Paxtonvic’s Blog

Just another weblog

Clocks spring forward an hour… dont get to church late!

Expect you all know that the clocks spring forward an hour  at  1 am – meaning, that it might feel very early tomorrow when waking up. Not a problem if you can have a lie in, but relevant if you are a vicar person and need to get to church on time….

Apparantly, its all due to a man called Wliiam Willett and Im sure you would all like  to read about him and how due to his campaigning, Daylight Saving Time was introduced into the UK in 1916.

Here is the link to a site which tells you a bit more about him:

– and Wikipedia has a lot more information about the topic.

And, even more excitement, tomorrow we fill in our 2011 Census forms. To me, its so important to be part of history. I rave over the old census records as they reveal my ancestors going about their daily lives. And I hope in 3011 my forebears will look back and see me residing at the vicarage.

Back in 1911 one Emily Wilding Davison hid herself in a broom cupboard  in the House of Commons on census night in protest at the questions that were asked about women on the 1911 version. She was a suffragette – and years later MP Tony Benn thought she deserved a plaque in the cupboard to honour her. Emily was killed in 1913 when she threw herself under the Kings Horse at the Epsom Derby giving her cause great publicity.

I wonder how manyyoung women  realise what early 20th century women had to go through to gain the right to vote?

Time for bed – and to have an extra hours snooze before midnight.

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coming to Jesus under cover of darkness

The Gospel for tomorrow is based on the story of Nicodemus from John Chapter 3 v 1-17.

I start off with a thank you to our regular givers for keeping the good ship St James afloat financially… then get into the gospel itself.

But like many Im sure the developments this evening in Libya overshadow my thoughts and I know I havent been able to make a satisfactory link between anything Ive written and this new conflict the UK is heading in to.


I would like to first of all say a big thank you. When ever I did this, some of you were going to be away – but for those who are here today, I want to say a big thank you for all your generous financial giving in 2010. The end of year accounts have been drawn up by Peter, and they show a remarkable level of sustained regular giving – infact as you might have read in 3 in1, £605 was given every week in 2010 to help pay the necessary £631  on weekly expenditure. All this on top of the money that has been steadily raised through the CHUFT appeal.

Many things provide the foundations for a secure and thriving church community, and I  have to honest and say without the backbone of regular giving our church community here in Little Paxton  wouldn’t be here, there wouldn’t be a Vicar, the building wouldn’t be sustainable and we wouldn’t not be in the process of major works for improvement and development. Hence my big thank you.

There is always an opportunity for regular givers to review their giving. There may be a need to reduce what is being given, there may be the possibility of increasing. There may be new people who would like to set up a regular giving arrangement. But above all, every year around this time it is so important to say thank you. We all know that giving isn’t just in monetary ways and so I must add another foundation of our church, just as important – the many hours that are given voluntarily by so many of you. Onwards and upwards as the cliché goes… not least as we look up towards the bell tower and eagerly anticipate the arrival of builders and bell hangers after Easter.

I wonder what for you provides the foundation for your every day living? What is it that makes you feel safe and secure and enables you to face each day with confidence?

Some of you might say – it’s my family and loved ones who give a sense of stability, some of you might say its my faith or outlook on life. Others of you might add that the security of having a home and food and an income of some sort provides a sense of well being.

As we all only too aware ,9 days ago a massive earth quake under the sea off the northern coast of Japan shook the foundations of much that had provided stability and security for the peoples of the Japan especially those in coastal regions who felt the full force of the ensuing Tsunami. Thousands of people have been killed and tens of thousands are without homes and food. Now the added threat of radiation from malfunctioning nuclear power stations adds more uncertainty to an already harrowing situation. I was listening to Radio 4 as I drove to Diocesan Synod yesterday morning in Ely and a Japanese lady was interviewed who is living in London but who has relatives in Japan. When asked what sustained people in her native country when faced with earthquakes, she replied that the Shinto faith which many in Japan follow gives them courage and dignity when faced with danger – and one of the things many of the English commentators have commented on is the way that people kept calm in the face of events that would terrify most of us.

Maybe you might like to explore this Shinto faith in more depth ( Shinto meaning The Way of the Gods” )

Natural disasters bring home perhaps more than anything else to us that much of what we in the west often take us strong foundations in out lives, not least our material possessions  can so easily be swept away by events that cant be predicted and controlled.

So where do we turn with confidence to find foundations that will abide in  good times and in harder times? What can we believe in that gives real depth and meaning to our lives? A God who we assume  will keep us safe from harm at all times rings a bit too hollow when faced with the apparent capriciousness of the natural world and unpredictable personal troubles.

