29 October 2011

Stamford - Fisherfolk evening

< 24th October 2011 | Index | 7th November 2011 >

This evening took me back to the 1970s and 80s in more ways than one. The music was great and a lot of good thoughts were shared, in the songs, in the form of short stories and experiences from the past, and in conversation afterwards.

Some friends from the 1970s, Paul and Jenny, had invited me to a Fisherfolk evening. They planned to play some of the wonderful old music created as part of the Charismatic Renewal, a revival that swept through the church at that time.

We gathered at Stamford Free Church where there was a warm welcome. When the band of five musicians began playing and singing I was astonished at the quality of the music. I'd known it would be good, but somehow they had really captured something of the original Fisherfolk feeling.

All the songs were familiar and I certainly enjoyed myself. But I'd like to explain how the evening affected me in other ways, ways that are relevant today, not just memories of the past.

Dot, introducing the songs, spoke eloquently about joy and family. She explained there had been no joy in going to church when she was young. She was very aware of the responsibilities laid on her, almost as if she had to earn her way to heaven. Many people still see things this way.

For Dot it all changed, she was filled with joy, she was baptised, and she discovered a sense of family. She was surrounded by brothers and sisters in this new life of fellowship! Dot reminded me how important family is. We are supposed to live in our Father's house. We are meant to be at home with him. And we are meant to be full of life and joy and love.

Whenever and wherever people follow Jesus wholeheartedly they will be full of life, joy and love. The fruit of the Spirit is more fundamental than the gifts. And when we live like that the world will see Jesus in his people.

Thank you Dot and Jenny (vocals), Mark (drums), Paul (guitar) and John (piano). Thank you for reminding me how we should all live today. I can hardly do better than finish with a few words from  one of the songs.
For our lives together, we celebrate
Life that lasts forever, we celebrate
For the joy and for the sorrow
Yesterday, today, tomorrow
We celebrate
< 24th October 2011 | Index | 7th November 2011 >

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