Posted by George Morrison

Human Fault Lines               Word on the Week                          6th June 2020.

My earliest memory of a fault line was not human at all.   It was a fissure in the rock which bounded the coast line.   The North Sea swept into it twice a day with each high tide.   It lay across our path to an inlet where the fishing was good.   The temptation to jump across the divide and save a longer walk was irresistible!

We were told horrific tales of the young girl who tried to jump the 5-foot gap but her long dress caught on the rock and she plunged some 40 feet to her death.   Her name was Mary Reid and the Cove bears her name to this day.

Fault lines present both a challenge and danger.    An early one in Scripture in language.   Everyone in the beginning spoke God’s language.   His words were easily understood.   Language is one of his amazing gifts to us that is often overlooked.     From the start God made himself known by words.  The trouble is that by sinning they can be used deceitfully.    Their meaning can be twisted as the Serpent demonstrated (Genesis Chapter 3 verses 1 to 5).

This led to the first major fault line when the ‘one language and common speech’ had to be scrambled in order to curb the people’s desire to live as they pleased without God.   What they feared happened and their language was completely confused and they were scattered ‘all over the face of the earth’ (Genesis Chapter 11 verses 1 to 8).

Another fault line is found in race.    Skin colour sadly promotes division.   When mixed with injustice it can lead to riots and killing.    This week we have seen peaceful force in conflict with State forces in the USA.   During the reporting there was a moment when the TV cameras picked out members of the National Guard kneeling alongside protesters united in prayer.   Christianity heals divisions by creating new people (Galatians Chapter 3 verse 28).

In Jesus this unity can become permanent as each comes to the cross to leave their sins there and embrace the other.  The death of Christ has made many rebels one as thy become part of the family of God (1 Peter Chapter 2 verse 9).

The hymn-writer puts it well when he says Jesus is omnipotent (having unlimited power) to save – trust in Him.

1 The Saviour died, but rose again
triumphant from the grave;
and pleads our cause at God’s right hand,
omnipotent to save.

2 Who then can e’er divide us more
from Jesus and his love,
or break the sacred chain that binds
the earth to heaven above?

3 Let troubles rise, and terrors frown,
and days of darkness fall;
through him all dangers we’ll defy,
and more than conquer all.

4 Nor death nor life, nor earth nor hell,
nor time’s destroying sway,
can e’er efface us from his heart,
or make his love decay.

5 Each future period that will bless,
as it has blessed the past;
he loved us from the first of time,
he loves us to the last.