Maundy Thursday morning 2019. The day is dry but overcast, with lighter patches in the clouds towards the East and South. A slight mistiness hangs in the air, reducing the distant Saline Hill to a dim and indistinct outline. A cold but light breeze from the East comes and goes, lazily stirring the air, producing gusts and eddies of no real consequence. Archie, our pet Westie, is doing his usual nasal inspection of the blades of grass, tracking down another nice odour. I notice a patch of sun in the distance, illuminating the road, reflecting off parked cars, and I look up to find its source. The clouds are moving across the sky quite quickly, and they briefly part to form a bright patch, with a watery sun doing its best to break through. But it is the shape of the patch that catches my attention – I continue to look as the form of a heart develops before dissolving and disappearing, blown by the wind.
That heart shape reminded me again of what God did through His Son Jesus all those years ago. He loved the world so much that He sent His Son to die for us, taking on an undeserved punishment, and the sins of the world, past, present and future, that for all who believe in Him, we might gain life, eternally in His presence. God’s heart is that none will be lost to a dark and godless eternity. May all reading this blog this morning experience God’s love in a new way this Easter. Look up and find a heart. And find a loving Saviour.
I’m standing on the point adjacent to the causeway to St Mary’s Island at Whitley Bay. A gale from the South East is whipping up the North Sea into a wild mixture of waves and breakers, liberally spattered with surf, bubbles and spray. The foreshore is mainly rocky and shallow approaching the causeway, and the wind-blown waves morph into breakers, long and white, that rush up and over the more prominent rocks, eventually reaching the shore, there to vomit their watery contents over the rocks and sand, expending the energy of the wind-blown maelstrom into a final attempt to reach dry land. Momentarily the surf and bubble-topped, green-tinted water pauses, as though at a loss to know what to do next, before slowly returning to re-join the next wave coming in. Who could have thought that a molecule formed by two gases (hydrogen and oxygen) and combined with countless more, could present such a scene. But our God created it – we can wonder but not be surprised. Our Creator is the all-powerful Master Designer, Chemist and Engineer.
In Mark 4, we read that Jesus rebuked the wind and commanded the waves to be quiet. As I look out over the North Sea, absolute mayhem is taking place. As far as I can see there are waves, spray, breakers, all uniting in a mighty demonstration of stormy power. And yet, our Creator God can bring peace to the chaos by speaking a word. The storms of life can wear us down, as the waves have worn and polished the rocks around St Mary’s Island. So what problems am I hanging onto, feeling chaos and pain, when I have a God who can bring peace to my soul with a word? Hmmm…