Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Plenty of room on top

To the Age Concern Healthy Living Centre in Southwark Park Road for their annual service of remembrance, at which members of the centre who have died in the year are remembered.

Simone, the wonderful centre manager, had asked me do an opening prayer and 'say a few words of encouragement' to the gathering of members and relatives.

I began recalling the days of conductors on buses.

Travelling home from school hundreds of us schoolboys would surge forward to get on the buses at the Princes Head, Battersea.  If all the seats downstairs were taken the conductors would call out  'plenty of room on top' and we would rush upstairs. (The view was better from the top deck even if you did risk death from nicotine poisoning).

Jesus, I said, said something similar to the disciples before he died: 'in my Father's house, there are many rooms.' It was a way of saying there is room for everyone in heaven. No one is ever turned away. There is no heavenly conductor saying 'sorry, full up.'

Simone asked me to give a word of encouragement and the greatest encouragement of all is that there is plenty of room on top, plenty of room in the Father's house, room in fact for everyone who will put their trust in Jesus.

Also present for today's event was Dee, the Pearly Queen of Bermondsey (right), resplendent as usual in her wonderful sparkling outfit,  and Simon, son of Barry Albin-Dyer, representing his father, a great supporter of the work of the centre, currently undergoing medical treatment (get well soon, Barry, we're all praying for you).

A great community event in a great community centre ... and, here's the best news of all, in a year's time I will be old enough to join.

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