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Four Spires - Easter


April 1st this year is both Easter Sunday and the 100th anniversary of the formation of The Royal Air Force, the oldest independent air force in the world.


In April 1912 King George V signed a royal warrant to establish the Royal Flying Corps; by the end of that year it had 12 manned balloons and 36 aircraft. The RFC had separate branches for the Army and the Navy, these two branches were merged towards the end of the First World War on April 1st 1918 to form the new and independent Royal Air Force, the third arm of the British armed forces. Since that date exploits by the RAF have become legendary, including their defence of this country during the second world war, especially in the “Battle of Britain” when Winston Churchill said of them, “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.”


When the RFC was formed its motto was “Per ardua ad astra”, this remains the motto of the RAF and translates as, “Through adversity to the stars.” Whilst this may almost be an expression of a pilot’s experience, falling short of the actual destination, by the same token it can also express the reality of the life of a Christian who can have the confidence of going through life’s troubles to far beyond the stars, to that heavenly place described by the Bible writers. Jesus himself told his followers to expect adversity saying, “In me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world.” The astonishing truth of this was shown very soon after Jesus spoke these words. The powers of this world were unleashed against him through the might of the Roman Empire when, on the first Good Friday He was flogged and then crucified, even though he had done nothing wrong. But then, on the following Sunday, God demonstrated His power was superior to any other as He raised Him to life, and restored him to his heavenly home.  Jesus resurrection proved that his sacrifice on the cross had achieved its purpose - forgiveness for all the sins of his people, thus preparing them for an eternal home with the Lord. If you too will put your future in His hands, through the grace of God and by faith in Him you can join those whose testimony and destiny is “Through adversity to beyond the stars!”             


Bas Coe, Elder - Broughton Baptist Chapel

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