Devotions this morning at Hadrian's Wall and Vindolanda was a time of thanksgiving and reflection on the mercies of the Lord on the trip so far.
First up was Cora so appreciative of the oneness of the church seen in our visit to Cambridge Presbyterian, so warm and such rich fellowship.
Sarah W was moved by the sacrifices of young men for something larger than themselves seen at Omaha beach cemetery.
Jacob appreciated the contrast between the scattered liturgy, bits and pieces of the gospel, yes, but formal and read out with little or no feeling, then the gospel and being bathed with Christ at Cambridge, the congregation without a building of its own, scattered in that way but so focused on the gospel, and in Jesus Christ.
Mary Kathryn particularly appreciated being at St. Martin's in Canterbury, seeing a continuous church meeting since before St. Augustine of Kent, Roman Christians, and still meeting today to worship. Warm appreciative elderly church members so pleased to have young people visit their church building, eager to tell the students all about it.
Gabigail loved Vindolanda and seeing such amazing ancient stone walls and ruins, and she really loved the Shakespeare play and the amazing acting, especially Falstaff.
Sarah D the trip is like a dream come true, one I've heard about all my life, the friendships and sense of community. Its the trip of a lifetime. The bonding that comes from Jesus.
Then many students offered prayers of gratitude and appreciation, never a gap, one right after the other, even gratitude expressed for chaperones (and I would add, a first rate gang of parent chaperones).
I have long been impressed with Hadrian's Wall and how it is a demonstration of the promises of God in the gospel, that Jesus has purchased men for God from every tribe, kindred, and people (Rev 5:9). There are surviving bits and fragments (Chi Rho) of evidence that there were Christian Roman soldiers and others in these early centuries (Constantine was from Britain). The 1973 discovery of 800 Roman writing tablets and multiple visits here gave me the jolt to write the historical novel Hostage Lands, one of my favorite books to write.