Falcon Lodge Chapel

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DAY 40:    Monday 27 April

 

TESTED

 

Good morning everyone

 

This is the 40th day of emails and on Wednesday it will be the 40th day since the Government introduced social-distancing restrictions. We’ve heard people complaining about the restrictions and some of the national Press seem to be encouraging or even inciting people to rebel against the regulations introduced for everyone’s safety. Phrases like ‘testing times’ are heard implying that testing is something awful and to be feared, a sort of punishment. But testing is useful when it proves something is strong and fit for purpose.

 

How many of us would board an aircraft if there was a notice saying that this plane has not been tested since it was built 10 years ago. Cars need to be MOT tested annually after 3 years, and when work is undertaken on our gas or electricity services, the supplies need to be safety tested before use; and would you be comfortable to put yourself in the hands of a surgeon whose knowledge and skills have never been tested?

 

Another word often linked to ‘tested’ is ‘tried’. Unless it’s in a court of law, trials are the way of testing if something works and is effective. At this moment, trials are taking place to find a vaccine and other effective remedies to combat COVID-19. The phrase ‘tried and tested’ is often used to underline the reliability of a product or service.

 

Youngsters aspiring to enter professional sport will want to be invited to trials with a professional club or organisation. A chef would not release a new recipe without first testing and trialing the dish. Top athletes will test and train their bodies almost to breaking point in order to reach a level of fitness that will enable them to win.

 

So, it would be wrong for us to think that when we find ourselves going through ‘testing times’ we’re being punished or that it’s God’s wrath and revenge on us. No, we go through ‘testing’ to make us stronger and more valuable.

 

Job 23:10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come out as pure gold.

 

So this is our 40th day of self-isolation emails and who knows how many more of these ‘epistles’ you are going to have to endure before our lives returns to what we used to call ‘normal’?

In the Bible, the number ‘40’ is often associated with ‘trial or testing’. Moses spent 40 days and nights on Mount Sinai, and then the Israelites having arrived at the borders of the Promised Land chose to doubt God’s promise, so ended up wandering in the desert for 40 years. And then of course immediately after Jesus was baptised by John in the river Jordan, he went into the desert for 40 days where he was ‘tested’. It’s also recorded that after Jesus’ resurrection, he remained on earth for 40 days before the Ascension. Was this time to prepare, test and trial his followers so that they would be better prepared for when he was ascended back to heaven and the Holy Spirit came?

 

Another word that sounds similar to ‘forty’ is ‘forte’, a term used in musical scores meaning ‘strong’ or ‘loud’. It can also mean a ‘speciality’ or ‘talent’ and we use ‘forte’ as the word to describe a particular strength or gift in a person. So this time of isolation can be turned into a positive developing of a new talent or skill.

 

So let’s refuse to join the ‘Corps of Moaners’ complaining about social distancing restrictions.

As someone recently said – in the last war, our ancestors were asked to take up arms and fight the enemy. We are simply being asked to sit on our sofas until the virus is contained - how hard can it be?

 

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

 

Now listen to (or join in with) Graham Kendrick singing one of his songs based on those words

>>>  https://youtu.be/pDuhARoNX1U

 

 

More words of wisdom from Linda Lord –

- God writes with a pen that never blots, speaks with a tongue that never slips, and acts with a hand that never fails.

- When God measures a man, he puts the tape around the heart instead of the head.

- God is more interested in making us what he wants us to be than giving us what we think we ought to have.

 

 

 

MAKE YOU SMILE:

Father Murphy walked into a pub and said to the first man he met, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

The man replied, "I do Father."

The priest said, "Then stand over there against the wall."

Then the priest asked a second man, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

"Certainly, Father," was the man's reply.

The priest said, "Then stand over there against the wall."

Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and said, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

O'Toole said, "No, I don't Father."

The shocked priest replied, "I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?"

O'Toole said, "Oh, when I die, yes. I thought you were getting together a group to go right now."

 

 

Enjoy your day and stay safe