Finding The Missing Peace

Friday, January 28, 2022

A refugee's gratitude

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Eric Schwam died in December 2020, at 90 years of age. His entire estate, the total was thought to be around Euro 2 million (£1.7 million), was bequeathed to a village, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, in south-east France. Why would anyone be so generous? Eric, an Austrian Jew, arrived there with his parents and grandmother in 1943, fleeing from the Nazis. We do not know how the refugee family got there. They had previously been held at Rivesaltes camp, a military facility in southern France used to intern civilians, before its closure in 1942.

The village people hid them in the local school, where they remained, undiscovered, until the end of the Second World War. Mr. Schwam intimated that the legacy was ‘in gratitude for the welcome he received 78 years ago’. Le Chambon-sur-Lignon had a reputation for protecting thousands of Jews, shielding people from persecution, and being a place of refuge dating back to the French Protestant Huguenots. The village, which currently has about 2,500 people, undoubtedly never expected such a generous payback decades later. 


Sunday, January 23, 2022

Caught by his own camera

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

In recent years, many car drivers have installed dashboard cameras, so that, if they are involved in an accident, the footage can be used to help establish liability. The trend has also been taken up by some cyclists, who have cameras fitted, not only for use in case of accidents, but also for recording careless driving by motorists. The photographic evidence is then forwarded to the authorities, and those who pose a danger to cyclists can be prosecuted, even if no collision has occurred. A couple of years ago, a cyclist in Ireland successfully implicated two drivers by this method. However, to his dismay, the investigators, on examining his video, found that he too had been guilty of breaking the law during his journey, and he was prosecuted, along with the drivers he had filmed.

In the early chapters of the Epistle to the Romans, Paul shows how people are guilty of having broken, not the laws of the road, but the Law of God: the holy, righteous standard that He demands of all mankind. In Romans 2.1-3, Paul addresses someone who criticises others for their misdeeds, but who, in doing this, is condemning himself, for he does "the same things". He states that God will judge everyone according to righteous principles, and that no-one should think that he will "escape the judgment of God". Like the cyclist, we may try to pronounce others guilty, but in so doing we are declaring our own guilt, for "there is none righteous, no, not one" Romans 3.10. "What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3.19,22,23. We are all "without excuse" Romans 1.20, and deserve "wrath, tribulation and anguish" Romans 2.9.


Friday, January 21, 2022


All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

None of us likes to be deceived, yet we may be subject to some kind of deception almost every day. Perhaps you have been deceived in the purchase of some commodity; for example, if the car you bought was ‘clocked’. That means the milometer (the device recording the number of miles the vehicle has travelled) had been turned back to give the impression that the distance travelled was a lot smaller than the true mileage. Along with this, the price was increased because supposedly you were buying ‘a very nice low mileage car’. Sometimes a soccer player is tackled and the tackler hardly touches him but he rolls around the turf so that the referee is deceived into awarding a ‘free kick’. Many people have been deceived by politicians who promised lots but delivered little.

We remember, when we were at school, the excuses we made because we did not have our homework done. We deceived the teacher. One of the worst deceptions was when we deceived our parents by lying to them about places we had been and the company we were with. As we look back over the past our cheeks blush and we feel most uncomfortable.


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Start the year well

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

A New Year brings fresh challenges and opportunities, but life is unpredictable! At times, the variety life brings can be very exciting, but sometimes it’s a bit frightening. Problems at home, business pressures, ongoing Covid related issues, and uncertainty! The speed of change and our helplessness to manage events can be disconcerting! Yet, as mere mortals, we cannot control our circumstances and must try to cope with what seems inevitable as well as we possibly can.

There are many situations like this in life. Sometimes illness cannot be avoided, we are affected by what other people do, and often things are out of our control. We are quite skilful at coping most of the time, but sometimes we just have to ‘go with the flow’. I am not a laid-back type of person, so I often wonder what it must be like to be relaxed and unaffected by changeable circumstances.

The ultimate uncontrollable event is death. It creeps up on every one of us. We may prolong life and improve the quality of our twilight years, but we cannot evade death in the long term! But I believe, and the Bible teaches, there is hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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