March 2020

Monthly topical artices kindly supplied by a regular visiting              

speaker from Northampton: Stan Burditt.

VIEW FROM THE PULPIT               March 2020

Waiting – the old adage about waiting for a London Bus, one can wait a long time and then two arrive at the same time.  This illustrates experiences that each of us have whether on a journey or in an NHS waiting room, we all get affected by delays and changes to expected timetables.  The NHS is finding it difficult to attain to the 4 hour waiting time in A&E.  The problem of the killer coronavirus will drastically affect both waiting and admissions at most of our hospitals in the UK.  The virus has become pandemic with approaching 5,000 deaths globally so far.  In the UK it is expected to peak at the end of May, making the whole population vulnerable to the infection that is spreading from continent to continent.  Serious regulations have been enforced locking down movement of persons whether by air, cruise ships or public transport and we are advised to self-isolate for 7-14 days if flu-like symptoms are present.  Every country in the world is waiting upon the research being carried out by the scientists to create an effective vaccine but it is expected to be at least 12 months before it is available for use.  We are told that a person infected with COVID-19 will cease to be infectious between 7 and 14 days.  It is wonderful that the immune system can read the structure of the invasive virus and produce antibodies to deal with it in a matter of days.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

The “in word” is isolation whether at home or in the Critical Care Hospital units.  The most vulnerable are us aged folk over 60 years of age (and more so if a smoker with COPD or Asthma) or those with a medical problem of any age.  The virus is proving to be one of the most infectious in 100 years and with the potential of affecting 80% of the UK population.  A cure for this virus is desperately needed.  In 1976 a respiratory infection wreaked havoc when members of the American Legion were at a convention in Philadelphia. Many people died from this type of pneumonia known as legionnaires disease.  The cure was quickly and accidentally discovered.  A scientist at the end of his working day left a slide with the bacteria on it touching a solution of streptomycin.  When he arrived at work the next morning he discovered that all the bacteria had died and the streptomycin had fortuitously provided a solution that is still effective for people who contract that virus.  Other medical problems similarly have had cures discovered accidentally.  Sir James Young Simpson and two colleagues experimented with chloroform, they inhaled chloroform and all lost consciousness and did not awake until the following morning.  If they had inhaled too much chloroform it would have killed them, if too little, it would not have put them to sleep, so a correct formulation for anaesthesia was discovered. In 1928 Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin (originally called “mould juice”) after he went on vacation and on his return found the green mould had contaminated his Petri dishes in the lab and were killing some of the bacteria he had been growing.  Alexander Fleming researched further and found that penicillin works on many bacteria by preventing bacteria from forming new cell walls, no new walls, no new cells, and no bacteria growth. 

The most deadly virus cannot equal the death rate that sin causes in the human race.  Sin is more serious than any pandemic because everyone is contaminated and no accidental cure will ever be found.  The only effective remedy is “the blood of Jesus Christ, Gods son, cleanses us from all sin”. 1 John 1 v 7.   It is the sacrificial death of Christ that provides the sinner with 100% cleansing.  It is said, “it is no vain thing to wait upon the Lord”.   Waiting upon the Lord implies a person engaging with God in prayer.  God is omniscient, he knows every detail of every problem and can resolve every problem.  The problem of sin is the most desperate malady in human experience.  Romans 5 v 12 “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” the antidote is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 15 v 22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”. The cure for a sinner from the penalty and guilt of sin and to avoid the condemnation of an eternity in Hell is to be “in Christ”.  When a soul is born again they are forever in Christ. 

The dominant scripture that has been on my mind for many days is found in 1 Thessalonians 1 v 9 and 10 which says that the Thessalonian people “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come” Salvations day for any sinner is the most blessed of life’s experiences.   It is essential to turn to God. C H Spurgeon once preached “turn or burn”, a very poignant statement of fact.  The Thessalonian believers past sin was behind them, dealt with at Calvary’s cross.  Their present life was being used to serve God.  There is nothing more rewarding for time and eternity that for a life to be lived for God.   Waiting for “his Son from heaven” holds two assurances for the believer.  The first is his imminent return from heaven to call his blood bought people to himself, in the air, and take us home to heaven.  The second is for every born again person that they have been delivered from the wrath to come.  After the church has been removed from earth, the period of Gods wrath called “the Great Tribulation” will follow.  No Christian will experience that dreadful calamitous judgement affecting the whole world.   Be sure, be saved, and wait for the Lord to come.

God bless,     

 

Stan Burditt