This was the serious question which a man called Nicodemus had on his heart one night as he came to Jesus under cover of darkness. He was a learned Jewish man, his faith would have had the strongest foundations in the OT scriptures,  the Jewish law, the Torah, and his belief in the one God who led the Israelite people out of Egypt.  So why was he bothering with Jesus? What more was he looking for?

We might find the answer to this question if we find out a bit more about him. And thanks to John’s gospel, we can do that.

First, we know that Nicodemus was a Pharisee (v1). This was a sect within Judaism  strongly committed to a particular understanding of God’s law and how it should be observed. It was very reliant on tradition.  They received prominence in the gospels because they appeared to be a  major source of opposition to Jesus.

Second, we know that Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council. This had a combination of a legal and an administrative function and members of it were  particularly sharp. Nicodemus therefore probably had a  forensic mind, and a keen interest in any new religious movements.

Third, we can be fairly sure that he was well respected. The phrase ‘Israel’s teacher’ (v10) was an honorary title and the fact that Jesus called him this meant that this respect was widespread. This was a person who was a well-regarded senior religious figure.

Nicodemus comes to see Jesus. He doesn’t bump into Jesus in the street, he makes his own way to Jesus. Given his status in society this was a risky thing to do. So, he comes at night so that there is less chance of being seen.  We have to take Nicodemus seriously as someone who is prepared to put themselves on the line to meet Jesus he was above all a keen seeker for meaning and truth in his life.

Nicodemus was also someone who was eager to learn.

When John wrote that Nicodemus came to him in the night, he means much more than he came under cover of darkness. He implies too that he came in spiritual darkness, searching for light. He asks Jesus questions and he receives some surprising answers.

First, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again, that a radical change must take place within him “ of water and spirit” . This is all very puzzling

Jesus goes on to say that he himself is the key to being born again (v13-15).

In v14 he highlights his own central place in this process being born again.

He refers to the story in Numbers 21:4-9  where the people of Israel are punished for  their lack of faithfulness by finding venomous snakes around them. They repent and when a bronzen serpent is made  and held up by Moses one look at it and the people are healed of their snake bites and live.

Its all very difficult for Nicodemus to understand – Jesus goes on to say that when he, The Son of  Man,  is lifted high on the cross those who believe in him will have eternal life – this is all part of Gods redemptive plan for the world.

Jesus is saying that entry to the kingdom of God is not based on fulfilling laws or having certain religious experiences but undergoing the radical transformation that God wants to give us all, a new heart and a new spirit. Moreover, that new creation is to be reached through Jesus himself, through faith in him, and his death on the cross.

No wonder Nicodemus was confused – his whole religious outlook was undergoing a seismic change – the foundations of his life were moving  in a dramatic way. There were hard lessons he was needing to learn – that this man he was encountering, Jesus, was the passport to eternal life. It was in his very meeting with Jesus – with Jesus stealing into his life – that he would be reborn.

.Just one more word about Nicodemus. The writer of Johns gospel wants to follow through with this man.

Chapter  7:50. We find Nicodemus standing up for Jesus when temple guards complain about his teaching  during the Feast of Tabernacles.  Nicodemus enters as the voice of reason  He is not aligning himself with Jesus clearly but he is being very brave.

The second passage occurs after the death of Jesus (19:38-42). As recorded in the other gospels Joseph of Arimathea takes away the body of Jesus to bury it. But John also records that he was accompanied by Nicodemus who brings a large mixture of spices which were used to treat Jesus’ body. Presumably Nicodemus had servants or other ways of carrying all those spices. He and Joseph wrap the body and place it in the tomb.

The fact that Nicodemus is one of the two who buries Jesus, who did not flee as the disciples did, must mean that he had become a follower of Jesus. His being born again and coming into the light of Jesus meant that he became a follower of his saviour.

The man who came to Jesus at night found the light of life. That encounter with Jesus gave him a new and abiding foundation with which to live out the rest of his life.

May our encounters with Jesus continually change our lives to so that instead of hitting rock bottom when faced with  bewildering suffering, whether ours or others peoples,  we may find our rock and salvation, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


March 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Prayers for Japan

Thanks to our ALM Nick for sending these prayers and readings on from a friend in Scotland – they may be useful when praying for the desperate situation in Japan.

A baby is tested for radiation.


Prayers following the 2011 Japanese Earthquake & Tsunami

Turn your ear to me;

be swift to answer when I call.

Lord, hear my prayer,

and let my cry come before you.

