When I'm travelling in a strange country, it's always good to explore in the company of a guide. Someone who knows the way around city streets, avoids the dangerous places and gets the group safely back to the coach or hotel. Does the name Cedric Robinson MBE means anything to anyone here?
Cedric is the Queen's Guide to Morcambe Sands. These are very dangerous sands that people have been crossing for centuries. Chinese cockle pickers were killed in them a few years back when the tide came in so fast they were drowned before they could escape. There is a safe path across, but it changes according the tides, and the area is notorious for quicksands should you take a detour.
Cedric became the 25th guide in 1963 (a post stablished in 1548 with the appointment of Thomas Hogeson).
The guide is paid a nominal salary of only £15 a year but the holder of the post also has the use of the 700-year-old Guide's Cottage at Kents Bank, which is owned by the Crown and managed by the Duchy of Lancaster
Well, Cedric knows the safe path. You can trust Cedric because he's been doing his job for 50 years, and he's walked the path before, placing rowan branches into the sand as he goes, to mark the way.
That's my picture of following, or journeying with Jesus. He's the King's Guide. He's walked the path we travel. He knows it intimately; the twists and turns, the soft sand and sharp rocks that might impede us, the viewpoints and sights that encourage us.
We can trust this guide, and we have his words that encourage, teach and inspire us.