Avoid the tolls!

December 14, 2018

New Severn bridge

At last! Some good news! Work has begun to remove the toll booths on the Severn Bridge, which is a major motorway link between England and Wales. Some of the frustration of years of tolls is express in the poem Ode on the Severn Bridge by Harri Webb:

Two lands at last connected

Across the waters wide,

And all the tolls collected

On the English side.

In Ancient Greek mythology, the river Styx separated life and the afterlife and a toll was paid to the ferryman to cross. Is there a toll required to enter into the afterlife? Is heaven only available to those who are carrying exact change?

The good news of Jesus Christ, is that he came to abolish the cost of sin, to remove the tolls for us, so that all who turn to him can have everlasting life.

Avoid the tolls and turn to Jesus Christ.


Hope in remembering

June 10, 2016

ID 40070135 © Dave Bredeson | Dreamstime.comMuch of the news this week has involved memories of the famous boxer, Muhammed Ali, who died last week. In a sense, people live on in the way they are remembered by others.

The Christian message is that in Christ God remembers us always, whether we are alive or dead. Death interrupts our contact with those we love, but it is not a break in God’s contact with them. This is why the Christian writer, Paul, said to the believers who lived in Rome that “whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8 ISV). This, the Bible explains, is because Jesus has conquered death and any power it appears to have over us. And, therefore, there is a certain hope that we will see our loved ones again.

Whatever circumstance you may find yourself in, be it good or bad, God remembers you, and in that we can find comfort.

And, in his remembering us and those we love, there is life.


God’s grace and Hallow’een

October 30, 2015

ID 45210890 © Marilyn Gould | Dreamstime.comIn this Hallow’een week of ghouls, spectres and scary stories the latest James Bond film was released and it features the Mexican festival of the dead in its opening scenes.

Hallow’een has moved a long way from its confused pagan and Christian origins to become a secular time of dressing up in bizarre costumes and of eating and drinking. Its origins link to the transition of souls from this life to the next. The thought was that the spirits of saints who had died during the year would leave to go to the afterlife at the beginning of November. People would pray for the souls of the dead, hoping to shift them peacefully on their way. Other less fortunate and presumably more evil souls might find themselves bound for hell and eternal punishment.

What about it? Does the Bible suggest what happens after death? The answer is both surprising and encouraging. We don’t know everything in detail, but we do know that God’s nature is grace and love. Whatever the answer is, it doesn’t deviate from who God is in Jesus Christ. When we die everyone of us, both believers and non-believers, remain connected to God’s love. Nothing – not even death – nothing separates from the love of God in Christ Jesus. And such perfect love casts out fear: the fear of of the uncertainty of death, and also the fear that springs from of the superstitious ideas that fly around as if on broomsticks at this time of year.

The Christian view is that Jesus has conquered death, and therefore death has no power over us nor hold on us.

Why not let Hallow’een spook you into thinking about God’s grace?