Underpaid Postage

Yesterday morning, my postman called with various letters and parcels which likely accrued during the recent strike days. He also handed me a printed note saying that an item of post had insufficient postage upon it, and that I would only be able to retrieve it for £2.50. Normally, I pay the fee and obtain the item, out of curiosity. My postman advised me not to do it; he suspected the item was a letter from local 'Jehovah’s Witnesses', as everyone in our neighbourhood had received one. For want of appropriate stamps, Royal Mail had refused to deliver, so the recipient was invited to make good the shortfall to have it released. He and I both chuckled at the likely reactions of my fellow townsmen when they hand over their cash in return for a letter detailing the evils of Christmas or inviting them to a meeting at the local Kingdom Hall. JWs are seldom popular folk, and this oversight, if indeed it is their mailing, is unlikely to raise their stock.

It then occurred to me that I may have similarly fallen foul. I had sent off a birthday card a fortnight back, with a bank note inside, but I received no ackwlodgement; had I underpaid? Similarly, a sympathy card when un-noted; did I use the wrong stamps, and the recipient made to fork out for my mistake? I hope not. On a grander scale, I was once in a car that had run out of petrol. My friend at school had bought a souped-up red Ford Escort, and we enjoyed driving up and down Morecambe prom thinking ourselves the bee’s knees. We looked less cool sitting by the roadside with the hazards flashing awaiting an angry parent with a jerry can. Perhaps that experience is why I do not like my current engine to have less than a quarter tank.

When I die and I enter the vast, unchartered realms of eternity, will there be enough power to get me to heaven, or will I be dragged to hell, my many sins weighing me down? Thankfully, Christ paid my purchase price in full with His own blood, and His merit is more than enough to bear me up. If I trust my own efforts and payments, I will surely fall short and plummet. Only Christ and Christ alone can transport me home to Eden.

Vain are the hopes the sons of men
upon their own works have built;
their hearts by nature are unclean,
their actions full of guilt.
Silent let Jew and Gentile stand,
without one vaunting word;
and, humbled low, confess their guilt
before heav'n's righteous Lord.

No hope can on the law be built
of justifying grace;
the law, that shows the sinner's guilt,
condemns him to his face.
Jesus! how glorious is thy grace!
when in thy name we trust,
our faith receives a righteousness
that makes the sinner just.

-Isaac Watts