Church stands on the brow of a very high hill, one of the outside walls carry’s the ‘benchmark’ etched in by the stone mason builders, it shows the height above sea-level, the surveyors witness that this is the highest point for miles, and miles, and miles. Because it is so high sunlight streams through the windows to paint the walls in all the colours of the day, different hours of the day,and seasonal changes mean a change of dress, and fresh new colours.
So it is with life, as our years and seasons change, so do the dress and colours of our soul. The most vivid and glowing hues belong to our autumnal years, and so also, for most of us, the best of our spiritual fruits…. love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self control are all best when ripened and mature….
This photo was taken at almost midday at the end of June, no one else in church, just me and God and His friendly angels, who were busy with worshipful brushes dipped into the palette of sunlight.
A few more weeks, and then comes Autumn and Harvest.
“Do you not have a saying: ‘Four months and then the harvest? Well, I tell you, look around you, look at the fields; already they are white, ready for harvest! Already the reaper is being paid his wages, already he is bringing in the grain for eternal life, so that sower and reaper can rejoice together.”
The Lord Jesus said this, after his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well resulting in her going to bring along others from the town to hear Him speak and to believe and trust in His words. To believe, trust and keep His words is to have the Light of the World, just as a lamp is most welcome when the shadows of a winters evening cover the high windows, like shutters, we need a lamp to find our steps in the dark.
I have come into church in darkness, on several occasions, I remember most vividly, years past, entering through the south door at 11:30pm on Easter Saturdays, the church in darkness, holding her breath, waiting. I recall the warm fragrance of the flowers and beeswax candles, the gentle tinkle of water, from the fountain in the Easter Garden, I do not remember being afraid, then as on other occasions I have been most aware of being wrapped around, embraced, with the arm of the Good Shepherd supporting me.
With the psalmist, I will say,
‘Let the darkness cover me; and the night wrap itself around me, even darkness to you is not dark, and night is as clear as the day.’
The words on the bookmark:– The dawn is not distant, nor is the night starless; love is eternal. (H W Longfellow)
Scriptures from NJB. Galatians 5. 22-23, John 4. 35-36, Psalm 139. 11-12
A prayer at the end of the day: Bless us and keep us through the hours of darkness, bless all those we love, and all whom we find it hard to love. Be near to all who are in trouble or sorrow tonight, and with all who must pass through the river to be with you, grant them safe passage and glad homecoming in the dawn of Heaven’s new day.