PAUSE FOR THOUGHT by Ray Dadswell: The Greatest Spectacle of All

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SPECTACULAR it is bound to be. Hundreds, thousands of athletes in the opening ceremony of the London Games. The sounds, the sights which, for most of us, are just a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

We look forward to enjoying our favourite sports and disciplines, we shall cheer on our own team, we have high hopes of medals, gold, silver and bronze.

We pray for an incident-free fortnight, with harmony, comradeship and fair play binding the whole thing together.

And when it’s all over? We shall hopefully reflect and say ‘Wasn’t that wonderful?’.

Christians all around the globe are anticipating the return of Jesus Christ, as he promised, at any moment. Wherever he went, during his brief stay in the Middle East, crowds followed him, and so it will be on that momentous occasion, when he comes back.

Excitement and great rejoicing, never before anything like it!

The Bible prepares us for what is about to happen, as the apostle John writes of his great vision. ‘Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him’ (Revelation 1,7). Further, ‘the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord for ever’ (l Thessalonians 4, 16-17).

Much of this imagery is beyond us to understand, no doubt, but the fact is there, supported by the words of Jesus himself in the Gospel records. The scriptural exhortation is that we should ‘encourage one another with these words’.

Let’s remember, then, as we witness the parade at the weekend and all the activity throughout the Olympics that our Saviour is on his way!

There are still free copies of ‘Complete Surrender’, a biography of Eric Liddell (‘Chariots of Fire’) available. Contact raydadswell@yahoo.co.uk with delivery details and the book is yours!

P.S. News about the next production of the East Side Players. ‘Out of Egypt’ it is, based on the Old Testament story of Miriam, with Moses also putting in an appearance! Mornings at St Barnabas Church, Langney, 6th-17th August, for the children (£15.00), and the final evening, open to everyone, on Friday 17th. Details of ticket purchase and other information from steffihuxley@sky.com