A few weeks ago, a proposed bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland was back in the news, with a top architect claiming one would be viable. However it seems that the biggest obstacle wouldn't be cost, or even the depth of Beaufort's Dyke, the 250-metre deep underwater trench that lies a mere six miles off our coast. The real problem is that the dyke contains around a million tons of munitions, dumped by the Ministry of Defence between the end of World War I and 1976. In fact, many didn't even make it to their intended destination and were dumped in shallow waters around the dyke. In one month in 1995 more than 4500 World War II bombs were washed up on beaches after an attempt to plough a trench near the dyke for an underwater gas pipe linking Scotland and Northern Ireland.
And so more than just scuppering plans for a bridge, the bigger concern is that we're living mere miles from Europe's largest underwater ammunition dump. Its very existence was denied for years, but once the bombs started washing up on the shore it became harder and harder to cover up. And as the munitions continue to age and lose their ability to withstand corrosion, the full consequences of what was done long ago are still to be revealed.
And yet we have a far more serious problem than buried bombs. As human beings, we have each committed millions of offences against our Creator. We may be moral, respected and even religious, but none of that can make up for our acts of treason against God. Many try and deny the existence of these acts which the Bible calls 'sins'. Others shrug their shoulders and say 'who cares'. But just like the discarded devices in the dyke, our sins are ticking time-bombs which will one day come back to bite us.
There is one way to avoid that fate - but only one. It's not by cleaning up our act or taking up religion, but by trusting in Jesus Christ. By dying on the cross he jumped on the grenade of God's wrath that his people deserved to face. Yet if you refuse to let Jesus shield you from the blast, you will have to face the eternal effects of it yourself. So will you face up to those time-bombs now - or wait until it’s too late?
Published in Stranraer and Wigtownshire Free Press, 22nd February 2018