Pause for Thought – a five minute read – Week 8

Various scripture references

It goes without saying that I have the greatest respect for the scriptures, and the Word of God, and I hold every word as sacrosanct. However, I have to admit that my sense of humour sometimes gets me into a little trouble.

I do believe that God has a sense of humour, and I justify that conclusion every morning when I rise from my bed, look in the mirror and think that the reflection is a picture of the pinnacle of God’s creation. God must have a sense of humour.

However sincere I may be, the scriptures do give the opportunity to raise a smile on occasions, for example; – Recently my daughter was redecorating her dining room when she accidentally knocked a full tin of paint over the carpet. At the time she was devastated and desperately tried to clean up the mess but despite her and my son in law’s best efforts, the carpet was ruined. On my advice they contacted their insurance company who sent out an Assessor and a new carpet was agreed.

I thought of Mark 2 v 1 – 5 , when the men made a hole in the roof of the house to enable them to lower their paralysed friend to Jesus. Can you imagine the owner of the property trying to explain the chain of events to the insurer’s assessor and justifying a claim for the damage to the roof, carpets, decorations, furniture, paintings on the wall and all the other damage that came as a result of the incident? I wonder if they believed him when he told them that the paralysed man got up and walked away.

The last time the assessor had this sort of problem was when a brass band was practicing their marching routine and the walls of Jericho fell down, and that cost a fortune. (Joshua 6 v 15-19)

Fortunately, with regard to my daughter’s carpet, my son in law was very understanding and comforted her in her time of distress, but I wonder how supportive Jonah’s wife was when he returned, after being out for three days and nights, with the excuse that he had been swallowed by a big fish and had been its stomach for the duration, (Jonah 1 v 17). I’m sure her first response would have been, ‘go in the shower you smell awful, and don’t use the best towel’.  After that the interrogation would commence.

You have to feel sorry for the Nation Farmers Union Assessor of that time, as he really had his hands full. First of all the crops were devastated by a great flood, (Genesis 7 + 8), then Noah ran his boat aground on the top of a mountain and a herd of animals escaped and ran wild all over the place. If that wasn’t bad enough, there followed a great famine for seven years (Genesis 41 v 25 – 36) when all the crops were ruined and rationing had to be introduced.

Then there was the incident with pigs, (Matthew 8 v 28 – 34). Demons driven out of men and entering into the pigs was one thing, but then the pigs jumped off the cliff and drowned, so who pays for all that? I bet there will be small print exclusion in the policy regarding being possessed by demons.

It is not just crops and animals that the assessor had to contend with, there were also the Fig trees, (Matthew 21 v 18 – 22), one tree was cursed and they all gave up, the farmer had no Figs. Try explaining that to the supermarkets.

Finally I think the biggest ‘head in hands’ event goes to McDonalds, (or whoever it was in those times). There were 5000 people, all hungry, and the disciples were just about to send them off to the towns and villages to eat, (Luke 9 v 10 – 17), McDonalds restaurants across the region were gearing up for the biggest night of the year with record sales. Then, at the last minute, a few fish and five loaves of bread not only fed the multitude but also provided some food for later and still some left over.

I bet McDonalds had some left over that night too.

The house roof, Jonah’s excuse, the flood, Noah’s boat, the seven year famine, the herd of pigs, the cursed Fig tree, and the feeding of the multitude are all true stories, but don’t just take my word for it, get out your Bible and read it for yourself, and while your checking those stories, check how many people Jesus healed, find out his teaching about relationships, compare your present way of life with that of a true follower, and read the good news of salvation, it’s all in there, just waiting for you.

A new Local Preacher was giving his first sermon to a congregation under the watchful eye of his mentor. The novice had chosen to preach on the contents of the Methodist Catechism and was doing well until he reached the Apostles’ Creed when he lost his place in his notes. There was a long silence that started to get embarrassing, so the Mentor leaned forward and said, ‘ I believe in God the Father’ and the novice replied ‘so do I , so do I’.

Derek T.