Earlier this week, after more than a fortnight of scorching sunshine and hot southerly breeze, we noticed that the wind had changed direction to blow from the North. This was a signal, it seemed, for hundreds of swallows (which spend spring and part summer in and around our village) to gather together over our land and set off in two or three large groups for their migration south. Although for us humans summer is still in full swing, for these wonderful little creatures the north wind marked the close of a season.
Scriptures admonish us for not knowing 'times and seasons' - Matt 16 v3: Indeed the Sons of Issachar are noted for their ability to do just this - 1 Chronicles 12 v 32
Song of Solomon 4v 16 tells us that the Bride called upon the North (and south) wind to blow on her garden so that its fragrance might be spread and its spices could flow.
From personal experience I know the pain of disappointment that can accompany the close of a season: in the mid 1970s I was the leader of a very well received and popular Christian rock band - but at the peak of our performing career our season was ended as abruptly as the wind changed direction this week.
However difficult it might be, when the time is right we must learn to put down what we are holding. God can abundantly bless us when we let go: It was empty vessels that Elisha called for in order that the oil be poured out: 2 Kings 4. May we all be in that place where the Holy Spirit can fill to overflowing, and the north wind with its change of season can release 'the fragrance and the spices' we have in our 'garden'.
David Daynes and his wife Diana are longstanding members of MorningStar's Fellowship of Ministries and reside in Kefalonia, Greece
Our visit to Plain Church Celtic Community and their outreach ministry called God Unlimited was anything but plain. Neighbouring Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13ft high, 6ft 11 in wide and weighing around 25 tons. It is visited by 1.5 million people every year and is used for Pagan worship, Druid worship and other rituals during the Summer Solstice and other festivals. There is even a Shaman at the Visitor Centre who leads tourists through one of the Pagan rituals.
In late medieval England (11th-15thC) a very powerful weapon was developed called the 'war bow' or ‘long bow’. It was, as the name suggests, an extremely long bow, usually about the height of a man. They were made from the wood of the Yew tree which had the best qualities for power and durability.
Yew trees are traditionally grown in English church grounds and have long been associated with spirituality. The yew tree is a very long lasting tree and was seen by ancient Britons as the ‘tree of life’ because it out-lived most people. Its dense evergreen covering also provided shelter making it an ideal place to hold meetings under its branches. In time this became the natural place to then erect a building for Christian services - therefore a church was often near a yew tree. Yew trees continued to be planted in church grounds as the ‘tree of life’.
Truth is often hidden in plain view. For centuries archeologists meticulously scrutinized the ancient writings and hieroglyphics encrypted on Egyptian artifacts. Only with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone was a dictionary of ancient language furnished to give meaning to the mysteries.
There are many layers of Scriptural Truth. At best we understood them only partially. The words are plainly before us, but their full meaning has been hidden.
For hundreds of years Jewish followers contemplated the prophetic scriptures pointing to their messiah and the restoration of Israel. None, however, understood their application. The Lord’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection was a mystery hidden in plain view. The Scripture recorded the message, but only in its fulfillment did absolute understanding develop.
Now, great end-time mysteries foreseen by Daniel and John the beloved are being disclosed and imparted. (Daniel 12; Revelations 10) A righteous generation anointed with revelatory insight will probe deep into the heart of God where they are hidden.
Schools of ministry to prepare and equip the Body of Christ for this notable destiny are emerging with an amplified sense of responsibility.