Who could fail to have been moved by what was undoubtedly the good news story of 2010? I am talking, of course about the dramatic rescue of thirty three Chilean miners. Seventeen long days passed until it was discovered that they were all alive, 622 metres below ground. In total the men spent sixty nine days underground before emerging from the darkness into the arms of their loved ones.
On leaving the escape capsule in which he was winched to the surface, Jose Henriquez dropped to his knees and thanked God for his rescue. The Baptist preacher had requested Bibles for each of his workmates. He led them in times of prayer at twelve noon and six o’ clock in the evening. Their prayers were certainly answered.
Did you notice when watching the news coverage that the miner's t-shirts were emblazoned with a biblical text? It was Psalm 95:4, which reads, "In his hands are the deep places of the earth". Even well below ground the men were cheered by a sense of God's presence and love, Psalm 139:7-12.
The rescue was a triumph of hope over despair. The Chilean rescue team kept on searching for the miners until they found them. They then cut an escape shaft through solid rock so that all thirty three men could ascend from the darkness below, their eyes blinking in the light.
This happy story is a wonderful picture of Christian salvation. God sent his Son, Jesus to seek and to save lost people from the darkness of death. Jesus "descended to the lower parts of the earth" (Ephesians 4:9). He entered our world as one of us and died on the cross to rescue us from sin and the grave. Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. After darkness, light, Ephesians 5:8.
* For November's News & Views, West Lavington Parish Magazine.