No turning back

Thought for the week: Reverend David Jones

WE’VE had an invitation to a family wedding in Scotland.

As it’s quite a distance we thought it was best to decline and just to wish the young couple well as they celebrate their dream ‘highland wedding’.

Later in the day I began to have second thoughts. I dug out the map and found Loch Tay and the village close by where the wedding was to take place. It was at least a two-hour drive north from Edinburgh, even more reason I thought why we shouldn’t even think of going. Why then did I go online to see the Loch and the village and church? It all looked so picturesque and what a romantic venue for a wedding.

The invitation was in my mind for most of the day and I began asking myself the question – did I really want to go or not? It would, of course, be good to see Ben and his bride to be and his dad who is my first cousin and who has lived in Scotland for many years.

Well, in the end the decision was made – my daughter got online and booked the flights and the hotel, the RSVP was made much to the genuine delight of my cousin as I am the only remaining family he has in Wales.

So bony Scotland – here we come!

Jesus invited his disciple to follow him. Mainly fishermen, they immediately left their nets and that decision was life changing. The early history of the church tells many stories of those who died rather than go back on their decision of discipleship.

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In the second century Polycarp the Bishop of Smyrna was taken captive and stood trial for his faith. He was condemned to death, but even the Roman authorities didn’t have the will to carry out the sentence on such an old man so they gave him many opportunities to deny his Lord to which Polycarp replied:

“86 years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?”

No indecision here, like so many who today suffer great persecution for their Christian faith he stood firm and did not look back. Our faith is often tested and there are no guarantees that the path of discipleship will be an easy one and yet within such a decision comes the assurance that we are never alone.

‘I will be with you’ said Jesus ‘even to the end of the age’. In the words of another Christian martyr: ‘I have decided to follow Jesus – no turning back, no turning back.’

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Reverend David Jones