Our Link Minister, Rev’d David Spence, sends the following Message for the month of October 2019 ….
In the days when lots of women used to make their own clothes and curtains, they would go shopping in search of some nice material which was not too expensive. A particular bargain was if they found some good quality cloth which was being sold as a remnant. Material came from the manufacturers on large rolls, and a remnant was the last part of the roll. It was the few yards left after the rest of the roll and been sold. Some beautiful dresses and smart skirts were often made from such remnants.
A similar thing can happen with a household carpet. If you have a room which is not too large, a bedroom or dining room, perhaps, you can sometimes cover the floor with a good quality carpet by buying a remnant. You can use the few yards that were left at the end of the roll to make the room look beautiful and homely.
In the Bible, some of the Old Testament prophets use the word ‘remnant’ in their preaching and writing. They are not speaking about cloth or carpet, but about God’s people. Sometimes they are talking about the people who are left after the land has been invaded and towns destroyed. At other times, the word refers to those who remain faithful when everyone else has deserted God and gone after foreign idols. The faithful remnant is the small number left to continue the faith, and to pass it on to future generations.
Throughout history there have been periods when the people of God, and the faith they hold, have gone through difficult times. Sometimes the threat has come from outside, through evil rulers and oppressive regimes. In recent history, Soviet Russia and China tried to destroy the church and wipe out Christianity.
At other times the problem has been internal, where people desert the church, no longer come to worship, and gradually drift away from God. Many of the churches in this country today have been going through that kind of experience. Yet always there remains a faithful remnant.
Yes, God always has his faithful remnant. There will always be those who remain loyal and steadfast, people of courage and conviction who hold fast to faith and worship, men and women who are not afraid to stand up and be counted. These are the ones who will pass on their knowledge of God to present and future generations, who will be a means of bringing others to faith. Through them, people will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour; through them people will learn of life eternal.
The question is, will you and I be amongst that faithful remnant, or will we join the vast majority, and drift further and further away from God. If we remain loyal and steadfast, though we be few, God will make us into something beautiful, like the fine quality cloth at the end of the roll. We will be a church which brings glory to God. We will be a means of sharing his love and salvation with those who do not know him, and those who have somehow forgotten him long ago.
Yours in Christian love,