Growing up in West Auckland, one of my favourite places to go was Piha... Piha is an amazing and wild beach out on the west coast of New Zealand. During the summer about twice a week I'd head out in my old beaten up car and either go for a body board or just clamber round the rocks to the south of south Piha.
One of the amazing natural treasures of Piha is the keyhole, a sea cave or sea arch that goes through what is known as 'Camel rock' (it's Maori name is Taitomo). You can walk through the cave to a great flat rock to fish from (not that I was into fishing those days) or on the right tide you could body board through the cave on waves that came off the outer bar at Piha and bounce off the rock walls in the white water, without hitting the rocks (much).
I have always had an affinity with Piha and it has left an indelible mark on my soul.
When I was looking for an image that went with John 11:25 for our service on Sunday. the evenings I had been at the Key hole came to mind... light coming out of a cave... sadly all my old photos have not survived and I could not find one online... however when I came across the wonderful pictures of sunset through the sea arch at Pfiefer beach in California I knew I had found a worthy replacement.
It depicts for me the hope and new life that comes not just from the majesty of the creation and a rugged seascape but from Jesus his life, death and resurrection. Something I hope my congregation will be able to reflect on as I've assoicted it with the words of Jesus.
For me it expresses in a very vivid way the difference I feel known Jesus has made in my life. I find myself with a whole new way of looking at things (and my family will tell you that the word play is just typical dad humour).