We were on the Isle of Cumbrae at the weekend and saw an impossible church. The old parish church, built in 1837, was in need of substantial repair and unsuited to modern purposes. The parishioners of this small community wanted a new building but were told it would be impossible. It wouldn’t get approval, they couldn’t raise the money, they wouldn’t be able to recruit a minister. The new church, which we saw for the first time on Saturday, is now led by the Rev Jonathan Fleming and his assistant Gus McKay.
Across the road is the “small but perfectly formed” Cathedral of the Isles, opened in 1851. It was hit by extreme financial crisis towards the end of the 19th century and assured that it would be impossible to continue. Today, as well as being “Britain’s smallest working cathedral” it hosts a renowned music programme and is a flourishing retreat centre.
I was reminded that “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:24-43), and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Impossible – a rhyming acrostic
In this world, some things cannot possibly be.
Moses couldn’t possibly have parted the Red Sea,
Peter could never have preached with authority
Or walked upon the Lake of Galilee,
Slaves to sin could not possibly be set free,
Sarah couldn’t have experienced maternity,
Israel couldn’t be redeemed from captivity,
Bartimaeus couldn’t possibly ever see,
Love couldn’t have changed the course of history.
Everything, with Jesus, is a possibility.