From the Rectory – August

French military leader and statesman Charles de Gaulle was a man with a good grasp of attempting the impossible. While serving as President of France he asked the presumably rhetorical question ‘How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?’ Understandably, he didn’t attempt an answer.

De Gaulle understood the impossible. Others less so.

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin was a hugely successful mathematical physicist, engineer and inventor. Among other things he was knighted for his work on a transatlantic telegraph cable, he determined the lower limit of absolute temperature, and had had the scale of temperature measurements named in his honour. He wasn’t always right though. In 1895 he declared that ‘heavier than air flying machines are impossible. It was just eight years later that he was shown to be completely and utterly wrong.

The history of mankind is littered with some spectacular achievements that undoubtedly started out looking not just impractical, but completely out of the question. The first attempts, glorious failures and partial victories that make up the road to success often go unnoticed, as it’s only the final triumphant success that gets credit. And then the previously unthinkable becomes feasible, and what was impossible is not just possible, but a part of everyday life. 

The bible tells us about a conversation that Jesus had with a wealthy young man who wanted to know how he might get eternal life. The culmination of their discussion sees the young man walk away when it all seems too hard, and then Jesus tells his disciples, ‘ it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’

As wealth was seen a a blessing from God, who then could be saved?

Jesus tells us. “All things are possible with God.”

For the greatest to the least, we are all welcomed by God. He doesn’t see the colour of our hair or skin, our width or our height. He doesn’t see our wealth or lack of it. With the life that faith in Jesus Christ offers, God just sees possibilities.

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