Shadow Of Victory

Monday, 12 December 2011

In Honour of Mr Ben Davies

Yesterday I sat through the 7pm meeting at church mesmerised by Ben Davies as he preached through the Christmas Carol..Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Those of us who know Ben will remember this is his all time favourite Carol but as far as I can think back its the first actual "preach" he has made on it. It truly was amazing and if you didn't get to one of the three meetings yesterday then aim for the website and listen on the podcast.

I have been a part of this church for 27 years and Ben led it for decades before handing over the helm to our very own Simon and Catrina Benham and it was through Ben's teaching that both Chris and I became Christians all those years ago. We are so privileged in the church to have Simon and the other leaders who preach to us week in and week out but I confess to still hankering after Ben's preaching. There is something about his character that oozes his passion for Christ....his desire for all of us to know Jesus as our own personal saviour and to be right with God that still stirs me and shakes me to the core every time I listen to him.

With regards to this particular preach on this Carol....I loved Ben's explanations of each of the verses...the history of the actual writing of the Carol... (I didn't know that Wesley had written over 8,000 Hymns )...I waited almost breathlessly to see how he would bring in the Gospel message and he didn't disappoint.!!..The line "God and sinners reconciled " prompted the good news that through Christ... God has reconciled each of us to Him.!! I urge each of you reading this to listen to the podcast as it will also bring the Christmas message alive again .

Ben's style of preaching is sometimes referred to as "hell and fire and damnation"..(not by me...) but in reality it is TRUTH that he speaks and brings the reality of the Gospel straight into our spirits. No pussy footing around for Ben...he doesn't dress it up in pretty words ...he plainly refers to sin and salvation and repentance and reconciliation with no apology.!!.. There have been times over the decades when even though I have taken the steps and become a Christian that I almost want to do it all again as I listen to him speak!!

Ben has charisma....of that there is no doubt...but that seems almost an empty description....you have to see...or hear him to fully understand what I mean. He is physically a small man...I seem to think I may even be taller than him but as he speaks he seems to grow taller....as he walks from side to side...as he moves his head and his arms and makes point after point stand out it can be strangely fearsome. I don't mean that in a scary way and he certainly doesn't frighten people into the Kingdom...it is more that he is standing on the side of righteousness and is ensuring the powers of darkness that God has won the battle.

Ben often refers to himself as he speaks and is honest about his failings and his sin and this in itself helps me to move towards God as I can easily then admit that I too am a bit of mess at times. Over the years Ben has helped us in so many ways...I am not a personal friend of his but through his preaching and teaching both Chris and I have weathered some tough times. Ben's teaching about money has enabled us to finally break the hopelessness of personal debt...his teaching about being a family and parenting has definitely helped us in this respect....his teaching on personal sin and repentance has shown us areas in our lives where we need to get right ..not just with God but with others too.

Finally I write this entry simply to honour Ben.....he isn't perfect...he isn't sinless..I havent placed him on a pedestal and I certainly don't worship him....I simply want to honour a "man of God" . Looking back over my life there have been many people who have influenced me......some of them not great but I can say with absolute certainty that the influence Ben has had on my life has all been for the good. Ben pointed me to God...who through Jesus forgave my sin...showered me with mercy and grace and put my life back together again when at times it seemed as if it was broken forever. I am grateful beyond words for all that Ben has shared with us over the years and even at 72 is still sharing with us...if he was Scottish( argh I hear you cry...as he is as Welsh as they come )..I would say to him.." lang may yer lum reek "

1 comment:

Rosalind said...

Thank you for your post - we were inspired by Ben Davies in the very early days of Reading Family Church. My husband got baptised after being convicted by the Holy Spirit spoken through Ben. He is indeed an outrageous man with an outrageous faith! And how wonderful that it doesn't matter how old you are or I am or Ben Davies is - the Gospel remains true and faithful. What Good News! Thank you Ros