13 September 2011

Tempsford (SG) - Being radical

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It's been a while since I've been at a small group meeting so it was good to see everyone again. The theme was based on the beatitudes from Matthew 5.

Roger told us about various upcoming events including a baptism on 25th September and a car rally planned for 2nd October.

A waterfallWe listened to some songs and joined in with one of them and Roger read some of Jesus' words, 'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest ... Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.' (Matthew 11:28, John 7:38)

Leanne took the word section; it was based on the Beatitudes from Matthew 5:1-6 and referred back to Ian Hoile's address on Sunday, part one of a series 'Be radical'. (If the recording isn't visible from the linked page you may need to search for 'Be radical'.)
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
These verses are like a 'Kingdom manifesto'. If we follow Jesus we should be different from those who do not. We thought about this, in particular identifying ways in which we actually are different. We also  asked one another in what ways have we been blessed recently.

I suggested that it may help to reverse the ideas expressed by Yahshua. For example, if we are completely happy, how can we possibly be comforted? If, like the Pharisees, we think we are spiritually rich why would we want to enter the Kingdom?

And finally we separated into smaller groups to pray. Praying with Roger and Graham I had a picture of a waterfall. A wide, mature river was running sluggishly until it came to a cliff; then it poured over in a mighty, roaring torrent and crashed on the rocks below throwing spray high into the air. But the river wasn't destroyed, it soon returned to its placid, steady flow.

Father said that our lives are like rivers; time carries us along and like the river we can't go back. Along the way we experience all sorts of things, good and not so good. But sometimes he brings us to a place where we must face sudden change - a place like a waterfall. The flow is disrupted and we loose control. But it's an amazing place of noise and spray and only in the waterfall is there power and glory. We needn't be afraid of these times, he will bring us through safely. They are times of fundamental change for us. And, like the river, we will continue afterwards at a normal pace. It will be OK.

Roger was reminded of a time when he had walked behind a waterfall. He had not got wet, we need to be brave enough to take a step into the falling water if we want to be affected by it. Graham commented that when we stand on the edge we still have control, we can choose to step into the water or we can choose to step backwards away from the water. But if we step into the water we lose control and we cannot then change our mind.

The second part of the beatitudes group chat is also online.

(See also: Blessing or curse)

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