Lomeshaye Bridge

I was recently given a walking tour of the Lancashire mill town of Nelson. Let no-one say that I do not occupy life’s fast lane. We walked over LEEDS AND LIVERPOOL CANAL BRIDGE NUMBER 140, otherwise known as Lomeshaye Bridge, (pronounced “Lom-a-sh”). Built in 1795 by engineer Robert Whitworth, Lomeshaye Bridge spans the canal which would otherwise cut Nelson in two.

Upon crossing, I spotted some rather unusual stonework. It looked as though it had been constructed by cowboys: the stones did not neatly fit, making it looked eccentric at best, and a botch-job at worst. Contrary to my rather prudish assessments, however, was one unassailable fact: it works. I and hundreds of thousands of people over the centuries have successfully crossed that bridge without drowning or wetting our feet. It has also withstood the weight of many cars and trucks calling at the nearby Ecroyd’s Mill. Far better the mill be served by a rough-looking bridge that works, than a fine, Italianate-style crossing built of gorgeous marble, with recesses in which ornate statues of canal nymphs might stand- which promptly collapses into the cold waters.

When I consider the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth, it resembles that sorry bridge. It is beset by persecutions, false prophets, formalism, derision, compromise and syncretistic tendencies. It appoints morons as its bishops, charlatans as its pastors and nonentities to its denominational headquarters. From many of its pulpits come counterfeit gospels borne of man-made theologies and many of its adherants are spiritually lukewarm. In Britain, 370 churches are likely to close in the next three years for want of congregations. In Manipur, India, two dozen churches were burnt down by hostile mobs in the month of April alone. How can the Church survive, in both godless Britain and violent India? Because Jesus said it would survive until He came:

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18, NKJV

We don't look much, and we are as weak as we appear, but Christ the Groom will not suffer His bride to be lost before the great wedding.