Rev'd Charles - November 2017

posted 4 Dec 2017, 08:13 by Richard Jones   [ updated 4 Dec 2017, 08:13 ]

View From the Vicarage 


 Winter is certainly here with the approach of November 5th for no matter how dark and cold it may be outside the sky will soon be ablaze with the whiz and bang of fireworks because that’s the day we remember the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot.

 For it was around midnight on November 4th 1605, just a few hours before the official opening of Parliament, that Guido (or Guy) Fawkes (born 1570) was caught red handed in a cellar under the House of Lord’s, surrounded by 32 hundred weight of gunpowder. He had hoped to ‘light up a fire’ which would change the face of England. But the whole plan went disastrously wrong and on January 31st 1606 he was publicly hung drawn and quartered.

  We still remember Guy Fawkes and the fire that failed, and yet hundreds of years before he was born, a ‘fire’ was started which continues to spread all over the world today – a ’fire’ fuelled not by gunpowder but by love, the love of God for a world he had come to save (John 3:16).

  For Guy Fawkes, of course, death was the end. For Jesus Christ, however, it was just the beginning – for because of his resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit he became an eternally living person who can enter and transform our lives so setting us ‘on fire’ for him. For the ‘fire’ that Jesus brings has done more than overthrow governments – it has overthrown in those who have welcomed him in, the most stubborn tyrant of all – selfishness in the human heart.

  And down through the centuries countless millions have been inspired to share that light with others, even at the expense of giving up their lives. Like Hugh Latimer, the Bishop of Worcester (1485-1555), burnt at the stake in Oxford who, as the fire was kindled around them, said to Nicholas Ridley, the Bishop of London (1500 – 1555), ‘Be of good comfort Master Ridley and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace in England, as I trust shall never be put out.’

 They were convinced that God in Christ longs for nothing more than to enter our lives and to set them ablaze with his love. In the words of that popular song ‘Colours of Day’ (1974) so they too longed that God’s people in turn would ‘light up the fire and let the flame burn, open the door, let Jesus return. Take seeds of His Spirit, let the fruit grow, tell the people of Jesus, let His love show.’                                                                    

  But we will only be able to show Christ’s light and love to others if we have first welcomed him into our own lives as Lord and Saviour (Romans 10:9-13). After all, Jesus himself has said, ‘Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in’ (Revelation 3:20).For those who follow Jesus are ‘the chosen race, the  king’s priests, the holy nation, God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvellous light’ (1Peter 2:9). So let us then LIGHT UP THE FIRE for God, as we seek in his strength to live for him.