The Word on the Week


Being part of a multi ethnic church affords us glimpses of the wonder of the seasons through the eyes of folk from the tropics. We are blessed with four seasons each with its own beauty. The freshness of spring flows into the glories of summer and then comes the wonder of the autumn tints to be followed by winters’ sombre hues.

All this we take largely for granted whereas the transformation is dramatic when viewed for the first time through the eyes of someone from a mono-season climate.

Perhaps the beauty of the seasons inspired the German Christian who penned the hymn ‘Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature, Son of God and Son of Man!

Written in 1677 the second verse makes the comparison; –

Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlands,

Robed in the blooming garb of spring:

Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,

Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

All of which reminds me of the conversation between an Oxford theologian and Sadu Sunder Singh at Keswick Convention many years ago. The Sadu had been converted when a vision of Christ appeared to him in the night proclaiming “I am the Way the Truth and the Life” (St John Chapter 14 verse 6).

A life of hardship followed starting with being poisoned by his family who were high caste Sikhs.

His passion, like St Paul before him, was to take the gospel to places where it had never been before (Romans Chapter 15 verse 20) making an annual mission to travel into Tibet where he met with fierce opposition but also miraculous conversions.

At Keswick the theologian asked him what attracted him, a high caste Sikh, to Christianity? Was it the ethical teachings? Was it the laws? Was it the care for the outcast? To each question the Sadu answered with his face beaming, “Jesus Christ”!

We all want to divide up Christ but he is more than the sum of his attributes.

It was in the context of Christian giving that St Paul could not find words to express the wonder of God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ; “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift” (2Corinthians Chapter 9 verse 15). Or as our hymn writer put it; –

Beautiful Saviour! Lord of the nations!

Son of God and Son of Man!

Glory and honour, praise, adoration,

Now and for evermore be Thine.