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Friday 19 May 2017 – safe landings

Friday 19 May 2017 – safe landings
May 19, 2017 Anne Browse

I find it hard to believe that less than three days ago I was on the ferry back from Scilly and now I am on a train to Liverpool. As regular readers of this blog will be aware, much of the role of MWiB President requires travelling. I have never been a very patient passenger, and was a typical child, always asking “Are we there yet?” from the back seat, soon after we had set out from home. Since travelling for MWiB, however, I have learned to use the journey time in all sorts of different ways, and time seldom drags nowadays.

My return from the Isles of Scilly was again by boat and bus, with flights cancelled because of the fog. The Scillonian crossed over to Penzance smoothly, much to my relief, and the coach arrived back at Exeter airport just after ten o’clock on Tuesday night. A little later than the scheduled arrival time of my cancelled afternoon flight, but I was grateful to be able to trust the ‘experts’ to get me safely from A to B. I am also constantly grateful to a husband who turns out at all hours of the day and night to transport me to, and meet me from, numerous trains, planes and buses!

I preached three times last Sunday, each time basing my reflections around the Gospel lectionary for the day, the first 14 verses of John chapter 14. Jesus was addressing a group of confused and frightened disciples in the Upper Room, reassuring them of his preparation for them of a safe future.

My own journey to Scilly, on the Scillonian rather than by air, reminded me of a saying I came across as a teenager. I have since looked it up and discovered that I first read these words in the daily devotional ‘Streams in the Desert’ by L B E Cowan and published by Harper Collins. In full, the saying runs like this:

“Jesus Christ is no security against storms, but He is perfect security in storms. He has never promised you an easy passage, only a safe landing.”

This felt like a way to explain how I understand these words of encouragement and hope which Jesus speaks to his disciples in the moments shortly before his own arrest, trial and crucifixion. As is so often the case, the disciples do not seem to comprehend, and Thomas and Philip ask for further explanation. Jesus responds to Thomas with the famous statement “I am the Way…”

Life is seldom ‘plain sailing’. Jesus never promised the ‘followers of the Way’ that life would be without its trials and persecutions and challenges. But here he appears to be assuring them of a safe landing and a secure and certain future.

So back to my remembered saying, whose author as far as I can ascertain is unknown:

“Jesus Christ is no security against storms, but He is perfect security in storms. He has never promised you an easy passage, only a safe landing.”

My train is almost at Liverpool Lime Street, where I am heading in readiness for the Creativity Day tomorrow. I look forward to seeing some of you there.