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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Stairway to Heaven

For reasons I won’t mention, I’ve been thinking – and weirdly, even praying – about scaffolding for the last couple of days. 

Anyone who has wobbled precariously on the top rung of a ladder knows the blessing of sturdy scaffolding underfoot. I’m not good with heights, so try to avoid ascending more than about shoulder height – on anything!

Jacob saw angels coming up and down a stairway to heaven when he camped out at a place called Bethel. And when he heard the message God gave him from the top of the stairway, he reckoned that he was at God’s gateway. He’d had a pretty rough night (I can’t imagine ever choosing a rock for a pillow), and was in a predicament of his own making, but still, God met him in an incredible way and revealed something the natural eye just could not see, and gave him an incredible promise. (Genesis 28:10)

Jacob didn’t stretch up a ladder or build a scaffolding, but God came down to him in his need.

Not sure which way to go on this whole idea of scaffolding. I can see an analogy with Bible study and prayer, erecting a base from which we can glimpse more clearly God’s activity in the world. Which is good.  But I’m wary of thinking that, in case that encourages me to equate the building of scaffolding with ‘works’, so that I beaver away at doing good stuff in order to get closer to heaven under my own steam.

Jesus has done it all. Nothing I do is going to earn me the right to get into heaven. I only want to be doing those things which God wants me to do because he has gifted me to do them. I don’t want to get entrapped into thinking that the good things I do are like scaffolding.

Because really that kind of thinking is like a wobbly ladder, off which I just might fall.

Though incredibly, having just read the passage about Jacob again, I’m full of faith that if I did fall off such a wobbly ladder, Jesus would be there to catch me. 

What a Saviour!

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