Do not hide your face from me

in the day of my trouble:

Let us Pray:

Eternal God, who loves us with an everlasting love,
and can turn the shadow of death into the morning;

hear us as now we pray to you

in the quiet of these moments;

as we remember the stricken nation of Japan.

Speak to us of eternal things,
that we may have hope,
and be lifted above our darkness and distress
into the light and peace of your presence.


Compassionate God,

we pray for the people of Japan in this time of tragedy.

we pray for calm and a settling of fear…

we pray for rescue for those who are trapped…

we pray for peace for those whose loved ones are lost…

Grant strength and wisdom to those who come

to the aid of those stricken,

healing for the injured,

and comfort for the bereaved;

in Jesus name.


A Reading from Romans 8:

If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let us pray:

Gracious God,

through your Son you have taught us

that nothing in life or in death

is able to separate us from your love.

Look in mercy on all

to whom great sorrow and suffering

tragedy and terror has come

through the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Help those who are injured,

and support those who are dying.

Strengthen the members

of the emergency services,

aid agencies,


and all who are seeking to bring rescue and relief,

comfort and compassion.

Console and protect

those who have lost loved ones.

Give your light in darkness

to all who are near to despair,

and assure them of your upholding presence,

comforting peace,

and eternal promises;

through Jesus Christ our risen Lord.


March 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Problems with hymns…

Too tired now to make theological sense of the destruction of earthquakes, but somehow the kids song I was going to do in the morning:

” My God is so big, so strong and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do,

The mountains are his and rivers are his and thew stars are his handiwork too”

feels  bit too simplistic..

and, oh dear, the ” Like a mighty river flowing… ” hymn for evensong chosen before the Japanese earthquake errupted is a bit insenstive now….

How about ” God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform”

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Um… how do we feel about saying he rides on the storm of a Tsunami?

I quit – the only hymn which copes with all of this for me is:

. God is Love; and love enfolds us,a

all the world in one embrace:

with unfailing grasp God holds us,

every child of every race.

And when human hearts are breaking

under sorrow’s iron rod,

then we find that self-same aching

deep within the heart of God.

March 12, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

” The wonders of the Universe” – Brian Cox’s new series reviewed

I’m a bit biased, but Adele my daughter has blogged on Professor Brian Cox’s

” Wonders of the Universe”  BBC TV programme and there is a link to her blog on the BBC tv web-site about the programme:

Here is Adele’s link:

“Life is just a temporary structure on the long road from Past to Future” – so Adele writes…..and goes on..

Cox likens a photograph of the Earth taken from Saturn, in fact the most distant image we have of our planet that exists in the world today, to demonstrating in a very profound way ‘perhaps one of the most human of qualities, our unique ability to reflect on the universe’s existence and our place within it’. This statement is pinnacle to how we can view old family and ancestral photographs; they are our source of understanding where we came from and why we are here, our origins, and everything we should be thankful for.

After you consider exactly how fleeting, insanely temporary and insignificant we are in the universe, photographs highlight and concrete miniscule moments in time that we should feel grateful for; tiny in the grand scheme of things but epic to our own worlds. I find the grand and the trivial to be not so different and it is these small documents of emotions and occasions which make our life so magnificent.


If you scroll down her article you will a picture of me when I discovered grafitti on Sheepy Church wall – its wierd finding mysef there….

Adele  concludes: As I mentioned in a previous post, walls are a canvas, a canvas for memory and history and photographing them is an act of appreciation for small and large moments gone.

Im only sorry I just dont have/make enough time to see Adele and talk wih her I wish this job I do wasnt all consuming…..

A bit later…so I rang her up and we had a lovely chat. She said some people had mistook her for Professor Brian in her blog writing, so she has cleared that up with a post! The only downer in her blogging was a fundamentalist Christian who wrote that he was worred that she wasnt saved… she wrote a long rebuff to his words – saying amongt other things that her mother was a Vicar – not that such a fact gives guarantee of salvation!

March 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Old Age

Ne pereant lege mane rosas: cito virgo senescit (Florus)

“Pick roses in the morning, before they fade: a young woman ages quickly”

Im fascinated by people who live to a very old age. Recently, Ive taken several funerals of men and women who have made 100 years – or beyond and their life histories are engrossing. There arent too many now who can say they were born in the Edwardian era – two 100 year olds whose funerals I took just missed out by a few months being Edwardian babies.

Invariably for these grand old people, life for them was very tough as children and again I find it incredible that for those whose minds arent effected by dementia their memories ( according to their families) are still very sharp ( or as is often said) they have all their marbles.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for the old boys who survived their second world war service and are brave enough to tell the tales. My dear old grandfather had such a bad time in the first world war he would never talk about it.  The Father of one lady whose funeral I took last week was so badly scarred mentally in the 1st word war that when he came home, he was unable to work again. The famaily lived in poverty in a fenland town – one reason why when she was older, she had a dread of being cold.

