In Egypt recently I was in a shop to buy some Bedouin Tea (delicious!). and I noticed a large glass jar with something sprouting inside. “What is it?” I asked, and the shopkeeper replied “It’s one of these,” and gave me a dried up branch of dead-looking twigs and shrivelled branches. It was an Anastica – a Rose of Jericho.
Now these plants, which are totally dehydrated, come back to life over 2-3 hours when immersed in water with growth and leaves with colour. This is as the prophet Isaiah said: “The desert and parched land will be glad. The wilderness will rejoice and blossom.”
We too can feel like a deserted and desert place. Despite everything good around us we are dry. Our thirst is not truly quenched by whatever we try. It’s like we have a dry hole inside us that’s never filled. The blossoming of true gladness never occurs.
We feed our minds and exercise our bodies, but our spirit remains untended and deserted. A God-shaped hole within us. Please allow this Spring the love and life-giving ‘water’ from God to reach you through Jesus. How? Well, it’s good to start by talking to people who know Jesus. They will be the channel of the peace you seek. The channel for the life-giving water. As Jesus mysteriously said, “the water I give you will mean you will never be thirsty again!”
He plants the regenerating plant in your heart. Try and see.
Old friends; not ‘old’ but known each other for a long time. Now reflected in the west end show The Simon and Garfunkel Story.
“Old friends, old friends
Sat on the park bench like bookends
Old friends, the winter companions
The old friends
Memory brushes the same years.”
We can identify with the image of good friends being like the support of two bookends. Father God knows how we need support in our loves, and he gives us family, relatives, and friends. God knows we need even more support to our spirit. Not just two supports like bookends, but three. God as brother, Jesus as our brother, and the Holy Spirit as our support and comforter. A tripod of support to our frail frames. A three legged stool of support and rest.
It’s important to know all three in mature balance.
To walk with all three in life yet they are as one.
One old friend, with you as the other ‘bookend’ to one day sit on that park bench with the heavenly views. In life you can write your own Bible bookend. Have you started yet?
Why not invite a friend and come along to Squeeze on Sunday the 2nd of February at Herstmonceux Village Hall? Drop in at any time between ten in the morning and midday, you can tuck into a buffet breakfast, read the Sunday papers, do some crafts or just have a chat. All are welcome.
We had the joy of opening the baptistry and welcoming two Christians into believer’s baptism by full immersion on Sunday the 12th of January. A great start to the New Year! Margaret and Bel both said a few words about how their journeys with Jesus had led them to this point. After the baptisms there was an opportunity for anyone in the Church to come forward to receive prayer, which many accepted.