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A Time to Shine

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Our beautiful Island has just hosted the Island Games. This is an event that takes place every two years and compares with the with the Commonwealth Games in ranking, and this time around Jersey were the hosts to this marvellous event.

Over 4,000 competitors from 24 Islands from all over the world come to take part. 14 different types of sports were hosted at 36 venues located all over our Island and over 1,600 medals were the coveted rewards for the winning competitors.  Needless to say our Island has been 'buzzing' during this week past :-)

There's been a wonderful 'feel good' factor as people in brightly coloured sports gear emerged from hotels and guesthouses, used public transport or walked to the appropriate venues for their particular line of sport. I believe that all of our visitors were very well cared for and the whole event was very well organised. To add to all of this, the weather was very good and I feel that Jersey made the most of its  opportunity to shine along with our sports men and women who came out as the overall winners of this year's event by winning 50 gold, 54 silver, and 29 bronze medals! What an amazing achievement! In second place was the Isle of Man and Guernsey came third in the medal table.

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I admire all of the effort that has been undertaken by organizers of this event and by each competitor to show off their abilities and would take my hat off to them all for creating such a wonderful time. But I wonder now that the event is a thing of the past, what was it all really about? Such a lot of preparation by everyone only to be in the limelight for a little  while, then to go back into obscurity for another two years at least if not for the rest of a lifetime! Well, they certainly put our little Island on the map in a positive manner but in the bigger picture, in the light of eternity was any of that really all that important after all?

~~~~~

Let me remind you of a very special Man who came to this world under cover of darkness over two thousand years ago and lived in almost total obscurity for the first thirty years of His life. During His last three and a half years He shone like no other could ever have done before.

He was God's idea of a perfect man ...

living out His incredible life in pure excellence to His absolute delight and before the eyes of His contemporaries.

The wonderful thing about His life here was that He hadn't spent years practicing how to be holy or how to behave in such an honourable manner in the face of hostility on a regular basis! We see in His life the manifestation of the character of God Himself because the Bible tells us that He was God manifest in the flesh. Great and wonderful is this mystery! (See 1 Timothy 3: 16.)

For the first time in eternity, for a brief moment of time,
He came out of obscurity and  shone like no one has ever shone before ...

and continued to shine right up to the moment He died on a cruel Roman cross. The world of people in His day when presented with a choice between This Man and Barabbas a notorious thief and murderer chose Barabbas,  unanimously calling for the public execution of the beloved Son of God!

The cross upon which He died was, and still is even to this day the total sum of what mankind thinks of this altogether Lovely One, and if that was all we were told about this horrendous event it would have been a complete tragedy, but there was another reason this Man went all the way to the cross - He went there willingly to die in the place of lost sinners like you and me so we might never have to bear the wrath of God we deserve against our sin.

In His short life He shone with the beauty of holiness that no one could compare to and sadly nobody wanted Him! However, that doesn't have to be our opinion of Him today. They cried out for His blood and said 'away with this man, we don't want 'this' to reign over us!' but we can and must adopt the complete opposite attitude if ever we are to enjoy our sins forgiven, the promise of a home in heaven, and His perfect peace being our daily portion.

This is not a matter of Him being better than the best or greater than the greatest; for there could be no comparison to this Man. A gold, silver or bronze medal would have been a very poor reward for the One who perfectly completed all that He came into this world to do. The work of Christ has been held in the very highest of honour by God His Father, and ...

"[He] .... hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow ..."
Philippians 2: 9-10.

Today He wears the victor's crown and is seated at God's right hand, the place of highest honour. He is the constant delight and joy of heaven and the centre of angelic adoration.

I wonder what your estimation of this wonderful Man is. Is there  a place in your heart's devotion for Him who loved you and gave Himself for you?

This could be your time to shine; for if you humble yourself before God in repentance of your sin and accept His beloved Son as your personal Saviour, He will give to you the strength and courage you need to declare to those in your circle of family and friends what Christ has done in your life to give you the assurance that all is well with your soul for time and for eternity. You may be among the many who are glad to ....

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