Gwydyr Rd, Crieff, UK, PH7 4BS

Dear Friends,

We were marooned in Slovenia when the flight ban was imposed following the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption. Karen and I had been invited there to teach on the Trans European Division’s Certified Family Life Educators’ course. We were booked to fly on Friday morning from Zagreb, in Croatia, so that I could preach in Crieff the next day. Despite frantic efforts exploring all options, there was nothing we could do to get home in time. We felt powerless. We prayed that the Lord would show us what to do and eventually discovered the best way home for us would be to take the Monday evening ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium that would take us across the North Sea arriving in Rosyth on Tuesday afternoon. Eventually we were able to book train journeys across the continent to Belgium and the ferry home to Scotland. We enjoyed what is becoming known as ‘slow travel’ – the green alternative to flying! We were so blessed to have a way to get home, while many others were still stranded in distant countries.

There were several passages of Scripture and lessons that came to mind as we were travelling back. I was particularly struck by what Iceland’s president, Olafur Grimsson, said. “In modern societies like Britain and Europe, there has been a disengagement between people and nature. There has been a belief that the forces of nature can’t impact the functioning of technologically advanced societies. But in Iceland we learn from childhood that forces of nature are stronger than ourselves and they remind us who are the masters of the universe.”

It takes an event like this to remind us of our vulnerability to nature. It is so easy to forget that our so called ‘civilised’ society, and all of its blessings, are so easily disrupted. In the last few weeks, we have had a tiny taste of the type of chaos and apprehension that the Bible predicts for the last days. Jesus and Paul said that this time will come on us ‘like a thief in the night’ (Matt 24:43 and 1 Thess 5:2) – when we least expect it.

Christ’s coming is closer than it has ever been. Let’s take some extra time to think about this last and most important journey. Now is the time to check we’ve booked a ticket on the most reliable form of intergalactic transportation that will carry us into the very presence of God forever!

Pastor Bernie