Maundy Thursday, The Day Before Good Friday

I suppose that my parents must have had their disagreements, but I can never remember them ever raising their voices or shouting either to each other, or to us children. But I do remember my mother showing her great annoyance to my father on one occasion.

My father was a keen gardener and he loved his roses, the sight of horse manure laying in the road outside our house was too much for him, armed with a bucket and spade he went out and collected it to feed his roses. I recall mother saying over and over again “What will the neighbors say”.

As a child living in London in those days I was used to most of the traffic being horse drawn. People on horse back, carriages, buses and carts of all kinds were horse drawn, They drank from horse-troughs made for them, and ate from nose-bags as they worked . This meant that the roads were toilets for countless horses used every day all day.

Think for a moment what the narrow streets of Jerusalem were like in the days of Jesus. Horses, donkeys, and camels fouling where people had to walk. So the first task when entering a house was to wash the feet. This job was given to the lowest slave, and near the door there always stood large pots of water for that purpose.

Remember the wedding Jesus and His disciples attended ? the pots were empty for all the guests had arrived. When Jesus met with His disciples for the last supper, the Thursday before Good Friday, there was no slave to wash feet. Jesus poured water into a basin, took a towel, and knelt before each one and did the task of the lowest slave. Little wonder that Peter did not want his master Jesus to wash his feet (read John Ch13.v1 to 17)

Did you know that some four hundred years ago our Queen Elizabeth I st each year of her reign did what our Queen still does today on Maundy Thursday? Distributes the Maundy Money, but not in fine silk purses as today, but also she would kneel before each one and wash and kiss their feet. She was showing the humility of her Lord as a slave; and also acting as the head of The Church of England, whose task was to serve. She was doing in effect what Jesus has said we all should do.

“If I your Lord and Master have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet

I have shown you an example”.

I leave with you this thought. In this our generation we need, not so much a basin of water, but prayerful love for others to help them to be better than they are, by our humble service and care always toward them. If our Lord could kneel and do the work of the lowest house slave, let us pray that we might do the same, and by His power achieve it.

Greetings from Gerald Gossage.

Jesus Made a Will

After a person dies, very often a strange event takes place. The Family meet for the reading of the will, and are curious to know what will happen to the deceased possessions.

As far as we know Jesus left nothing of this world’s goods, His clothing became the property of the soldiers, and they gambled for possession of his robe. BUT Jesus did leave something. The words of this well known hymn tells us what the scriptures teach.

“Our Blessed Redeemer, ere He breathed His tender last farewell.,

A Guide and comforted bequeathed with us to dwell”.

Jesus left us part of God, The Holy Spirit..

Don’t think of God or Heaven as being like people or the world. Made of material. God is Spirit, and we who worship Him are to worship Him in spirit. (and truth)

My body that people see and can touch is only the case I live in. Like the house I live in or the car I sit in. That is not the real me, I am the spiritual real person. Inside. . Soon my body will be a small pile of ashes, But I shall be in Paradise with my Lord. (like the repentant thief on the cross)

What then is the gift that Jesus gives us ? Verse 2 of that hymn reminds us that Jesus received the Holy Spirit like a dove bringing peace and love. This was what He needed to face temptation in the wilderness. Verse 3=

The Disciples received The Spirit as what seemed to be flames and a rushing mighty wind. (Acts Ch2 v2-4)

Before He came, they were shut in the upper room for fear of an arrest. After they threw back the bolts of the doors and rushed out to speak in peoples own language about Jesus.

You are spirit, and the gift that Jesus offered us soon after is death and resurection is The Holy Spirit, His Spirit, part of God. He will come to those who seek Him.

How does this work out in practice ? Let me tell you how it was for me.

There was a time in my life when I gave myself to God, with all that I had and was,Since then He has taken over, and I do whatever He tells me to do, knowing it is not me doing things, it is Jesus, through The Holy Spirit.

If you continue to commit yourself to God every day, and every part of the day, if you constantly talk to Him and He is with you, if you read His Word, live always in Him, you will have a great life, with a great God.

“Every virtue we possess, and every victory won And every thought of holiness are His alone.”

The Holy Spirit is not just for Whitsun, He’s with us for always. Just ask for Him !

(It is great preparation for living for ever in heaven !)

Christian Love from Gerald Gossage.

A Christian Helper Just for You

Perhaps one of the best, most successful, and well loved Generals of world war II was General Montgomery. Before he left the Eighth Army in 1944 he took over an opera house in Italy to say his “goodbyes”. The packed crowd saw him not just as a General but as a friend in whom they had every confidence, and here was a General who had absolute confidence in every man.

The secret of that success was expressed as the General was leaving the stage. Some Private shouted out “Good Old Monty!” . Montgomery turned and shouted “Cheerio Boys”.

Do you think of Jesus as even more highly than that ? How is THAT relationship ?

A crow was dying of thirst and could find nothing to drink. Then after much searching he found a narrow necked jug with some water right at the bottom. He tried so hard but the neck of the jug was too narrow for him to reach the water, he tried to knock the jug over or break it but he was unable to do so. Looking around he saw a small area where there were some small pebbles, he flew there and slowly, one at a time, he picked up pebbles and dropped them into the jug. As the pebbles began to fill the jug so the water got nearer to the top which encouraged him to keep collecting stones and put them in. He was soon drinking.

