bride that declared she would “forsake all others”, this groom who promises “all that I am I share with you, all that I have I give to you”.
Thankfully, everyone who is invited to this wedding is encouraged to “bring a guest”. So you too are invited. Feel free to adjust your plans in life, and ensure you don’t miss out on the wedding of the century, in fact, the wedding of all time!
At The Beacon on Wednesday we had an amazing concert. Sally Cranham proved that she is a singer/songwriter with a pure voice, an accomplished guitarist and some thoughtful lyrics. Jané Allam gave a masterclass in cooking a wonderful curry. Being from India, he should know, and he shared skills learned from his mother. But the two of them also interwove stories about the Compassion Child Sponsorship programme. Jané grew up in a poverty-ridden community in a single room dwelling with his family and he was the first child there to get sponsorship in the area. Being provided education, a meal a day, and other gifts from the local church benefitted him and his whole family. He began to thrive as a person, and an early joy was for him to teach his own parents how to write their name so they could sign for their own wages rather than use a thumbprint: a simple act that brought dignity.
Jané demonstrated he was actually bright, regularly coming top in his year at school. He did so well that his sponsor encouraged him to apply for University, and Jané secured a place at Manchester for a BA in Business Studies, followed by an MA. He now works for Compassion and heads a programme to bring even more help to his community and country.
If no-one had ever sponsored Jané it may have been so different. But as their strapline says “ Compassion is changing the world “one child at a time”. As a Compassion sponsor myself, I see how just a few pounds a week is making a difference to another young life who may one day be making a difference like Jané. Why not consider if you could sponsor a child? Go to www.compassionuk.org for more information