I was intrigued while walking down from the second floor landing, as I looked out of the window across the grounds at High Leigh Conference Centre, to see some ironwork chained to the wall. Perhaps looking at the snapshot you have already worked out what this object is. It took me a few moments to realise that, for someone who is “geographically challenged”, this was my quickest escape route in an emergency. If I could climb out far enough from the stairwell window and cling across towards this contraption, release the chain, pull the segments of ironwork off of the retaining hooks, and allow it to fall to the ground forming a ladder then I could climb down safely. Watching the actor Tom Cruise do this sort of thing in the Mission Impossible films is one thing, but in real life I’m not so sure.
Imagining what this ladder would look like when dropped to the ground brought to mind another ladder, in Genesis 28:10 – 22, where Jacob lies down to sleep and “had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” That encounter with God was profound, and a stone was set up by Jacob to mark that place called Bethel, meaning “house of God.” Wherever we gather as God’s People I hope that we too are anticipating such an encounter with God resulting in fruitful action through our discipleship and mission.
Please pray for:
- the Synod Moderators as they meet this week at High Leigh, and their time with the General Secretary; and for the northerly Synod Moderators (Scotland, Northern, Yorkshire, Mersey, and North Western) as they meet at the end of the week
- each member of our congregations as we approach Lent, that they will experience a fresh encounter with God through prayer
- the growth in the connections between the congregations within our Synod that will enable us all to discern fresh ways of encouraging one another in discipleship and mission.