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Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

Holy woodwork

A lady who attended a funeral at our church recently, looked up at the wooden ceiling, and said, “Ah, chestnut wood.” I was surprised, and intrigued, and asked her to explain. “No spider webs,” she said. “Spiders have an aversion to chestnut wood, which is why builders choose it to panel high ceilings in churches.” Apparently Victor Hugo in his Memoirs wrote about spiders in cathedral attics being driven from the timber by the odour of chestnut.

When that Carpenter from Nazareth strode this earth, there were many who rushed to be near him; but there were others who were repelled and kept their distance. Often demons shuddered in his presence, and were quick to look for an exit. “What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come to torture us before the appointed time?” said two of the more infamous ones. And how they begged and begged to leave his presence.

What was the secret of that Carpenter of Nazareth? A timber yard full of chestnut wood? More likely his hands were stained with the oils and resins of those woods that grew around Gethsemane and Golgotha. How wise it is to stay beside the Carpenter, and to build your life with his resources, for no creature from the nether world can weave its mischief in his timber yard. “Draw near to God,” says the Book, “and He will draw near to you. Resist the devil, and he will flee.”

DM 25th May 2020

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