Wednesday 21 September 2011
Rock Thurrock core team members Andy Blakey and Tim Harrold go to the bridge over the Mardyke between Purfleet and the Rainham RSPB Centre. They are both carrying staffs: Andy’s is a traditional crook-style one, while Tim’s is a gnarled, bowing bit of stick.
They stand on the Thurrock side of the bridge, not far from what the locals call the ‘Wedding Ring’, which is in fact a representation of the solar disk with a timeline inscribed inside it.
Inspired earlier in the Rock Thurrock journey to do this, Andy reads out Numbers 21:17,18:
“Spring up, O well!
Sing about it,
about the well that the princes dug,
that the nobles of the people sank—
the nobles with scepters and staffs.”
They prod the sodden earth with their rods of God and call for the wells of salvation and healing to be opened across the borough in Jesus’ name.
They bang their staffs on the ground, not 3 times, but 6 and many more, taking their cue from 2 Kings 13:18-20:
They pray into the notion of striking the rock of Thurrock – Rock Thurrock – with their staffs, like Moses in the desert with the Israelites in Numbers 20:11:
Referring to 1 Corinthians 10:3-4, Andy takes this further, giving Thurrock’s Rock a name:
They pour salt into the Mardyke’s mouth, which will connect with the Thames as it flows downstream past Thurrock. They notice that some of the Mardyke is muddy and silted, but where the flow is, clear. The salt is poured, remembering Elisha in 2 Numbers 20:20-22:
Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the LORD says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’” And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.
They walk round to the beacon on green opposite the corner of Tank Hill and London Road, erected in 1988 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588. On the upright there’s a plaque that says, “Fire Over England”. They pray for fire over Thurrock, for the Holy Spirit to come as in Acts 2:3:
The beacon was put their by two men of the name of Dimond, which remind Andy and Tim that Thurrock is a ‘rock’, a gem, in the King’s royal ring. Haggai 2:23 says:
‘I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the LORD Almighty.
Returning to the bridge, they pray again, leaning on opposite sides of the bridge, feet on Thurrock soil.
Two runners come bounding along. The first holds his hands up as he comes through, shouting, “I don’t know what the password is!”
Immediately, Andy replies, “JESUS SAVES!”
The man shouts, “Oh, right,” as he sprints off along the river bank path.
Tim says, “That was quick thinking – and profound! ‘The password is JESUS SAVES!'”
“The password is JESUS IS LORD,” muses Andy.
The password for Thurrock is JESUS…
… the watchman saw another runner, and he called down to the gatekeeper, “Look, another man running alone!”
The king said, “He must be bringing good news…”
And that Rock Thurrock… is Christ.