I was thinking of 'crossroads' recently.
Not the 70s/80's UK Soap Opera (!) but about those major junctions in the road ahead we all have to navigate from time to time.
My daughter is presently packing up to leave home for University and my son left home 6 weeks ago for the 'Disney Slave Scheme' in Florida (apologies to Walt!).
Perhaps we've all encountered our own crossroads this summer.
As I recall, there were many such 'crossroads' as a teenager and also into my early twenties… school moves, college, leaving home, engagement, marriage, kids. But the one my mind drifted back to was when I was 15 and looking forward to quitting Sunday School. Back in the 70's it seemed that a lot more Northern Ireland kids attended Sunday School. Mine was in Dungannon Presbyterian Church.
However, before you left Sunday School you were required to complete a 'Communicants Course'. I mean, you wouldn't volunteer! So over the next 5 weeks, our Rev explained the events that occurred over 2000 years ago in Israel and then led us, in our minds, to a Roman cross on a small hill outside Jerusalem.
It was all so well explained and I hadn't heard the gospel message this way before. The cross wasn't an ornate one and the Man on the cross wasn't a good looking Anglo Saxon (like in all the pictures). The Man was God's own Son and He had never put a foot wrong in His whole life! He was covered in blood and was in intense anguish. He shouted "My God, My God, why hast Thy forsaken Me" at His Father in Heaven (Matt 27:46). Abuse was being hurled at Him, even from the criminals on each side of Him (Matt 27:44).
And the reason He went though all this torture? Sin. Such a small word for such a mighty problem! (Rom 3:23). It was due to my sin and that of the other teenagers in the room that night. Well I tell you, I pondered long and hard over those 5 weeks. I saw my sinful nature compared to the very nature of God. It made me squirm with embarrassment and just before the last night of the Course, I repented before a holy God (Rom 10:9).
To my shame I never did tell Rev Rodgers that I was saved by grace that night. I simply nodded when I was asked if I was ready to take communion for the first time in church. I didn't even tell my parents until years afterwards. Of course, my Mum said she knew rightly and told me that Mums just know things! But I look back with such relief and thanks to God that I took that path. It's not to say that it has always been easy. But to know the Lord's love and presence for myself makes sense of this fleeting life. And there will always be the final crossroads when we are through with this world and have to move on to the next.
When I was looking for a song to sum up my thoughts this month, I don't think I could find anything better than the clip below… Although I hadn't heard it before, I see that well over 2 million have already enjoyed it! Turn your sound on and please click on the link below. Until next month then (DV)…
"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Oh lead me, lead me to the cross
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!