Monday, 18 August 2008

Wonderful Sunday

Many people think that church is rather like this :-(

Of course nothing should be further from the truth. Of course I exaggerate. But as we remember that "church" is not the meeting you attend on a Sunday morning, but the new humanity being drawn together and built up into Christ (flowery thoughts on that from Peter Leithart: meditate on the text that lies behind it, though) we realise that this new polis is a full time activity. And there's plenty of space for fun and all the more substantial forms of enjoyment and rejoicing together with brothers and sisters of all ages and races, nationalities and backgrounds.

Yesterday morning we were at the mothership, where I was preaching on 2 Corinthians 11:1-12:10, one of the more convoluted and tricky passages on the New Testament (if the phrase "baptism of fire" weren't such a cliche I'd be wheeling it out around... now). I found the "Family Focus" section, on how to deal with suffering and fatigue in the Christian life, really helpful - and the whole service was well-designed to support that point. It was so great to catch up with various people over coffee (now we're off planting a church we don't get to Rock every week), so great in fact that we were still burbling away in the carpark with a couple of new friends long after the doors of the school had been locked and everyone else had gone.

On the way home we stopped off at another friend's house to give her a letter of complaint that K had written for her (her English is not so great) concerning some shabby treatment from a GP. Beautiful weather, more good chat, comfortable ride home down leafy paths. Then home for a multi-course lunch, some bashing away at sets of Brahms Variations on the piano, and a long tea-fuelled farewell to a CIO Team Leader who had been staying with us for the last two weeks. Great guy, great fun. PG also returned mid-afternoon so a great time of chilling was had by all.

A slight rush to set up Hope Community Church's meeting in the neighbouring school.

Summer building work means that our usual facilities are somewhat reduced.

But another great time of fellowship, and a clear message from John 12:20-35 by Dr PJ (of Greek fame) kindly visiting from Eden Baptist. Who is this Jesus, what did he do and what does that mean for you and me?

Sang a great anti-Zionist song to close the worship time, but that's a story for another day! ;-)

Lots of visitors, including people not yet Christians. They all came back to our place for a large shared meal. And stayed chatting for hours - general chat, gospel chat, laughter, catching up, all wonderful.

Praise the Lord for his work in building community. Even though 7 of our 12 "regulars" were away we still had a full house and learned from God and were the church - flawed, occasionally amateurish, eccentric in many places... but eager to love others for the sake of Christ and delighted in all the contributions (culinary and conversational, not to mention on the washing up) made by our various visitors.

Managed to get to bed not too late, did some reading, catch up with Mrs L and ready for the Monday morning...