If God has given you a talent which can serve Him, search for ways in which you can best use that talent, and don’t give up working on it until you achieve your goal. All talented people have to work and practice at their skills before they reach their best.

Never forget what Jesus said “Without Me, you can do nothing”. It is He who does the work. At the age of fifteen I became a Lay Preacher and I started a habit which I always used through my long preaching life.

I prayed to be given the theme that God wanted me to preach upon. I prayed to be guided with the preparation. I always knelt and prayed before it’s delivery to the people.

Do not expect to see the results of your service to God, although you might be so rewarded sometimes, when you can thank God for what He has done.

I was greatly encouraged one Sunday when I was about to take my last service before moving away from the district in Wales. The Church Secretary said “We are going to greatly miss your ministry when your have gone”. I replied that I doubted this and that by the following Sunday no one would even remember what I had preached about. She proceeded to quote to me three sermons that I had preached which had made a great impression on her, one a year ago. All I could say to her was Thank God for this, it was not me that did it.

Your life should be one of fulfilling God’s purpose in creating you, You have the talents He has given you. Don’t belittle them, pray for help to develop them and use them.

Encourager … Gerald Gossage

You Can’t Help Laughing !

I must confess that I love slapstick comedy. One person throws a custard pie at another, he ducks, and the chap behind him gets it right in the face. Why do we laugh when someone falls over, or does something stupid? I just don’t know, but we all still enjoy a laugh.    What is it that is so funny when a man carrying a plank turns to look in another direction, and the plank hits and knocks someone off his feet ?   And why is being hit or kicked on the bottom so much more humours than being hit or kicked in any other part of the anatomy ?  The old act of hanging wallpaper has brought a real laugh in countless generations before us, and we still see the funny side of the assistant getting the paste brush wiped across the face, and the descending man on the ladder putting his foot into the paste bucket.

On the whole the Bible seems a serious book, perhaps that is because it has to do with the faults, failings and behaviour of sinful people, but I am now convinced that our Great Creator God has a humorous side to His nature. You have only to look at some of the animals He made to imagine Him laughing at His efforts.

Was there no smile on Jesu’s face as He said some people “Strain at a gnat and swallow a camel”. Or “a camel going through the eye of a needle”, (in spite of the straight explanation that has been made).

Can you really believe that God does not have a good laugh at some of the situations we find so funny ?   Surely you cannot think that our eternal future is going to be sombre and serious, and that we will not have happy, humorous , and hilarious times of fun together with Him in His wonderful Kingdom.

We are made in the image of our God therefore our enjoyment of that which is funny must surely come from Our Creator.

There is one more thing to be said on this subject. In your conversations with God, have you never laughed with Him ? Has He never laughed at your silly ways or made you see the funny side ? He has with me, often !After all, just what have we got to be serious or miserable about when He has blotted out all our sins, and saved us, and made us inheritors of His Kingdom. I look forward to seeing YOU in heaven, for we shall have much to laugh over when we share the slapstick events of our lives.

When reading my first book one lady said that she laughed so much at something I related, that tears ran down her face, When God saw it happen can you doubt that He laughed too, or that He thinks of it sometimes with a big smile on His wonderful face ?

Try to see the funny side of life, enjoy life. Laughter is good for you, and part of the joy of The Lord.

Christian love…   Gerald Gossage.

I Still Travel “The Long Road of Miracles”.

Some may know that I was rushed to Musgrove Hospital early in February, and following a “Scan” it was discovered that I had a tumour growing in my brain, and it was bleeding.I was in hospital for some time, and have been put on steroids..I know that many people have been praying for me, and I was to thank all those who did, and to share my news about Our Wonderful Lord God and what He has done.

In mid-June I had a second “Scan” , and waited (not very patiently) for the result, and felt that The Lord was smiling at me and saying “ just you wait”. When the interview finally came, the doctor said “I don’t know what you have done, but it is the best news possible, There is no tumour there, it has gone, the gland is back to normal size and now there is nothing wrong ”.He said “my colleagues and I had decided that we would have to operate to remove the growth going up through the nose, but there is nothing there to remove. I want to make one important test and then you can go home cured”. He later phoned me to say the test shows that I could come off steroids at once, everything is back to normal”.

I Know That It Is My Lord Jesus Who Has Healed Me ! Please , please Thank Him for the answer to our prayers.

Now, let me tell you an old story about an Irish woman who was always telling tales and gossip about other people. One day she found out that one of her tales had caused a great deal of trouble, and hurt a number of people. For the first time she felt dreadfully sorry and being a good Roman Catholic she visited the priest to confess what she had done and ask what she must do.She was told that as a penance she must go to the market the next day and buy two chickens, and as she walked home with them she was to pluck them. When she had done this she was to go back to the priest to be told what she must do next.

The simple woman did as she was told and returned to the priest who told her to go and find every feather she had plucked from those two chickens. It was an impossible task she found.

(The Bible’s letter of James Ch3) says that the tongue is a little member of the body but has very great power. We can never know what influence our speech can have on other people. That Irish woman caused trouble with it, So can we. BUT the Holy Spirit can use our communications with God and others to perform His miracles of goodness, and, like scattered feathers, we cannot know just what our words and prayers will achieve. .Pray that your words will bless not cause unhappiness, and Never be careless in your prayers, you are communicating with the greatest power in the universe, and with one who loves to hear everything that comes from your heart.

Thanks for your love and prayers. Gerald Gossage