• Arriving unexpectedly!

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    Our vicar is a man of his time. As are we all – women included.

    Vicars have a habit of commenting upon what’s going on in the world at the time they give their sermons. And our vicar was no different.

    Today is of course Ascension Sunday. That’s the Sunday when Christians mark the Ascension of the Good Lord.

    Our vicar decided to make mention of the conflict in the Levant. I use the term Levant as where I live we are surrounded by symbols such as place names that signify the importance of the Christian faith to our Cornish forebears. Chapels are in abundance hereabouts. Most of them are now closed.

    Of course on Ascension Sunday the thoughts of my Cornish ancestors would not only have been on the Good Lord’s leaving but also upon His return!

    Naturally there are always THREE questions when contemplating this:

    #1: When?

    #2: Where?

    #3: What about me! (NB: the exclamation mark).

    I’m not going to summarise our vicar’s comments about the Levant except suffice it to say he was very near the mark when he said that Israel is dependent upon the USA’s strength and when that goes – or significantly declines – the the situation – in the Levant – will change.

    Colonel Richard Kemp is a former British Army Commander. He was also head of the international terrorism team in the U.K. Cabinet Office and is now a writer and speaker on international and military affairs. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute. Herewith his take on the present situation in the Levant: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17372/turning-point-in-gaza
    British Gazette comment:
    I would characterise the establishment of the modern state of Israel and the aims and objectives as a laudable but forlorn hope (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forlorn_hope). The republic was established in 1948 in the aftermath of World War Two and the holocaust.

    Since that time the state had faced constant opposition. Often violent. The present “difficulty” focuses upon the city of Jerusalem. As the Oh so PC BBC correctly states, Jerusalem is a city which is very important to three monotheistic religions.

    When it comes to the question, “Where” (Will the Good Lord return), we do not of course know but given that He was born in Bethlehem (just under 6 miles from Jerusalem) was crucified at Calvary (Golgothâ), a site immediately outside Jerusalem’s walls and The Mount of Olives or Mount Olivet a mountain ridge east of and adjacent to Jerusalem where He ascended, it’s a fairly good guess that it will not be too far away from Jerusalem!

    This brings us to the question of when. Well we don’t know except to say “…..it will be in the future….”

    But there is of course another set of questions all starting with Why?

    Most of use are familiar with the question Why? As in “Why me?”

    Anybody who has had a serious illness with have asked “Why me?” Often followed up with “Why not someone bad like Kim Jong-un. You can imagine many Jewish people presented with bad news between 1933 and 1945 will have substituted “Adolf Hitler” for a man born on 8th January 1982, 1983, or 1984.

    “Why Israel” and/or “Why the Jews” is a question asked by many gentiles – and some Jews – as to why God chose “The children of Israel”.

    In an age embracing “diversity” and eschewing racism and nationalism it appears “unfair”. Why not a tribe in the middle of the Amazon? Aren’t they as every bit as valuable and as important as a Jewish person?

    The answer to this completely reasonable and understandable question is that in a way it is not about any one human being or race of human beings but about human beings themselves. It does not matter what your ethnicity is or what your gender is – or whatever you may imagine it to be. It does not even matter where you were born, when you were born and when you die.

    The Good Lord Himself summed it up which was recorded in Mark 12:
    30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

    31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
    Note to Ismail Haniyeh, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau: Firing unguided rockets into Israel’s territory does NOT constitute loving thy neighbour!
    It’s pretty clear that “the Levant” feature’s prominently in His plan.

    It’s also pretty clear that He will allow “the Levant” and everything else to continue up to a certain point.

    Of course, a lot of people spend a lot of time pondering about the date. Well basically it is a complete Waste of Time! This because you will arrive at that point in time and space when you are dead! Unless of course you are one of those alive at the time. But since most of us (thankfully) don’t know when we are going to die this question is moot.

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