I find many elderly people very lovely  – and rather disagree with my bit of Latin above – although looks may fade,  the character, the spirit of a gracious and loving old person is a beautiful thing to behold.

Yes, I know some  folk can become difficult in later life and illness can take such a toll that unhappiness takes over….. but that makes me feel all the more that care of  our elderly folk with dignity and patience should be at the heart of a caring society.

I hope that one day, when Im very old ( should I reach that status) someone will listen to my story, endure looking at the newspaper reports about me as the ” toilet vicar” ( Ive just found a pile of them in a box!) and treat me with respect. And keep me in chocolate.

Mike and his grandma – 2009

March 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Ash Wednesday


So today Lent begins, I hope you all enjoyed pancakes yesterday, and perhaps some of you will refrain from eating flour, meat eggs and fat?

Unlikely I guess

We don’t really give up foods these days for Lent, like many of the old customs this tradition has died out. But the meaning of some of old Lenten practices  if understood can  benefit us when considering how to approach these days leading up to Easter.

Ash Wednesday Service is one such custom.

There was an ancient Biblical tradition of covering one’s head with ashes, wearing sackcloth, and fasting to express sorrow for sins and a wish to be forgiven by God.  These ancient practices may well be off the radar of modern Christians, as indeed are the strong words which  would have been heard by faithful  parishioners on Ash Wednesday from the  1662 BCP.  From “The Commination”

“ Let us remember the dreadful judgement hanging over our heads and always ready to fall upon us. Let us return to our Lord God with all contrition and meekness of heart, bewailing and lamenting our sinful life. Its is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. He shall pour down rain upon the sinners, snares, fire and brimstone, storm and tempest – this should be their portion to drink”


We can only imagine how parishioners, young and old, rich and poor, hearty or infirm, received these dire warnings of the consequence of sin.  The threat of God’s wrath upon – to quote from another prayer in the commination,

“ thy servants who are vile earth and miserable sinners”  – must have engendered fear in the hearts of those with little theological sophistication. The fear of not being right with God before death and judgement must have stalked many an earlier generation of Christians.


We don’t subject ourselves to these strong words now, but one tradition which many churches still practice is that of ashing. Many of us wear a cross as a piece of jewelry but which also hopefully has a much greater significance than just an adornment.

The cross which we wear on this one day of the year is certainly different to jewelry –  It is the real deal. I want to consider this cross under three words which I think summarise what it is about.


The sign of the cross on our foreheads is a sign of mortality. The use of ashes, made by burning palm crosses from the previous Palm Sunday, is very symbolic.

As the cross is marked on our foreheads, the priest says, you are created from dust, and to dust you will return. Ashes are reminders to us of our mortality. God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God, human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes. This helps us to be mindful and live in the light of our ultimate accountability before God. There is nothing of which we may boast of ourselves, only of God.


Ashes are a symbol of suffering and mourning. Not because we have to endure a sparse Lent devoid of chocolate, but rather because we are sorry for that which is wrong in or lives and we want to change or to use the religious word – repent.  Repent means literally to turn around from the way of life we have led and point in a new direction – towards more Godly living.

It is not fashionable to repent any more either. Increasingly we are told that our sin is the responsibility of our parents, our upbringing, our lack of opportunities or whatever.

Ashes are a recognition that we know there are things which we can do to change and be better people, better Christians. The ashes are a symbol of  regret  for that which is wrong in our lives and a willingness to try and change. To wear this cross is not about having a nice piece of jewellery, it is about being prepared to change for the better

This is out of step with the world around us, like so much of our faith, it is counter culture. But I like the bravery of the gesture of taking the palms of the crowds, the shallow adoration of the masses, the triumphalism which Jesus so rejected, and using those same palms which the crowds waved, to make the crosses which mark out the faithful few.

This bring me to the last word and I will use the word comfort


The church has, quite rightly, been accused of making people feel bad about themselves, and that is true. We should never forget the tremendous privilege of being human, created by God. This is a wonderful thing, and the church has for too long focussed on our vileness and unworthiness.

But Ash Wednesday and what I have said about mortality and repentance, is not about making people feel bad about themselves.

The mortality and repentance of Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are all equal before God. Not one of us is better than anybody else. We all fall short and have no claim upon God’s attention because we are more wonderful human being. That is strangely a message of comfort!

