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Sunday, 20 November 2011

And great was the fall of it!

A little after mid-day, today, Glencairn Tower - a Motherwell landmark for some 60 years - crashed to the ground in a controlled demolition.  I don't know how long it took to build it, but it was down in less than 5 seconds!   The surrounding streets were well-filled with Motherwell resident who had come to watch - many of them, no doubt, like myself (and family!) former residents in the block.  The news was that the explosion would take place at 1200 hrs but, in the event, it was a couple of minutes later.  However, people waited, patiently; all eyes on the block still standing before us.

A couple of thoughts came to mind - apart from the one that I had lived there on two separate occasions, and that two of my former homes would soon be rubble!  I was reminded of the story that Jesus told about the two housebuilders.  One of them, you may remember, built his house on soft ground, with no solid foundation.  Then, when the storms arose, that house collapsed.  The other man built his house on solid rock and so, when the storms raged around it, it stood firm.  The planned destruction of Glencairn Tower doesn't quite fit in with the story - it appears to have been erected on good foundations, and nothing less than high explosives would have toppled it.  However, what might be termed a cataclysmic event, ensured its downfall.

The other thought came as I saw so many people looking, expectantly, in one direction.  We all knew the approximate time at which the tower would collapse - but none of us knew the precise second.  That knowledge was given, one assumes, only to the man who "pressed the button"!  In Mark 13, Jesus speaks of His return - His second advent at the end of time as we experience it.  He makes clear that, while there will be indications as to when that particular cataclysmic event will take place, "... of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (v.32; RSV).  One young friend took her eyes (and her camera lens!) off the tower for just a split second - and missed the moment!

Let us make sure that we build our lives on the firm foundation that is the Lord Jesus, Himself.  Let us be ever watchful, "... looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb 12:2; RSV).  Then, and only then, will we be fully prepared for the move from the time-space continuum that we inhabit in this mortal life, to that dimension that we call 'heaven' - timelessness in the nearer presence of our Saviour, and our Lord.

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