Long live the NHS
On Thursday 5th of July 2018 the UK celebrated 70 years of the NHS. The NHS was the first universal health care system established anywhere in the world.
When Aneurin Bevan (a Welshman from Tredegar), the then health secretary, launched the NHS at Park Hospital in Manchester (today known as Trafford General Hospital), it was the climax of a hugely ambitious plan to bring good healthcare to all.
For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella organisation to provide services that are free for all at the point of delivery.
I am proud to be a part of a nation that provides free medical care for all at the point of delivery. While we sometimes complain about some aspects of the NHS, however, we thank God for it and as Christians I believe it to be our moral duty to ensure that we continue to have a health service that is free at the point of need. Historically, Christians have actively cared for the sick and needy.
The Bible does not address healthcare directly but the Bible is definitely pro-health and encourages us to take care of our bodies. Our bodies are creations of God and, for the believer, temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). Luke, who wrote over half of the New Testament, was a healthcare professional (Colossians 4:14), and Paul once advised medical treatment (1 Timothy 5:23). Seeking the physical wellbeing of others (and of oneself) is good and proper.
Taking care of health is biblical and important, for God created us as body, soul, and spirit. We must not ignore the body’s health. Healthcare, in whatever form it takes, is biblical and important, as well. Christians should be involved with preventative healthcare and make plans to deal with injuries and illnesses before they occur.
LONG LIVE NHS WALES!
Ps Arnallt Morgan
Easter - A Time of Renewal
EASTER A TIME OF RENEWAL!
The usual Christian emphasis at Easter is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Christians celebrate Easter because it reveals the heart of Christianity—the story of a God determined to rescue a planet that is out of control.
We hardly need to be reminded that we live in a troubled world. You only have to watch the nightly television news to get a dose of the world’s woes. And so Easter speaks to us of rescue, of renewal and of the way to peace.
The Easter story tells of a God who made the world, saw it crumble and so proceeds to put it back in shape.
Christians believe that the ultimate result of sin is death and because we all have an inherent sinful nature, we have a pretty bleak ending. However, God is passionate about His creation and hatched a rescue plan to end sin and not destroy sinners—at an enormous cost to Himself. Someone with the highest position and greatest authority in the universe could pay the ransom for everyone else. So God sent a member of His own family—His Son, Jesus—to pay that price. We are reminded in the famous words of the gospel of John: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (3:16)
For the Christian world, Easter is a time to celebrate the love of God, as well as to acknowledge the debt that we owe to Jesus Christ. It calls us to revisit the scenes of Jesus’ crucifixion on that first “Good” Friday.
It calls us to recall the early morning stillness of the Sunday morning broken by the pounding of hobnail sandals on the cold, cobbled stones of the streets of Jerusalem, as the soldiers who guarded the dead body in the tomb rushed into the city with the unbelievable cry on their lips, “He’s alive! He’s alive!”
An angel of the Lord had come down in the darkness of that Sunday morning and tossed away the great stone in front of the tomb as if it were a pebble. Jesus walked out and nothing could stop Him.
So we have the vision of a risen Christ who is alive today, who is interested, who seeks His own and who wants to restore the broken relationship between God and humankind.
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive,” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).
God had accomplished His rescue mission, but it was through brokenness and suffering. And this is what Easter is all about—God has settled the score.
It was J Wilbur Chapman who penned the hymn:
One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again
Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Living 2018 Under the Flow of God's Fresh Oil
Oil is the lifeblood of the industrialised nations. Oil has become the world's most important source of energy since the mid-1950s. Its products underpin modern society, mainly supplying energy to power industry, heat homes and provide fuel for vehicles and aeroplanes to carry goods and people all over the world.
In Psalmist in Psalm 92:10 (ESV) we have these words: “You have poured over me fresh oil.”
This is a Psalm known as ‘A song for the Sabbath day.’ It’s a great Psalm and one prepared to be sung when God’s people met for worship on the Sabbath. Its author is unknown but what we do know is that whoever the author was, the psalm was written under divine inspiration.
The real symbol of oil in Scripture becomes clear when we read about Aaron, Israel’s first priest, who was anointed with oil as it consecrated him and his sons to serve as priests for God: “You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests.” (Exodus 30:30)
Oil was also used to anoint kings. Listen to the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 89:20: “I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him.”
In Scripture oil is symbolic of anointing.
As we live 2018 under the flow of God’s oil, what does this mean for me as individual?
Let me make three statements concerning the oil of anointing.
1. LIVING 2018 UNDER THE FLOW OF GOD’S FRESH OIL DOES NOT DEPEND ON OUR HUMAN ABILITIES OR PERFECTIONS
2. LIVING 2018 UNDER THE FLOW OF GOD’S FRESH OIL EMPOWERS FOR SERVICE
3. LIVING 2018 UNDER THE FLOW OF GOD’S FRESH OIL ENABLES THE MIRACELOUS
Note from the words of the Psalmist, it’s not 2017 oil or 1917 oil but “you have poured over me fresh oil.”
I don’t want the anointing of Spurgeon, Lloyd Jones or D.P. Williams, beneficial though it was for them and under that anointing they did great things for God. However, by 2018 it’s past its ‘sell by date.’ The Psalmist declares: “you have poured over me fresh oil.”………..and that’s what I want!
It was Bolton who prayed:
“Under the anointing daily let me live,
A priest and king;
Relying not on fleshly energy,
Thy smile to win”
Ps Arnallt Morgan
If there is a word that we often use to describe what Christmas is all about, it’s the little word “joy.” Several of our favorite carols mention it: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come,” “O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,” “Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice,” “Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies, with th’ angelic host proclaim, ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem.’” It’s so easy to feel joy when we sing these wonderful songs.
At the heart of the Christmas message is joy. Unfortunately, too often we’ve got the wrong idea about joy. We tend to connect it with happiness and think that joy depends on our circumstances. You can’t have joy by going from one party to another or frantically racing through the shopping quadrant and out of town shopping centres. In fact, going shopping at Christmas time can become an excellent way to lose our joy.
Where does Christmas joy come from? Listen to the words of Luke 2:8-10 and see if you can discover the answer: “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
The angel came with: “good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” What is this “good news of great joy?” Verse 11 has the answer. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
If you are looking for Christmas joy, I suggest that you can find all you need in this single verse. The joy of Christmas is JESUS, a Saviour has been born.
Have you made room for Jesus in your 2017 Christmas celebrations? If not, why not?
Have a joyous Christmas!
Ps Arnallt Morgan