Tag Archives: Way-Truth-Life

With You Always

One evening, a father who lived in suburb of London, said to his 10-year-old son, “I want you to join me at my office next week. We’ll take the subway and you can spend some time seeing how I spend my day. Then you’ll come home by yourself so you can get acquainted with travelling by the Tube.”

The boy was a bit apprehensive about the prospect of coming home alone but his father assured him he would be fine.

On the morning they left, his father explained all the details of the trip to Town and gave him a written, detailed set of instructions for returning. After boarding the Tube train, his father showed him the maps posted in the carriages which identified all the stops and all the intersecting Underground lines.

Everything went smoothly and they arrived in the centre of London as planned. However, the young lad was still apprehensive as his father took him back to the station for the return trip home. He had the instructions, he had his father’s assurance he would do fine but he still worried.

As he waved goodbye to his father and boarded the train, he immediately checked out the map of the Tube line on the opposite wall of the carriage where he was sitting. Sure enough, all the stops were outlined.

He got off at the correct station and, just as his father had shown him, found his way to another platform where another Tube line passed through, and, as his Dad had promised a train soon pulled in.  He boarded and as he again studied the map he was relieved to see that his “home” station was just 6 stops away.

Now, he felt more confident. When the train approached his station, he got up, stood in from of the exit door and when it opened he breathed a sigh of relief … he had made it.

His mother was there to meet him.  She hugged him, and to his surprise, she then put her arms around a man who was immediately behind him in the exit queue.  It was his Dad! 

His father had been in the carriage behind his all the way.   His father had been with him all the time.

Those who are parents can relate very easily with the father of the young boy. Who would ever leave a child unprotected? If we feel that way, don’t you think Christ is even more committed to our well being?

The father in that story asked his son to take specific actions: check his directions, find the maps, change to the proper train, get off at the right stop. The little boy didn’t know it but there was no possibility of his making a mistake or getting lost. His father was with him during the entire trip.

So, Christ is with us.  

Our journey through life may at times seem hard and the road may seem rough and long and twisting and difficult – but he’s with us, and always will be with us, wherever we may travel: a comfort, a guide, a companion and friend: the one who says of himself I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

He travels with us, and he will never desert us….ever

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What’s in a Name?

I was talking to someone recently about names.  His name was Bill but he signed himself ‘W’ for William, which, he said could lead to some confusion as to who he actually is.

I can sympathise.  I too have a first name that confuses many people.  I was christened ‘Alexander’ but am known as ‘Sandy’ which is a shortened form – or a diminutive, to give it it’s proper description.  ‘Sandy’ always reminds me of third-rate Scottish comedians or collie dugs.

My uncle was also Alexander, but was known as ‘Alec’ and I have a friend who is ‘Alex’ with an ‘x’

I once looked up a dictionary of names and to my horror discovered that another version is ‘Sanders’ – maybe, on hindsight, it is a bit more upmarket that ‘Sandy’ In Gaelic, Alexander becomes ‘Alastair’ or ‘Alasdair’

Once met a Russian lady at university, who told me that in her country, a version of Alexander is ‘Sacha’ – (Sacha Distel – French singer)

There’s a football player who rejoices in  the name of Zander Diamond, as does Alexander Armstong, the comedian, who is also called Zander.  Rather fancy that moniker!

And I’m sure there are many more variations on my particular name – as there are on so many others:

Robert can be Rob, Robbie, Bob or Bobby, Bert or Bertie.   Catherines are sometimes known as Kate, or Katy or even Renee.

Another friend of mine was James, as far as his family was concerned, but Jimmy to myself and his other friends, even after he changed it himself to Jim.  To wind him up we’d sometimes call him ‘Hamish’ which is the Gaelic form of his name

He was the same person, of course, but others saw him differently – James for his parents, brothers and sisters – the name his mother and father had given him, the name which was registered after his birth, the name given at his baptism – his official name.

But Jimmy to his pals who knew another facet of his personality – Jimmy, a familiar, easy-to-relate to kind of name – the name of a pal, a friend, a mate.

Then he himself started calling himself ‘Jim’ – more grown-up perhaps than Jimmy, more formal than Jimmy, but less so than James.  He saw himself as ‘Jim’ whatever the implications of that were.

Some people see us in different ways and call us by different names, as the case of friend Jimmy shows.

Perhaps something of this was reflected in the different names people had for Jesus.

The prophet Isaiah writing about the Messiah called him ‘wonderful counsellor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’

The hymn writer, John Newton, once wrote:

‘Jesus my shepherd, brother, friend, my prophet, priest and king, my Lord, my life, my way, my end’

Jesus is different things, has different names, different aspects for different people – depending on their outlook, depending on their needs.

There is a bridge in an old European town where each archway has a carving of Jesus represented in a different way.

As the workmen cross the bridge early in the morning, they can pause for a moment at the figure of Jesus the carpenter.

The farm workers on the other hand can see him depicted as a shepherd.

The elderly and sick can view him as the great healer.

Those who are feeling tired or discouraged are reminded of Jesus the friend.

So all who cross that bridge can find the picture of Christ which suits their particular need.

And he fills all our needs.

He said of himself ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life’ and in him we find our direction, and our integrity, and our very being.

He said of himself ‘I am the Door’ and he opens up for us the way to a new kind of life.

He described himself as ‘The Good Shepherd’ and we know that he will protect us, direct us and guide us lovingly through life to the security of the fold.

And he said ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’ – in this life and the next, we have nothing to fear.  He is our Redeemer, our Saviour, and our Friend.

And let us remember this – the Bible tells us that ‘God has engraved our name on the palm of his hand’…in other words, we are as near to God as our hands are to us.  God knows us through and through, every last detail about us (why, even the hairs of our head are all numbered).

God knows us; Christ loves us – whoever we are, wherever we come from, whatever our name! 

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