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Seeds of the Kingdom

What’s Missing?

by Ron Scurfield

17 September 2022

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I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.”
Luke 12:19-20, NIV

Burgers, bangers and beans with a group of friends milling around the gazebo, chattering excitedly. Serious conversations taking place, or arguing for the sake of it. Eating and drinking and laughing a lot. Eventually the conversations die down and the fire glows with not-so-hot embers.

“Goodnight, George.”

“Take care Simon.”

“Thanks for coming, Edna and Dave, going to church tomorrow?”

“Probably. Who’s preaching?”

“It’s that new guy, Roy.”

“He’s a bit long winded. See you next week at our place?”

“Sure. I’ll bring the burgers. Looking forward.. Goodnight.”

They trickle away in ones and twos, and threes.

Sunday morning and all dressed up. Church today. Try to be early in case someone takes my seat. Plastic faces. Everyone doing the right thing, going through the motions. Songs about God and His glory, Christ and salvation, sin and consequences. Consciences are prodded. Past sins remembered in a vain attempt to surrender them to God. Complacency reigns. The grace of God covers just about everything, so that’s OK. Roy’s sermon bores on. Thoughts of lunch at the Dog and Gun and football in the afternoon. Amen.

No prizes for guessing what’s missing. - It was bubbling up last night, but it’s gone flat. The balloon is deflated.

We put ourselves through this conscience pricking and self flagellation every week Like going through the car wash - squeaky clean for a while, but not for long. Repeat the process next week. Meanwhile collecting self righteousness and arrogance at the door on the way out.

It might look good on the outside but what about inside?

 

I stay in my seat staring at the stained glass crucifixion bearing down on me, burning like a searchlight into my heart, many times larger than life. An image of the bloodstained Christ.

It’s not what’s missing, but Who’s missing? The answer is staring me in the face, His eyes burning into mine. Guilt covers me like a shroud.

‘If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ How many times have I heard that before?

“Every week,” I argue, “Nothing changes. - What’s the point?” I wrestle with conviction.

 

“See the cross, the agony, rejection and shame.. I died for you.”

“Oh God, things I’ve done, thoughts I’ve thought, heartaches I’ve caused.. - I’m so, so sorry.. Help me.” - A desperate cry for mercy.

Tears are trickling down my face. Pain retching in my soul.

Glancing up at the cross I mumble, almost in a whisper, “I’m sorry - can You forgive me?”

“It’s done..”

The blood stained face smiles at me. “I’ve paid the price. You’re forgiven.”

Now I’m weeping like a baby.

“Come to me..”

“Would you have me.?”

His words echo in my brain, “You’re forgiven. Come to me,,”

I surrender.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

“Will You help me?”

“I will never leave you.”

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.

 

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