Monday, 21 April 2014

God of the generations

I have long given up the attempt to conceal how much of a loser I am, and this post is only going to work to prove it further. I really ought to get out more. A case in point is that I have a guilty pleasure. It's Time Team. I love everything about it: the terrible production values; the hammed up tension about whether they'll discover anything in the three day window; Phil Harding's hat... One Saturday morning I settled down to watch a rerun of an episode and was ludicrously excited that it was an episode that was filmed in the Isle of Mull.

The Isle of Mull is an island of the west coast of Scotland and home of Balamory. I've been there a few times on family holidays and really love it. It's full of rugged landscapes, wild animals, secluded cottages, quirky towns, tiny bays. You can travel for many windswept miles and not come across anyone. You can sea the golden eagle soaring above the island. It's just a beautiful place.

Once, whilst there, Time Team came to the island and were filming there. Some of our friends saw them in a pub one evening, but I was quite young and in bed, so didn't get to meet them. I was really disappointed. Not having seen the episode before, I was thrilled to see it come up on the television. I phoned my parents (this is what passes as important news in my family). What they were digging up was an old chapel. And by old, I mean really old. It was probably built in the 7th century. It was probably set up shortly after Saint Columba had travelled over from Ireland and had spread Christianity to Scotland. This all happened around 1,300 years ago and the history of Christianity in the British Isles goes back even further.

It's amazing to think that people have been worshipping God on these small islands for thousands of years. I love going into old churches and thinking about the countless prayers that have been said and songs that have been said. I love talking to older people in my church about how God has led them.

God's faithfulness is not a new thing. His mercy goes back millennia. It's one of the things Mary sings about when she first learns that she is going to give birth to Jesus:
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
Mary recognises that God has kept his promises, remembering his faithfulness to Abraham and his descendants.

We, too, are recipients of that promise. We can know God's everlasting mercy, from generation to generation. From Abraham, throughout the Bible, to Paul and his mission, to Saint Columba to those that told me about Jesus, I am a part of a long line of people the have worshipped God. And he is the same faithful, good, reliable God that Adam and Eve first encountered.

Quick questions
  • What are your guilty viewing pleasures?
  • What examples of God's faithfulness have you experienced?

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