Got up early so that I could smooth Rosslyn into the day. She had a surgery in the morning and had taken the afternoon off to prep for the Women’s Evening of International Cuisine. Look, no mockery and I’ll explain why tomorrow. Managed to catch the last few overs of Bangladesh’s innings as I made her tea and ran her bath. Walked the kids to school and hoped for opportunities in the playground.
Had cause to ponder a number of things throughout the day.
It started with a necessary conversation with the Head Teacher, which went as well as could be expected. Rosslyn and I have come to a different view than the Head Teacher on something. I had to explain that to her. It was all very civil and so on. But it was interesting that although we’d clearly made a decision as parents, she was very happy to challenge that. There was nothing inappropriate about how she did it. I’m pretty robust and can take a pummeling with the best of them! But when two opposing views meet there’s always confrontation. There can’t not be. I articulated my view and she articulated hers and then tried to challenge mine, which was fine. And as I was walking home it dawned on me that that’s what evangelism is, isn’t it? Christians have a biblical view of the world that’s not shared by everyone else. It’s inevitably confrontational. And doing evangelism properly involves that. But we hate confrontation, we’d do almost anything to avoid it. It’s uncomfortable and we don’t like being challenged. And so we can club together in a place called church, within our safe Christian environment and hunker down where everyone agrees with us. Occasionally we make forays into ‘enemy’ territory but normally only to steal rations before retreating to safety. It’s a caricature, I know, but it can feel that way at times. What was refreshing about the exchange with the Head Teacher was that we were both happy to say our piece and respond to what the other had said. She was quite prepared to be feisty and challenge my decision. And I wondered why we’re less keen to do that as Christians. We’ve got to start by believing that were right, or at least God is!
Spent the morning looking at Luke 13 in preparation for evening church. Got to a stage where I could see the outline and had an idea what Jesus was tyring to do in that exchange. Haven’t read any commentaries yet. Just scribbled all over my wide margin Bible and engaged with the text. Still agonising about what to do in the morning. I had to give away Luke 18 to Al Stewart because he’d used his Luke 7 talk at the God Confusion. He was going to do that for us and I was aware that some will have heard that already. I’m thinking I’ll do Luke 1:1-4 but wonder whether that’s stage back from where we ought to be?
Popped up the road at coffee time to see a friend in the street so that I could invite him to the science evening with John Lennox. He was out on a job, which was good for him because there’s not a whole load out there at the moment but bad for me because I just ended up handing over an invitation to his wife! Felt a bit wimpish but at least I have something to follow up on.
Skipped lunch to go for a run. I haven’t been for one since 6th February. I keep track. That’s over a month! How did that happen? But I’ve noticed that I’m putting on weight and that for the sake of my family, the church and the elders I ought to do my bit to ensure that I’m physically fit and not dead from heart disease. Decided that it’d be a prayer run and not an MP3 listening run. And so I prayed through the events and the speakers and the people who I know are coming or have been invited. Mental drift always a problem, especially when I’m not articulating my prayers out loud which I do at home. Still did more praying than I otherwise would have done.
The run took more time than usual. It had very little to do with my praying. You can’t simply pick up where you left off if you’ve gotten out of practice. And it’s the same with evangelism. Speaking about God, Jesus and the Bible is a way of life. We can’t simply switch it on for the mission week. And I suspect that lots of people are finding that. Like anything that we practice we get good at it the more we do it. The key is doing it. But if we don’t do it we lose our touch.I hope that one of the legacies from the intensity of this mission week is that we all emerge keener than ever to stay in the game and make evangelism a way of life.
E-mailed the boys about the curry night to try and stop them blousing out with pathetic excuses at the last minute! It always happens. But one thought on the run was to launch a blokes, beer and Bibles group with the core group formed from the lads on the CE course. They’re great company and there’s a good dynamic that would make a terrific small group.
Spent the afternoon reading Al Stewart’s book ‘Men’ because it’s terrific and because I wanted to see whether there’s anything to pick up on at the Men’s Curry Night. It’s a great book but it’s not for everyone. If you’re male and at least a little bit familiar with the ‘mid-life crisis’ then do yourself, your wife and your family a favour and read it. You’ve love it. Al gets it and he deals with it.
Rosslyn came back mid afternoon from surgery and hurried off to St Nicks to get the church building ready for the Women’s Evening. I picked up the kids and then watched Blue Peter with them over a cup of tea. Helen Skelton is canoeing down the Amazon for Sport Relief and they were showing reports from that. There was a moving segment all about a boy called Henry who picks rubbish from a heap in Lima to get money for recycling. We talked about it, prayed and decided to give some money for people like Henry.
Rosslyn was in the ‘organisational zone’ and totally preoccupied with cooking food and taking stuff to the evening. More than had been anticipated ended up on her and Holly’s plate but others had stepped in and cooked meals and lent a helping hand. She came back from St Nick’s impressed with the way the venue looked but disappointed that friends had dropped out. I hate flakiness, if that’s how it’s spelt.
Got the kids to bed. Jairus’ daughter and the bleeding woman last night so lots about how Jesus can raise us up from the dead. Rufus scored some theological points by arguing that Jesus wouldn’t need to make us alive again if we weren’t dead when he returned. Pedant. We watched some IPL and read some books before they trotted off to bed.
I went to bed early, with Al Stewart. Well, you know what I mean. Rosslyn still not back at 11pm. Looking forward to hearing how it went.