“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests.” (Hosea 4:6)
Would you grant resources, power, and authority to someone who has never met you and is totally unfamiliar with your agenda? Would you want someone representing you and speaking on your behalf if you were totally unfamiliar with the way they thought and made decisions? In a similar manner, mere intellectual knowledge about God is totally insufficient to make us His priests.
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’.