The human tendency to think ourselves better than others is not a nice one. Pride is a sin. However the abandonment of pride can lead to the discovery of great personal spiritual development. Released from the need to be beautiful, clever, successful we can discover more of what God wants us to be.

May Ash Wednesday and all of Lent mean these things to us this year and many more besides.


March 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Send us out into the world….


Leaving Diddington Church at 5.15pm in early spring sunshine.

Light, brickwork, beckoning spring green…


Click on the image to get the full effect of the sunlight on the different textures…..



March 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A new Bishop for Ely

I do like a good enthronement!

I was fortunate to be part of a very large crowd of people who came to celebrate the new ministry of Bishop Stephen Conway last Saturday in Ely Cathedral.

The Church of England does do these occasion really very well – even though as the long service moved thorugh its gracious stages, some of us got colder and colder. No matter, I hope our hearts were warmed with the excitement of having a new Diocesan Bishop with all the hope for renewal and growth that it brings.

As is customary, Bishop Stephen knocked on the great west door three times ( actually six times as he was a bit quick off the mark the first time and had to repeat it again a few minutes later!)

Here are some of his words delivered  during his sermon:

“I look forward joyfully to being at the heart of this pilgrim band with all who want to join in during the years to come. I shall be a pilgrim in all of our communities as this year progresses.

“I have met nothing but love and hospitality so far, both from clergy and other colleagues, from friends in sister churches, and from people in the wider community with whom I look to be partners in serving the common good”

You can read his full sermon if you go to Bishop David’s link: or the Diocesan web-site….

I wonder if Bishop Stephen will compose a blog??

Got another busy week – havent been blogging much myself  due to the need to be out in the field of life….. but I sure do meet some interesting people and eat some tasty cheese scones!

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the Transfiguration

Short sermon on transfiguration.

There is a mysterious story in 2 Kings that can help us understand what is happening in the story of Jesus’ transfiguration.

Israel is at war with Aram and Elisha the man of God is using his prophetic powers to reveal the strategic plans of the Aramean army to the Israelites. At first the King of Aram thinks that one of his officers is playing the spy but when he learns the truth he despatches troops to go and capture Elisha who is residing in Dothan. The Aramean troops move in under cover of darkness and surround the city. In the morning Elisha’s servant is the first to discover that they are trapped and fears for his master’s safety.

He runs to Elisha and says, “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” The prophet answers, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” But who would believe that when the surrounding mountainside is covered with advancing enemy troops?

So Elisha prays, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opens the servant’s eyes, and he looks and sees the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:8-23).

This vision was all that Elisha’s disciple needed to reassure him. At the end of the story, not only was the prophet of God safe but the invading army was totally humiliated.

This story can help us understand what is going on in the transfiguration because at this stage in his public ministry Jesus is very much like Elisha being hemmed in on every side by his foes.

His disciples, and Peter in particular, feel very much like the servant of Elisha, afraid and anxious for their master’s safety. Remember that just before the transfiguration Jesus asked his disciples whom the people and they themselves think he is. When Peter gives the correct answer the he is Christ the son of the living God, Jesus congratulates him and then proceeds to warn them and prepare them for his unavoidable suffering, death and resurrection. But Peter is so unprepared for this that he protests visibly. He takes Jesus aside and begins to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he says. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus sharply corrects him, telling him that he is seeing things from a purely human point of view (Matthew 16:13-23).

Like Elisha’s servant, Peter needed a vision from God’s point of view, to see that in spite of the death sentence hanging over the head of Jesus, God is still with him, God is still in control of events, God will see to it that in the end he triumphs over his foes as Elisha did. What Peter and his fellow disciples needed was for God to open their eyes and them give them a glimpse of God’s abiding presence with their master Jesus. The transfiguration is that experience.

Peter was preoccupied for the safety of his master just as the servant of Elisha was. But when his eyes were opened at the transfiguration and he saw his master Jesus bathed in the glory of the divine presence his fear evaporated. And Jesus turns to him [them] and says “Get up now, stop being afraid.” This is a more exact rendering of the Greek present tense imperative of prohibition.

Every time we gather for the Eucharist we can experience a moment of transfiguration when we meet with our risen Lord in the forms of bread and wine.   May the reassurance of God’s loving presence with us at communion take away all fear and doubt from our hearts and strengthen us to get up and face with courage the challenges and trials amidst the pleasures of our daily lives. Amen.

2 Kings 6 v 8-23

Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

The man of God  Elisha sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.”  So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

“None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

“Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.”  Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.

Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria.

After they entered the city, Elisha said, “LORD, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the LORD opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?”

“Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.”  So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

March 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment