One of my favourite museums (visited each time we go on holiday day there) is in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus. Located in the former Venetian castle on the harbour front, it contains many ancient artefacts linked to the Mediterranean. Most spectacular, is an almost perfectly preserved trading ship, together with its cargo, which is dated as having sunk around 300BC. There are over 400 clay amphora (containers which would have contained wine), millstones and indeed additional jars that still store over 9000 almonds which were still intact. I find it incredibly powerful to come into such close contact with everyday items which were in existence over 300 years before Jesus (and later on his disciples) commenced their ministry in that same part of the world.
This morning at church prayers, we were reflecting on the words of St Paul (himself no stranger to the sea trading routes across the Mediterranean). Speaking of the great joy of having God in their lives – a theme we thought about ourselves last Sunday when celebrating the day of Pentecost – Paul writes:
(For it is the spirit’s light which) has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
2 Corinthians 4. 6 & 7
Again, our unremarkable bodies, just as the clay amphora hosted a variety of items, are host to the amazing spirit of God, drawing attention not to us, but the wonders of God who chooses us as His home on earth. As the retreat leader before my ordination (35 years ago this month!!) put it, “my prayer is (that as a Christian) I don’t get in the way...”
May that be true for all of us – that in all our encounters, we may display and share that treasure of God that is within.
Keep in touch
Keep the faith.