A Reflection on the 2nd Sunday after Trinity

Hello again, after such a while!

Dave and I have been fortunate to have a few days away catching up with family on the other side of the country that we haven’t been able to see for a couple of  years or more. Of course we have all faced restriction for 15 months and some of you may still be waiting to catch up with friends and family!

While we had the opportunity we explored unfamiliar places, and the Boat Lift at Anderton, Cheshire was an accidental discovery.  It is an astounding structure built at the end of the 19th century to overcome the necessity of transferring bulk cargo from the industries served by the River Weaver Navigation to the Trent & Mersey Canal.  I have been through river lochs and marvelled at the enormous physical human energy of such engineering

Nicknamed the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’, and thanks to several refurbishments over the years, it still does the job for which it was designed i.e. lifting boats and barges the 50 feet from River to Canal. It’s claimed to be one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’.

It’s a testimony to the ingenuity and inventiveness of human kind.  It’s not the first and won’t be the last, I don’t suppose.  The first, as the Bible tells us, was the Tower of Babel.  The problem with that endeavour was less to do with skill and engineering and more to do with attitude and human pride; wanting to have the power and prestige of God through human strength.  God wants humanity to become godlike – in nature of love, compassion, humility and a desire for justice and mercy, which can only be achieved with God’s help.

The canal is surrounded now by a network of peaceful parks and lakes, ideal for gentle or more exacting walks and for spotting wildlife – the reason we were there!

This week’s Gospel includes several of the ‘Kingdom of God is like…’ sayings; perhaps this ‘Cathedral of the Canals’ can serve as a reminder that nothing is impossible with God!  With and through the power of the Holy Spirit we can discover energy and ingenuity and thus climb and claim the open vista moving towards God.

The Anderton Boat Lift had to be maintained and refurbished throughout the years; so too does our spiritual life.  The original hydraulic system eventually failed because of the acidity of some of the pollutants that leached into the system.  Worldly cares can creep from prayerful concerns to worries that begin to erode faith. So we pray God to’ pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the true bond of peace and of all virtues.’ Then whatever we achieve we will achieve with and through the Holy Spirit.