Just enjoyed a great day out at the London Men’s Convention. It was fabulous. Jesus was front and centre and we left the day with an adoration for him that we may not have had when we arrrived. Mission accomplished!
Stephen Fletcher did a great job administering the whole event at a brand new venue. Richard Coekin held the day together well as the compere. He even managed to tell a risque gag involving the liberal use of the word ‘scrotum’. Monty, aka David Monteath, made his customary appearance. Amidst advertising the audio delights on offer from St Helen’s Media, he also entertained us with his dry wit. Stuart Townend and his Christ the King band served us wonderfully by leading the worship. The Stig also unexpectedy turned up as the boys from the Good Book Company told us about some really ‘Top Gear’. Do you see what they’ve done there! Genius.
We had a bunch from church head up to the ExCel centre for a none too shabby time pondering the magnificence of Jesus. Essentially there were four talks that sought to expound the biblical gospel that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The first talk by Wes McNabb explored the implications of Jesus as our King. It was heart warming stuff. He explained Jesus’ encounter with his disciples on the lake recorded in Matthew 14. I was struck afresh by the clear implication that unless I keep my faith focussed on Jesus then I’ll end up fearing whatever life throws at me. Fear or faith are the only two options.
The second and third talks came from Tim Keller. Tim spoke about the saving death of Christ and his resurrection to rule. His defence of the substitutionary death of Jesus was a new one on me. He made the significant point that all love involves substitutionary sacrifice. He gave three illustrations to make his point. They’re worth spelling out.
1. In a loving emotional exchange between two people it’s likely that one person is going to feel emotionally drained and the other will feel emotionally recharged. That’s especially true if the one feeling drained has ‘spent’ himself in helping the other to feel emotionally ‘recharged’. I was reminded that when I feel that Rosslyn is about to emotionally ‘dump’ that if I love her then I’ll take the hit.
2. If an innocent fugitive turns up at your door requesting shelter and safety from those who are seeking him then love demands that we accept a loss of security and safety if we’re going to harbour him.
3. When we have children we have a decision to make. We can either live for ourselves and trash our children. Or we can decide to live for them and put our own life on hold for a while so that they grow up as mature adults not just children with big bodies!
Mike Cain did a terrific job following on from Tim Keller. I tried to encourage Mike by saying that there can’t be many people who can claim that Tim Keller is their warm up act! He was asked to speak on Jesus the returning judge. It’s a tough gig speaking at the end of a long day on a topic that many find unpalatable, but he did a great job. But his exposition of 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 was wonderfully lucid, well crafted and applied.
The LMC continues to be a valuable addition to a busy local church programme. It’s great to get a group of guys away for the day to consider their calling as Christian men. Though almost all that was said could apply equally well to women, the value of getting the guys interacting, praying together, encouraging and sharpening one another up is priceless.
In his conference notes Richard Coekin wrote, ‘At the end of the day, let’s go home more impressed by, more devoted to, more in love with and more sacrificial for Jesus – to Be Men of Jesus!’
I, for one, went home in just such a frame of mind. And for that reason, amongst many others, I’m glad I went.