Church. Twice. It was Sunday after all. But it was a special Sunday. We launched our local A Passion for Life week. With other local churches we’ve put together a series of events to help people connect with Easter.We’re busting a gut for the gospel this week. We try and do that most weeks. But we’re really killing ourselves this week!
Special events. Baptism double header in the morning. Neither cried. Both sides of the family seemed content. It all passed off without incident. Get in! And it was Mother’s Day and we couldn’t let that go unnoticed. Apparently there’s a countrywide shortage of Daffodils. Something to do with the dodgy weather. But our ever resourcesful children’s worker tracked down sufficient bunches for all the women in all age church. In the evening we had a testimony from the drug-dealing, firearm-smuggling Gambian who is now one of our mission partners. Noble did a great job as he explained how God had turned his life around during his time in an American prison and how he was now using that life for the good of the gospel amongst Gambian students. It’s a privilege to be able to pray for him and Lydia, their family and their work.
Guests. Never enough! But yesterday was the day for families. But there were a few newcomers and visitors in the evening, which was encouraging. A few regulars were away, which wasn’t! Perhaps they’re steeling themselves for this mammoth week ahead of us. And we had had a full day at The God Confusion.
Talks. Pete on Luke 15 and the parable of the lost son, or as he pointed out it’s the parable of the two lost sons and the doubly compassionate Father. I’m more older son than younger son. I used to be the younger son. And then I became a Christian. And then I became self righteous! Me in the evening on Zacchaeus. I’ve never preached on that passage before. That was surprising. It’s a great story and I hope I did it justice. I’m never quite sure how my sermons are received. We’re not the most demonstrative congregation in Christendom. You could have heard tumbleweed blowing past and the distant clanging of an old bell during the question time. And so, every now and again, when someone absent mindedly leaves their sermon notes lying on the floor I sneak a peek. After all, they were on their way to the bin. It’s like unmediated unplugged feedback and it’s brutal in its honesty! Rather encouragingly there weren’t too many doodles. Just a small one of ‘Alice the camel who had one hump’. A reference to Jesus’ deliberately udicrous image in Luke 18:25 to show how impossibly difficult it is for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God. But otherwsie the scribblings were all passage related and the shape of the sermon was faithfully represented. But there in the middle was a song, learnt in childhood no doubt, saying simply
Zacchaeus was a very little man, a very little man was he.
He climbed up into a sycamore tree, for he wanted the Lord to see.
And when the Lord came past that way, he looked up into the tree
And said ‘Zaccaheus, you come down for I’m coming to your house for tea’.
I guess I must have been dull for the few moments that it took to write that bit! I know whose notes they are. Their identity shall remain a secret. But if she would like them back, I have them at home! Or perhaps you could pick them up when you babysit on Thursday night!
A Passion for Life. We’re gearing up. It all happens this week. We don’t want to leave anything out on the pitch and so we’re going for broke. We’ve now entered the calm before the storm. First event; the Women’s International Evening of Cuisine. I love that title. There’s something Austin Powers’ about it.