The value we place on blood

Having sat waiting for the best part of an hour it would have been easy to have given up and gone home without donating but I had waited this long and anyway, this was my sixty-seventh donation so waiting a little longer wouldn’t hurt. I’ve been a blood donor since a few days after my eighteenth birthday. Originally going just to find out my blood group, I was soon going every few months. Although I have always been aware that the blood donated goes on to help others, the NHS Blood and Transplant Service (as it is now known) and its predecessors have always done a great job of educating the public of the value of blood, but to be honest to me it is background information to what has become a routine or habit.

Greenshot 2018 02 17 10.27.55Eventually, I was called forward the staff were apologetic for the delay and professional as ever. I signed the necessary forms and felt the stab of the ‘finger prick’ test. All good, not anaemic, so all ready to donate. I sat on a chair as the donor assistant prepared the bags and tubes that would receive my donation. As she stuck on the various hi-tech barcoded stickers, she also started to tie on a paper parcel tag, “An extra label for you”, she noted. I looked quizzically, intrigued by the comment and the antiquated paper label being tied to the sterile equipment. “Your blood is going to a neonatal unit for babies, look it says ‘neo’ on your donation form”. A warm feeling spread across me as the value of my blood suddenly became more real than any donation I had given before. Having briefly visited a neonatal Intensive care unit when my son was born I was struck by the potential this donation had to change the lives of young and old and to bring hope to those in despair.

Read more...

Recognising what’s right in front of you.

reconiseThe theme of recognition just won’t go away!  It started sometime around Palm Sunday, with the whole issue of whether any of the people around Jesus as he entered into Jerusalem that day really recognised him for who he was.  

Even Jesus’ mother, who’d  had  revelations from heaven both before he was born (Angel Gabriel appearing in person to tell her) and later, for instance, the two extraordinary prophetic interventions at the Temple when Jesus was eight days old,  by Simeon and Anna .  On seeing the infant Jesus, Simeon, called into the Temple that day by the Holy Spirit, called out to God, “My eyes have seen your salvation!.. a light for revelation to the Gentiles...”, affirming he was now ready to die.  Despite hearing this, Mary reacted just like the mother of any ordinary child when Jesus was “lost” for a whole day.  Travelling  away from the city after celebrating Passover they turned back in alarm when they realised they didn’t have Jesus, aged 12, with them.  There was no sign that she was bearing in mind his unique identity when they found him in the Temple speaking with great wisdom to the learned teachers.  She says bluntly, “Child, why have you treated us like this?  Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.”  (Luke 2:48  NRSV)

His calm reply, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”  is commented on in Luke’s Gospel  ‘But they did not understand what he said to them.’ Not much recognition at that moment, certainly. 

Then, quite shockingly,  the account in Mark 3:21 of how, when Jesus was surrounded by pressing crowds and couldn’t get a chance to eat – “When his family heard it, they went to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ “ It’s worth noting that this followed some wonderful healings which Jesus had just done.  Where was the recognition of what actually was going on ?

It should make us feel much more compassionate to one another when we fail to recognise Jesus in our lives – fail to see his hand guiding us, his Spirit leading us, and the destiny which he is calling us into.  We either forget or get distracted by everything else.

The truth is, Jesus is right in front of us, present and active in our lives. God open our eyes to recognise Him.

Read more...

Why is it so hard to “get” what happened the first Easter Sunday?

We read how it happened – how the Romans, experts in execution, made absolutely sure Jesus really was dead, piercing his body as it hung on the cross, letting out his separated blood, and how his body lay sealed in the tomb until the third day. Then, as he had predicted, he lived again.  And we just can’t take it in – the disciples struggled to believe it even when the risen Jesus walked into the room.

Read more...

Palm Sunday – An object lesson in inconsistency

Palm Sunday Pictures sm

We live in an age when faith, long-term, constant, reliable faith is unfashionable.  People think it’s a virtue to avoid commitment.... “Don’t count on me!” they say - “I may, but also.. I may not.  But that’s all right, isn’t it?”  And we all say, “Well ....yes, ok”, not wanting to appear to be heavy or demanding.  We all surf around, we channel-hop, we swap where we shop, we mean to call again, but don’t get round to it, we click to join an internet wave of response to a You Tube video, but we don’t want to be counted on for more  than that.  The first Palm Sunday shows it’s not just us today in 2015 . Being unreliable, not committing ourselves is human nature. Follow the crowd. If it’s the trend, we want it. If it’s not, forget it , dump it.

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed
  • Evangelical Alliance

    Evangelical Alliance

    We are a member of the Evangelical Alliance, the largest body serving evangelical Christians in the UK: working for a united Church, confident in voice and inspired for mission, www.eauk.org. We subscribe to the Evangelical Alliance basis of faith. Read More
  • Ground Level Network

    Ground Level Network

    The Vine Community Church is a church in the Ground Level network of churches, Ground Level network belongs to Churches Together in the UK. Read More
  • OpenDoors

    OpenDoors

    As part of the body of Christ, it is our privilege to stand alongside our courageous brothers and sisters who are persecuted around the world. That means letting them know they’re not forgotten. Strengthening them by our prayers and support. Read More
  • 1