Friday, April 22, 2011

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The following was written for church newsletters!

Recently Andrew, James and I went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and had a lovely afternoon off, wandering around the 500 acres of woodland, and looking at the different sculptures. The picture shown here is part of a exhibition by an Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. It’s a picture of a man in an rocking chair, and a man with a bicycle, they are connected by what looks like two ribbons. You won’t be able to see, but on one of the ribbons are the words  ‘Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.’ 

It struck me, as something appropriate for the church, for often we are asked and called to take a step of faith often into the unknown.  In the book of Joshua (3: 9-16), we read:

“Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God …… See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.” So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.”

In order to cross the Jordan, the priests had to take a step of faith – for it was only when they touched the water, did it stop. They had to trust in God that he would do what he promised, and their faith was rewarded.

I wonder whether God is asking you to take a step of faith at the moment – maybe it’s something in your personal life, or in the church. I strongly believe that God is asking us all as the Church to take a step of faith together as we consider what the future holds for us. Let’s be like the Israelites and trust in God, and take the first step even when we don’t see the whole staircase.’

God bless you all.


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