I realise that I have been missing for a month or so in respect of blog posts, which for a while now have focused on my former career at sea. My main excuse for being missing is that the last couple of months have been exceptionally busy. We had family visiting for much of August. Also, having settled into retirement in April 2021, I now find myself doing a little work again, albeit on a very part-time basis.
After a hectic August my two younger sisters and I took Dad back to Guernsey for a few days in September. This could have been a sad trip given that our mother and our sister Linda are no longer with us, but it was quite the opposite. The September weather was exceptional and youngest sister Janice even managed a few swims in the sea. The rest of us were brave enough to paddle but no more! It was just good to be back in Guernsey, a place I miss so much having spent much of my childhood in this small and stunningly beautiful island.
After Guernsey Marilyn and I took a trip up north to help youngest son John move to York, where he is giving university a second go, some three years after he decided university wasn’t for him. York is also home to two of John’s siblings (James and Beth), with oldest brother Nick also in range being a mere forty miles from York. Plenty of support if needed. Strange that four of our children have moved to the chilly north. Now Marilyn and I have an empty nest – after forty-one years of raising children and it feels a little strange and quiet. The quiet should help with the writing of blog posts. Time will tell if we get to like the quiet, or whether we will miss the comings and goings of our youngest son.
On our September trip to Guernsey the four of us stayed in a hotel in town (St Peter Port) where the wonderful views out to sea and the other islands are interrupted only by a large cross in the grounds. Why the cross? Well, in recent years Les Cotils has operated as a Christian hotel. It is not easy to ignore the cross at Les Cotils, but it is easy to miss the cross in our daily lives and its importance to our world. If Jesus Christ had never existed and if Jesus had not been crucified on a smaller and crueller cross, then our world would be a very different and much darker place.
I was reminded today by another blogger of the need to return repeatedly to the foot of the cross (click for link). When we dismiss Jesus from our lives through unbelief, or busy-ness, or any other reason, then we are missing out on the most precious gift we will ever receive in this life. Is Jesus missing from your life? Come to the foot of the cross.
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!”
Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!” (Mark 15: 33-39 NLT)