Thought for the week with Rev Edward Lyons

Are you good at time keeping? Or do you find yourself dashing on the school run, just missing the bus or arriving at the doctor’s surgery with seconds to spare? If you have in your house a tin of Lyles golden syrup then take a look at the picture on the front of it now.

You will see a lion with little dots above it. The little dots are bees and the phrase below reads, “Out of the eater came forth sweetness.” It is from the Old Testament book of Judges and it is a direct quote from the life of Samson.

Most people who know anything about Samson know of his strength, his greed, his pride, his riddles and his desire for the wrong type of company and how he was betrayed and worked to near death by his enemies the Philistines. Yet Samson had the gift of the Holy Spirit but never recognised it till the end of life. It was only when he was alone at the eleventh hour of life that he turned to God.

What is often overlooked with Samson was his parents. People who heard the promise of the angel who announced his birth and believed it. They were the ones who taught Samson to pray. To honour the vows made when he was a child. Sadly his parents must have gone to bed on many occasions in despair of him believing that all was lost. Yet it was not too late, even for Samson. For only at the end does Samson win the victory that removes the enemies of the people and purchase them freedom. The eleventh hour has him finally redeem the church from the Philistines. Many years later another man was near death on a cross with two others. He turned to Christ who was crucified next to him and confessed his faith in him. Christ said that even at that very last hour the man would be in paradise later that day. To trust the Lord at the end of life is as valid as if you trusted him from your youth. In life people will say of themselves that it is too late to learn to drive, too late to learn a language, too late for a million things. This is not so with Christ. It is never too late to confess him as your Lord and to know the new life he brings.