The Gift of Faith

by The Main Thing Blog friend, Teresa Keogh

This week work has brought me to Palermo, Sicily. I needed to leave home at 4.30am on Thursday to get to London Heathrow to check in. In the departure lounge there were seats that said ‘Re-charge here’ – of course, the sign referred to cell phones, but I started to wish it were that simple for us tired passengers! One gift of this trip is that I should have flown on Friday, but there were no flights as British Airways is operating a winter schedule; so a day off! I went by bus to a small town outside of Palermo called Monreale to see the mosaics. Entering the church is a stunning feast for the eyes…

gift

The walls are lined with scenes from the Old Testament and the New Testament – the whole of salvation history in pictorial form. I began to reflect on the gift of faith – the gift of the artist and those who worked the mosaics; the delicate work of inserting the tesserae to make the whole. I thought of those of faith – of those of no faith – who have visited over the centuries. And I reflected in gratitude for the gift of faith as I viewed the splendour of the sight and the intricate detail of who and what we believe in.

Making a Difference

A reflection by Teresa Keogh, friend and contributor to the Main Thing Blog

Last week I was working in Bangkok and was blessed by being able to add on 3 days holiday. I went to Kanchunabari – the site of the Bridge over the River Kwai.

bridge

It was incredibly moving to walk across the bridge and see the Burma railway; perhaps it was the heat and humidity that made me really appreciate how the prisoners of war had suffered so terribly. When I was reflecting on the experience I was struck by how easily we can misuse the gifts that God has given to us. How do I use my God-given gifts to make a positive difference in the world?

war-sign

I was also struck by this sign; it also reminded me of all those who fought for the common good and were killed in the process. They gave their lives so that ours might be better. Today I pray for all who have lost loved ones in war. I also pray that I use the gifts God has given me to make a difference, however small that may be.