09 February 2009

Great Doddington - Candy floss

It was great to welcome two new people this evening, Glenn and Sherrelea, both of them friends of Jody and Peter.Spinning candyfloss

We talked about the various 'streams' of church that exist today, and how really there is only one body. We need to be careful not to become another division of the body, remaining fully open to experience rich fellowship with our brothers and sisters whatever their background and style of meeting.

Jody passed round a Telegraph article about a woman who had fostered a Muslim girl. She was 16 years old and independently became interested in Christianity, visited a church, and was eventually baptised. As a result the foster carer has been struck off the local authority's list and is now considering legal action.

Rachael shared a picture of a circular throne. We were all sitting in it and around it and no matter how many people there were, there was always room for more to sit with the Lord. He was sitting amongst us.

Jody commented on the 'white stuff'. The recent heavy snow has slowed us down so much and in some ways this is no bad thing. This week Jody has met many people in the village that she had never met before. People have time to talk because they are not able to dash to work, collect kids from school, or get the shopping done.

The tiny, fragile flakes of snow mount up and eventually bring us to a halt. The snow melts and cleans and refreshes. We have a choice; we can enjoy it or we can hate it but it's here and we just can't avoid it!

Sherrelea shared the thought that snow is just like the Lord's people. One snowflake on its own melts on your hand, but en masse snow is truly powerful. Jody added that this thing (snow/his Church) is not of us. It is beyond us, the power and the authority are his.

Glenn used to sell popcorn and candyfloss, an amazing range of flavours of both. Sometimes he and his family experienced times of difficulty caused by the uncertain income earned. He spoke about Abraham's testing described in Genesis 22:3. Just as Abraham needed to cut wood, travel to a particular place, and be willing to sacrifice something he cherished, so we too need to be prepared for service.

We need to move away from just conserving what we have (like money in the bank) and to become providers, a blessing for others who are in desperate need. Glen shared how he'd had to lay down a twelve year project (a shop) in order to do the Lord's bidding. But in the end the sacrifice may not be required (like Abraham's son Isaac). Now Glen has plenty of work and is praising the Lord for it.

We must never withold something just because we consider it precious.

We ended by watching part of a DVD of Paul Young (the author of 'The Shack') speaking on how tradition can sap the life out of our experience of church; and how Jesus depended on every word that came from the Father, living literally moment by moment (which is about as far from tradition as it's possible to get).

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