10 December 2009

Moggerhanger Park - Star-dusted fabric

We intended to meet at Eaton Ford this week, but Jim was working late and had suggested that if we could come to Moggerhanger, he might be able to join us. The night skySo when the time got around to 20:15 and there were still only two of us, we decided to drive to Moggerhanger.

When Jim was able to get away to join us in the staff sitting room, he found Sean and me talking about astrophysics. And in some curious way this led on to thoughts about Jesus as the morning star (2 Peter 1:19). The Magi saw his star 'in the east' and came to worship him. Stars rise in the east, and the morning star (the planet Venus) rises in the east just ahead of the sun. And just as the morning star ushers in the new day, so Jesus in his rising ushered in the new day of his reign and rule and triumph over death.

Jim recalled a time when he'd been angry with someone and the Lord told him to 'Just stop!' When he looked up he saw the enormous, star-dusted fabric of the night sky and was overwhelmed by the magnificence of creation. His anger was gone in a moment!

We also discussed the nature of teaching in the life of the church. Jim said we should be teaching one another and that all of us have something to contribute. I mentioned that traditionally it hasn't worked like that. In the past most of us were told that we should all sit and listen while one person taught from the front. Far from encouraging one another to contribute, we were actively discouraged from doing so. Jim went on to say that there's head knowledge like the science of astrophysics but there's also a completely different kind of knowledge, not of the mind but of the heart.

Next we moved on to thoughts of our future in the presence of the Father and the Son. Sean reminded us that we have an inheritance to look forward to (as in Hebrews 1). Heaven will assuredly not be boring! This brought us to thoughts of John's funeral which had been rich with thoughts of inheritance, redemption, and life in Father's presence. I explained how Donna and I had both been so sure in our hearts that John would be healed, and that is how we had prayed at the time. This leaves the matter of faith as a continuing conundrum. Prayer without faith is unfruitful, but so is prayer that is unaware of the will of the Father.

Jim raised the topic of witnessing, as in prayer we need to take risks. How many of us would have witnessed to the Tough Talk guys before they became believers? I mentioned that we also need to develop relationships with people and get alongside them in meaningful ways.

Sean had some thoughts about Jesus' prayer in John that the disciples might be one just as he and the Father are one. The disciples belonged to the Father who gave them to the Son. He didn't even choose his own disciples! (John 17:6-26) And so it is with us, we need to tell the people he gives us about him. Jim pointed out that we are his disciples too, we need to set off for the mountain together and walk in his presence. Where he goes, we go - just like the twelve or the seventy.

Sean's thoughts moved to the time when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. They were already grumbling by the time they reached the sea, but in truth they should have been praising the Lord before they arrived at the shore. I mentioned that Joshua and Yashua (Jesus) are the same name, and Joshua is an early picture of what Yahshua would do. Joshua went into the land ahead of the people and then returned and declared it good, he was with them in the wilderness, and then finally he led them into the land across the Jordan. And what Joshua did in the physical realm, Jesus has done for us in the spiritual realm!

Jim reminded us that when Paul and Silas were in prison they still continued to sing the Lord's praises (Acts 16:16-40). So should we - but would we? Good question, Jim!

Finally we prayed together, and then discussed possible dates for some future meetings, 21st January for a bowling evening as an X-treme Camps local reunion, and Sunday 7th February for a snowdrop walk at Moggerhanger followed by a light lunch and an afternoon meeting. These dates are not firm yet.

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