two great services today - the challenge of circumcision and being part of a family of faith is a really tough one for it makes calling a real issue and additionally turns us around to look at what it means to be family too.
Today was a privilege, I only hope I took the opportunities that were before me and did justice to the challenges today presented. Two different congregations and so two different, and yet in essence the same, messages in a day of challenges which saw late starts, later starts and no heating.
Commitment looks like turning up for a early service, especially when the weather is poor and the season cold - we need to cherish our early service congrations for they are not the old stalewarts but the bedrock! For those who came to the 'main" service in a cold church, this is another facet of commitment that deserves to be nurtured and treasured. How do we pastor our sheep and be the good shepherds God, and they, desire?
This appears to be on God's books as a season of nurture and for treasuring those who make up our churches. A season of caring for the newcomers and for raising the bar in terms of Bible knowledge and lifestyle choices for all who follow Jesus, the Christ.
Lord, help me to reach the lost and to treasure every encounter this year. Bring me divine appointments and make me slow to engage with the dross of everyday church life, choosing instead to be present at the partying that surrounds new birth and the discipline of our calling.
Help me to make my diary a tool that assists rather than a chain that constrains and keeps me stuck in the dungeon of excessive work. I have nothing to prove and nothing to give but my love and worship, help me to take more time with you and to calm the daily rush of oft unnecessary toil.
Help me to cherish being part of a physical family and to walk the centreline that divides the two, putting neither to the sword and fulfilling that which I should be doing and giving opportunities for that which I desire to be doing.
Church should be a party not a homework session - a place of love, acceptance, and tolerance. MY this be the reality for me and the people I serve and the church of which I am a member.