There are times when we just hold our breath. I mean those times when there is absolutely nothing else we can do, when everything is entirely out of our hands – beyond our powers.
There are five days left for the Stone Masons to complete their work and fix those newly engraved stones bearing 98 names into position at the base of the restored War Memorial, 5 days in which to clear away the loose sand, remove surplus materials, complete the snagging list – and – we are holding our breath and yet at the same time preparing for the unveiling and dedication on the sixth day.
Whenever Patricia, the Office Lady, is convinced that carefully laid plans are going astray, or a storm in a tea-cup is brewing she will quote:
‘And it came to pass.’ She will sigh a little, spread her hands a little, brace herself a little, in the complete confidence that whatever the day brings, it will pass.
All things pass. The sixth day will come and it will go; and another page will have been turned in the history of a small church community founded in Saxon times from the outdoor preaching of Gods Words by Christian brothers at the foot of a ‘preaching’ cross on the top of a hill.
This evening I found myself recalling these words,
‘And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning – the sixth day.’ (Gen 1:31)
How small a thing it, this enterprise of restoring a memorial to 98 men from a small village who died in the Great War, in comparison with the Creation. How small a dash on the line chart of eternity is the 93 years passed since the first unveiling,
‘Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day.’ (2 Peter 3:8)
What an amazing thing it is that, as Peter tells us in his first letter we come to Christ, the LIVING STONE (a stone which we cannot touch with our hands either to add to or take from its Holiness) but nevertheless, we can stumble over it, for this is a Rock which can make people fall:-
‘See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in Him
will never be put to shame.’ (1 Peter 2:6)
The key words are that it is the one who does trust in him who will never stumble or fall, I think for a little while about those 98 men their faith, their lives and those who wept for them…..
Not a living soul today can say that they knew, met, walked, talked, wept or prayed with any of those 98
Thousands upon thousands of His Saints in this world and in the heavenly realms can say that they know, have met, walked, talked, wept and prayed with Jesus the Living Stone today, I can but hope that the 98 found rest for their souls in Him, at the end of this week, the beginning of another it is to this Living Saviour that I come to find rest for mine.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest, (Matthew 11: 28)