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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

12 October 2011: John Studd, Life Church Petersfield

The Bible – A Word for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Recently I visited the Museum of the Cold War, which is part of the RAF Museum at Cosford in Shropshire. One of the exhibits displayed a statue of workers unloading an aircraft during the Berlin Blockade which took place between 24 June 1948 and 12 May 1949. The Berlin Airlift was undertaken by western air forces to defeat the Blockade which involved the Soviet Union blocking the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied control. Their aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city.

By the spring of 1949, the effort was clearly succeeding and, by April, the airlift was delivering more cargo than had previously been transported into the city by rail.

On the 23 of September 1949 the last RAF Douglas Dakota sortie of the Berlin Airlift flew into Gatow airport. The aircraft bore the following inscription: "Positively the last load from Lubeck - 73,705 tons. Psalm 21, Verse 11. 'For they intended evil against thee. They imagined a mischievous device which they were not able to perform.'”

It impressed me how appropriate this verse was for that moment and how many other Bible verses have been appropriate in the past and now – and will be in the future.

This year has seen the 400th anniversary of the first publication of the King James Bible and whilst it is fitting that we should celebrate this event with exhibitions, radio and television programmes it is even more important to read the Bible and see what it says to us today.

Note: When published in the Petersfield Post the last paragraph was omitted - if you know anyone who has read the article in the paper, please tell them about the missing paragraph and, if you can, either pass on the web site address or a copy of the whole article.

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