When I look at this photo of the path leading to a tiny, old country church I am reminded that back in history the strong walls of a church truly were a refuge for the dwellers in towns where the churches were much bigger and in the little villages, where perhaps there might have just been a half dozen houses or so. They provided shelter from great storms, from armies, from marauding
Vikings, Danes …
I think of the many feet who have walked the path to the open porch door, sometimes those feet would have belonged to children, skipping along, sometimes, perhaps man and wife might have walked it arm in arm … The long ‘Nave’ of a church like mine with its timbered roof is to remind us of Noah’s Ark carrying precious cargo, the family of Noah and the animals who also walked up the gangplank two by two.
That was quite Storm, wasn’t it? 40 days and 40 days with the days as dark as night, and the nights so palled with cloud that the light of moon and stars couldn’t break through, and then the jarring jolt as His Majesty’s Ship ARK came to rest on Mount Ararat. After the rain, the sun and rainbow, and that is the way of things even today. We have our storms and all need to find refuge and shelter from time to time, equally we all need, in church and life, to be good sailors working together to bring HMS Ark safely through storm and high seas,
⚓️”We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
Fastened to the rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep
In the Saviours love!’⚓️
Priscilla Jane Owens (1829-99)
King David looked for help in his troubles and came to rest on a rock higher than Mount Ararat, higher ground there is none and no fortress ever built as strong as the love of God.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
A strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent for ever
And take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Psalm 61 vv 3-4