A useful children’s talk
Some little while ago we had a visit from a very good friend of ours, Pastor Peter Hulland, of nearby Stanton Lees Chapel. Peter preached at our morning service on that particular Lord’s Day. He spoke to the children present, and as always the adults also received great benefit from the ‘Children’s Talk’.
Now, Peter and his wife Vivian have great fondness for a really beautiful part of our country, the Lake District, in North West England, and will often take their annual holidays there, staying somewhere around Keswick. It was on one such trip that Peter found the inspiration for the talk that he gave to the children. I perhaps should have mentioned that Peter likes fishing, and his knowledge of things associated with fishing helped him in explaining to us one particular experience he had on one of his holiday visits to the Lake District.
Peter and Vivian were staying in a very nice holiday cottage, and had gone to bed at the end of an interesting day. They had been in bed a few hours, but were awoken by what they thought was the sound of rain tapping on the roof as it fell. As beautiful as the Lake District is, it can, on occasions, receive quite a bit of rain. They paid little attention at first, and tried to get back to sleep. Several minutes later, again came that unwelcome sound of ‘the falling rain’. I suppose, like many of us, they didn’t mind if the rain fell during the night, at least, so long as during the day it was fine and sunny!
Again they tried to ignore the tap, tap, tap – or should I say the drip, drip, drip on the roof. It was however quite difficult to do so. So for awhile they lay awake, getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of ability to be able to sleep without hearing that persistent tapping sound.
It was into the early hours, after lying awake for what seemed to be some considerable time that Peter and Vivian discerned that on reflection, the sound which they were hearing didn’t sound like rain at all. They began to wonder what the noise was, and with more than a little concern what was making it.
So eventually Peter was prevailed upon to go and open the window of their cottage, and check to see what it was that might be keeping them awake. As he was telling the children (and the rest of us) of his holiday experience, I must admit to have been making associations with the account in the Bible where the young Samuel kept going to Eli, thinking that Eli was calling him. Anyway, back to the Lake District….
The need for freedom
Getting to the nub of the matter … when Peter finally opened the window he received quite a surprise. It wasn’t actually raining at all, so looking around as best he could he tried to locate the source of that ‘annoying’ tap, tap, tap, sound. Then his eyes spotted something, there at the side of the window, in the vegetation and flowers growing up the walls of the cottage was a bird. It was obvious that it had been the bird that had been tapping on the window. The bird was in some state of agitation and distress, when Peter looked closely the bird was struggling to extract itself not from the vegetation alone, but from the thing that was binding it, rendering it unable to fly away.
Closer inspection told Peter that the bird was caught, caught so fast in what had entangled it, that it just could not get away. The bird was actually a Swallow, and somehow it had got caught and entangled in a length of broken fishing line, which some Angler (not Peter by the way) had carelessly discarded. So Peter, very gently, took the Swallow in his hands, and carefully removed the tangled line. The happy ending being that once freed, being no more bound, the Swallow flew away. And, as far as Peter and Vivian were concerned they were eventually able to go to sleep, with no further disturbances, content in the knowledge because of Peter’s help, timely assistance had brought much needed freedom and deliverance to a bird that likely would have died otherwise.
The point of Peter sharing this story with us was quite clear. Without Jesus Christ as Saviour, we too are trapped, entangled, enmeshed in sin. We are unable to free ourselves. In fact there is nothing we can do about the difficulty that we are in. Without Peter’s help the Swallow would eventually have died. But once the burden that bound it was taken away, the bird was free.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36
We too need help, help to realise that we are trapped by sin, and that sin eventually leads to spiritual death. The Swallow found its saviour in Peter Hulland, but we have a greater Saviour. Through His sacrificial death on the Cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ has made it wonderfully possible that our sins can be forgiven, and we can know peace with God. Friend, if you are struggling, unable to extricate yourself from your sorry state, then repent, come to Christ, who longs to help you to be free.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out ….. Acts 3:19