Tag Archives: neighbours

Sunshine

We moved into our cottage almost ten years ago. We added on some rooms and enlarged some. The renovations were planned by an architect. Although we have a large French window and a smaller window facing north, our lounge always seemed dark. We have a magnificent paperbark tree outside which gives beautiful shade in summer and we always thought that was the reason our house seemed dark. We had two sky lights put in and that helped a bit. However the lounge light stayed on during the day while I was home.

The house next door had five tall conifers growing against our north boundary wall. When the house was sold, I made a point of informing our new neighbours that I would love the trees cut down and we would pay half. Well, they had other things to attend to and repair and I didn’t want to nag them but I talked to the Lord about them. I even talked to the trees! (I remembered what Jesus had said about mountains throwing themselves into the sea.)

While we were away last week, the trees got taken out. The neighbours are doing some renovations and building on to make room for their parents to stay with them.

The difference is amazing. Sun streams into the lounge almost all day. We no longer need the light on in the daytime. I am just wallowing in the sunshine.

John said about Jesus, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5NIV)

Sometimes we miss out on the light of God in our lives through circumstances that are beyond our control. They are the things that cast shadows on the abundant life that Christ promised. They are like those five trees, seemingly invincible. They could be an early family tragedy, an unhappy childhood, a disability we were born with, or even poverty. We are totally powerless to remove them. They are not in our garden.

God is not powerless. We can do what we can to improve the light in our lives but then we need to call on Him to take away the trees. It won’t be easy and it won’t be immediate. But our God is faithful.

Jesus promised, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” May we not become so used to living in the shadow that we miss out on the Light of Life.

My Prayer

Lord, please open my eyes to the things with which I have been living, that are casting shadows over my life. May they be rooted up and cast aside. May the Light of Your Life and Your Love bathe me every day. Amen.

Lockdown Day 17 Easter Sunday

This image was forwarded to me on WhatsApp

I will never forget this Easter in the middle of Lockdown 2020. Thanks so much to Rosebank Union Church, Pastor Richard and the other pastors, Michael and the tech guys, the worship team and everybody involved in making these lockdown Easter services so special.

On Friday morning we watched an excellent compilation of images, narrative, scripture, worship, sermon and prayer, followed by a live communion service. We prepared our own elements and shared communion with those locked down with us. This is something we’ve never experienced with our family before.

Our church’s outreach arm, Rays of Hope, who work with vulnerable families in Alexandra, had a break-in last week and, among other things, all their masks due for distribution to the poor in Alex were stolen. They have called on the congregation to make fabric masks – we need 1 600. So Saturday saw me sewing masks.

Today, Resurrection Sunday, our church really outdid itself! The service was streamed live and included our own worship team, singing together through digital technology, our amazing ventriloquist with the children’s message, and a rousing and victorious sermon. Well done everybody.

After doing an Easter egg hunt, the family decided to share Easter eggs with our four immediate neighbours.

Again, something we’ve never done before. Perhaps this will lead to closer relationships with our neighbours.

We enjoyed a shared lunch under the gazebo which everybody thoroughly enjoyed, despite snacking on Easter eggs during the morning.

Perhaps this special Easter will grow tendrils into our future, helping us re-examine the things we take for granted and the things we’ve always done a certain way because that is the way we were brought up.

As Christ has died for reconciliation, let us be reconciled to God, our neighbours, our planet and ourselves. Happy Easter!