16th March 2020

Message in a Bottle

“This is the name they’ll give him: ‘God-Who-Puts-Everything-Right.’”
Jeremiah 23:6 (MSG)

As a boy of about eleven or twelve I was fascinated by the thought that a fragile bottle could carry a message to different continents of the world! I would have loved to launch my own bottle with a message and my contact details, and to eventually discover where it had beached, who had found it and how long it had taken to get there. That would have been a great project but unfortunately it never happened.

So, I was surprised to read a short article in a newspaper a few years ago, entitled ‘Message in a bottle; is the oldest!’ “A message in a bottle which was washed up more than 108 years after it was thrown into the sea has been confirmed as the world’s oldest. The bottle was released into the North Sea in 1906 and after 108 years, 4 months and 18 days was found by a woman on a beach on the German island of Amrun, Like all other bottles, it was fragile and would break if dropped a few feet from the ground. But when sealed properly and sent to sea, as this one was, it became one of the most seaworthy objects known to man. It could float safely through hurricanes or tropical storms; it could bob atop the most dangerous riptides. There is no way to predict where a bottle might travel, and that is part of the mystery!”

There’s a promise that is woven throughout the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation and like a bottle at sea; it floats down the centuries, across continents; it breaks down barriers of race and creed and has been translated into every language. It survives every attempt to discredit it and rises above the storms of accusation and even rides over the riptides of scorn! Afloat on the tides of life, this love letter to all mankind cannot be destroyed; its journey is secure and it will accomplish the purpose for which it was recorded. Isaiah 55:11 (NIV) says, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Lots of people do find this message in the most unlikely places here on planet earth. It was sent to fulfil a promise; a promise about someone who would come to rescue mankind from death and destruction with an offer of love and grace. As Jeremiah writes in the masthead scripture above; “They’ll name him; God, who puts everything right!”

Let me ask you; have you stumbled across any bottles recently on the beach of your life?

Praise to you, gracious Father, because you have not left us ignorant of your plan and purpose here on planet earth. But have revealed to us the One who will make all things new and puts everything right.

Study by Cliff Neill

About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: luton@gracecom.church

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