Mar 7, 2010


In the 7th Century, Saint Columba and his entourage were walking by a lake in the Scottish Highlands when they came across local villagers burying a man. When this Gaelic Irish monk queried the group as to what had happened they explained a horrible tale. Apparently this man had been swimming in the lake when he was attacked by a huge “water beast” which had mauled him and took him beneath the water surface. The villagers tried to rescue the man, but all they could do was retrieve his body.

What happened next was really quite amazing. Saint Columba told one of his followers, Luigne moccu Min to get into the lake and swim across it. The villagers were stupefied. As they feared, when Min swam across the lake a large beast appeared and began to stalk him. It was at this point that Columba interceded. He made the sign of the cross and commanded the beast, “Go no further. Do not touch the man. Go back at once”. The beast obeyed and retreated. The pagan villagers praised God for the miracle. This is yet another example of the many strange ways the Holy Spirit works in this world.

You might have heard about this lake. It is Loch Ness and it is the largest deep-water lake in Scotland. With its deepest point at 750 feet it contains more water than all of the lakes of England and Wales combined. In other words, it is big. And many believe it is home to one of the world’s most elusive creatures, the Loch Ness Monster.

Since this encounter of the 7th Century, there have been many sightings of Nessie. 1933 was a busy year when there were three sightings. In the 1940s she was observed by the Royal Observer Corps. In 1954 sonar contact was made. Various images of Nessie have been taken. Some of them have been proven as hoaxes, but others appear to be genuine. In 2003, the BBC sent a well-funded crew to scour the lake. They found no evidence of Nessie and have therefore “debunked” the whole thing as myth. And I would suspect that most people believe that Nessie does not exist. Really, how could a large monster live in this lake? It can’t be.

But I believe differently. Why is it so impossible to believe that a large sea creature could periodically find its way into the lake? Just because we have never been able to find absolute proof doesn’t mean it can’t be. For years, most people believed that the Giant Squid was a myth. But just this past year I watched a television program give proof, once and for all, that they really do exist. This is a large, complex, and wonderful earth. Why is it so hard not to believe?

Many people do not believe in God because there is no scientific proof. Even one of Jesus’ closest friends, Thomas, didn’t believe the resurrection was possible. But eventually Jesus showed enough to Thomas. He believed, all the twelve believed, and thousands of people since have believed. Belief always takes faith and God always leaves room for faith. But the enemy of belief is not scientific proof. The enemy of belief is sin and man’s inability to envision the impossible. And for God, all things are possible.


Pastor David Hook

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