You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
My car is not fitted with a satellite navigation system so that when we went on holiday last year we used the maps we already had. Unfortunately some of them were a little out of date and we got lost on several occasions. As a result, this Christmas my daughter and son in law bought me a sat nav so that I would not get lost in future.
We all feel on occasions that we are just rushing headlong through life without any sense of purpose. There is just too much to cram into the day – there really should be 25 hours – but they would get filled just the same. What we need to do is to pause for a moment, pull over into a lay by, to think about where we are going. What is our ultimate destination? Is it simply to the graveyard; “dust to dust”? Or is there something more? The words which follow in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer give us a clue “... in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ;” Whatever our destination is we need a map to show us the way.
Of course, we have such a map already sitting on our bookshelf. It may be getting a bit dusty if it has not been opened for a while, but it is still there for us to use, and use it we should! Nowadays, of course, the Bible is available as a download or as an App for our mobile phones; rather like a sat nav really.
But the Bible was written nearly 2000 years ago. Is it not out of date, like those maps we used for our holiday? The answer to that is a clear and unequivocal NO. Its message is just as relevant today as it was when it was first written. The Gospel of St John states quite clearly: ‘Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ John 14.6. Since we believe that through the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour we will come to eternal life with God then the Bible is obviously the only map we need. And what is more the Bible comes with a guarantee: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”. John 3:16. That sounds good to me! And remember this is not a one off offer available to the privileged few but is readily obtainable by anyone at any time. So let us dust down our Bible or download our copy now and read it; not just the quotes we know and love but the parts we don’t know quite so well. It is the only guide we will ever need to get through this life and beyond safely.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years