BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 9 November 2005


Shanksís Pony


I donít understand how they can afford to do it, but an airline was advertising free air fares.So I logged on to the Internet and within five minutes Iíd booked free flights to a European capital.Next step was a hotel.To be sure the hotel was located near the places we wanted to visit, I needed a guide book.So I went down to one of those enormous bookstores, and eventually found exactly what I was looking for among the thousands of books on the shelves.And I had a nice cup of coffee in the bookstore to boot.And yes, I found and booked a suitable hotel on the internet, and we had a most enjoyable short holiday.


So, aside from the difficulty of choosing exactly which style and size of coffee I wanted, it was amazingly easy to organise our travel.Not like the year 1825.In that year members of Dover Street Baptist Church in Leicester sent out people to preach the gospel to the heathens living in Whetstone. And from that beginning, my own church, Whetstone Baptist Church, was born.The Dover Street congregation was amazing.Aside from building the Pork Pie Chapel in 1842, they founded over 100 Baptist churches in Leicestershire and further afield.And in those days travel for most people meant Shanksís pony.Every Sunday, in all weathers, for nearly forty years, people walked the six miles from Leicester to Whetstone and back.It was no mean undertaking to foster a flock of believers in those days.


They went to all this effort because they took Jesusí great commission to the church seriously: to go and make disciples[1] everywhere.I guess heathen Whetstone was as good a place to start as any.


We should be grateful for all the benefits of modern technology: for the internet that gives us instant access to the biggest library the world has known; for cars and planes that take us long distances in no time at all; for mobile phones that put us in touch with one another wherever we happen to be.How easy our communications are these days.


And how grateful we should be to our ancestors, who built the foundations of our present-day society; with hard work and great dedication they bequeathed us a better world.Letís do the same for our descendants.


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[1] Matthew 28:19a, NIV