Thought for the Month
"…it is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil." (Ecclesiastes 3.13 NRSV)
Has this been the experience of most people through the past three thousand years? All very well for kings in palaces to make such remarks or even those who live is the west in the 20th or 21st centuries, but just how true is this for the majority of mankind? So often God's words to Adam have been true "…in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life… By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground…" (Genesis 3.17-19). For a large part of human history and for a large majority of people this has been true. Humanity has been subject to various forms of slavery while a favoured few have enjoyed the fruits of their labour. In earlier centuries it was just plainly being the property of a slave owner. After the beginning of industrial revolution many were caught up in the poverty of large urban areas. More recently under-developed countries contribute billions of pounds to the 'scientific' west. Yet the Creator designed this beautiful planet for the happiness of all its residents and that is how it will be when the principles of the Kingdom of God are fully implemented upon the Earth and today's 'lords and masters' will do their share of the work. But that will be when the curse of sin is removed and human physique will be equal to the tasks to be accomplished. Rewards will be fair and people will be able to enjoy the food and drink, no longer ruined by chemicals but allowed to grow naturally to give full nourishment. Then mankind will find that toil is good and to be part of it will be a joy. Men and women will want to work, not to accumulate its rewards in miserly fashion or in competition but so that they can express their love for their Creator and for everyone around them. Then 'My chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands" and all will have sufficient for "they shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them."
Costs and Gifts: Costs connected with the Bible Study Monthly remain stable and to send six issues to a reader in UK costs about £6 and overseas the equivalent of £8. These figures are only given because some need guidance in giving but the magazine is sent free to all who request it. Some acknowledgements are sent with the magazine. Readers who pay UK tax who send gifts will help BFU funds if they use a form from us or write a letter which indicates that money sent to BFU is an unsolicited gift. These should be signed and dated and sent to us. This only needs to be done once and need not be done each year. Current circulation remains steady at about 1700. New readers keep pace with cancellations and lapsed copies.
Gainsborough House, a Christian retirement centre on the border of Dorset and Somerset has several vacancies for permanent residents. It is under the loving care of Corrinne Vaughan, the resident housekeeper who prepares a first rate midday meal for all residents. The flats, including a new one suitable for a couple, are self contained. These can also provide accommodation for those in need of a short break amid the beautiful countryside in the South west. The centre has two lounges and a dining room in the main house. There is a fine meeting room and a well-stocked library. There are pleasant gardens in which to stroll or sit; residents have worked very hard to keep the flower and vegetable areas looking attractive. Milborne Port is an interesting country town and not far away is Sherborne, full of history. Yeovil is a larger bustling town and coastal resorts are reachable for a day trip. Enquiries to GainsboroughHo@biblefellowshipunion.co.uk
Bibles and study books: Quite a large number of these are now being sent direct to several known Christian communities in Africa and India. If readers have any of these that they no longer need, we would be glad to have them to send on.
Bible Study Monthly back numbers, especially from the 1970s and 1980s are occasionally requested by readers and we would be happy to receive them
Gone from us Till the day break and the shadows flee away
Brother Keleher (Eastbourne, UK)