08 Jun Family Treasures and Heirlooms
I don’t know if I’m writing to any fans of “The Repair Show” on the BBC. It’s all about family treasures and heirlooms being lovingly and painstakingly restored to pristine condition by a series of expert craftspeople. I watched my first edition the other evening – such is the joy of having no meetings to attend! The items included an old phonograph which reminded me of playing records on my grandparents’ farm as a young boy; a family sign that had been recovered from a chemist’s shop that had closed its doors; and a chair that had been somehow rescued as a Jewish family fled for their lives from Nazi Germany. It was said that every time a certain relative sat in it, it reminded her of home.
I was particularly taken by a Davy Lamp which belonged to a Welsh miner who had survived the trenches of the First World War. The lamp saved his life when the mine collapsed around him. Stories of endless hardship and constant challenge, but his grandson and granddaughter spoke with deep affection of his enduring character and goodness. The moment came when the resurrected lamp was revealed to them. Beautifully polished, its base could now be opened and the light was burning once more. One or two indentations had been left intact, because as the craftsman sensitively suggested, they marked life and its experiences!
All of that made me think. Do you remember ALL those Sundays we spent in Church here in West on the Book of Jeremiah before Christmas? One week we went down to visit the potter who spent ages lovingly shaping a piece of clay into a thing of beauty. If you have withdrawal symptoms from the prophet, you can go straight to Jeremiah 18 and spend time in the potter’s house.
These are difficult times for all of us. It’s not that we are having to flee our homes, fight in the trenches or risk our lives down deep mines, but it’s still unnatural. We’re missing church, family and friends. We don’t know how much longer it will all last and, although our spirits are normally good, we can find ourselves languishing from time to time. On the human level, it’s vitally important that we keep going at this stage and stay at home to protect lives, and not put everything at risk we have so far achieved.
We have a loving craftsman who is gently polishing our lives, taking even the knocks and bruises that occur along the way and transforming them into something beautiful for Him, so that we can shine for Him. Isn’t it amazing that God’s will for you and me is that we would conform to His image. Paul writes these words to the Romans: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). In 1 Timothy 1:5 we read, “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” To become and be like Jesus – is there anything more beautiful than that? I’ll call in at His Repair Shop any day!
Very Rev. Dr. Charles McMullen