Thought for the Day by Hilary Larkin (St Chad’s)
Very recently, while renovating the Manchester Jewish Museum, builders discovered a sealed, glass time capsule. It had apparantly been placed there 150 years ago in the cornerstone of what had been Manchester’s oldest surviving synagogue. It is anexciting and precious find, which is hoped will give valuable information about the old Jewish community.
In today’s Old Testament reading we hear of a similar exciting find – a scroll hidden in the walls of the Temple, found by builders as they did extensive renovations. This was an important section of Deuteronomy, containing the Law of God as written by Moses, and thought to have been lost.
It could have been ignored, but the king at that time was Josiah a good and honest king, unlike most of his predecessors, and he kept God at the centre of his life. There was much corruption and worship of false gods was practiced widely. The temple restoration was part of Josiah’s ‘keeping faith with God’. The money needed had been raised scrupulously and honestly but persuading the nation to give up pagan worship, get rid of the idols and turn back to God was more challenging. Josiah was very moved by the finding of the scroll and saw it as a gift from God which enabled him to show the people that they’d disobeyed God’s commandments and so convince them to turn back to him.
Our New Testament reading tells of Paul encouraging Timothy to keep his faith strong and fulfil the work he has been prepared to do. He warns him not to be led astray by false teachings which could easily have happened at that time in Ephesus. Timothy has been prayed for, ‘All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle’ (The Message) and he was urged to pray for all the Ephesians.
Josiah and Timothy lived at different times and in different circumstances to each other but both, in the face of great opposition, held firmly to their faith.
It is so easy for us to be led ‘off track’, to allow our minds to be filled with problems, concerns and distractions. Even more so at this time, with the virus seemingly on the increase and the world full of uncertainties and fears, often fed by over preoccupation with endless mixed information on news bulletins and social media. It’s surely important that we keep a calm centre and our eyes firmly on God. That we open our hearts to God, listen and allow ourselves to be filled with his love.
The link below reminds us to keep abiding in God.