Friday, 24 September 2010

Crunch Time?

The milkman popped a note through our door this morning, apologising for having to put the price up. Nothing particularly unusual about that these days, I'm afraid. In fact, it's difficult not to notice the steady climb in the cost of just about everything: food; energy; transport; insurances; taxes; and so on. Every government department, and every business, is desperately trying to maintain its revenue stream, whilst at the bottom of the food chain, ordinary men and women are watching outgoings rising, whilst income is either pegged or decreasing. Am I alone in thinking that things can't continue for much longer before whole economies start to implode?

The Church makes much of personal repentance and salvation and rightly so, but this mess requires repentance on a national scale: By the businessmen; bankers; politicians and heads of state who have helped create it. No grass-roots movement; this has got to come from the top. And at the head of the queue must come the Church and its leaders. Let's be blunt: our Lord gave the Church the privilege of taking His good news of salvation to the hurting masses and it dropped the baton and retired to the changing room to nurse its blisters, leaving the arena to the opposition.

Oh, sure, there are plenty of people, usually those with an interest in maintaining the status-quo, who'll say: "You can't" and "You mustn't upset people", but there's a world out there, waiting to hear something that will give them hope. Besides, whilst the oposition is saying "No", Father is saying "Go" so, whose point of view do you value the more?

The voice of one crying: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord!"

Friday, 10 September 2010

Life's Rich Tapestry

What do a Scots piper, McDonald’s and casting stones into water have in common? Well they are all aspects of the rich and varied work that the Lord has called us into this year.

This Saturday (11th September) we shall be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. This memorial service, which features an interview with a 93-year-old ex-pilot, will include contributions from a number of sources. God always seems to like surprising us and, sure enough, three days ago a lady rang up and asked if we would like a piper to play before and after the service.

We look forward this Sunday (12th September) to another opportunity to preach the Gospel. Last time the choir sang on the High Street we were accompanied by a number of very loud car horns. McDonald’s seemed to like us, too, because they kept their door open. We shall see what happens this time!

Last evening (9th September) we celebrated Rosh HaShana, or The Feast of Trumpets. About 85 people sat down to a wonderful meal and we shared teaching about exciting future events. During the evening we identified with the Jewish celebrations by casting stones into water, symbolic of casting our sins into the sea. How wet yours truly got was in direct proportion to the gusto with which some people did this!

We have had an unexpected invitation from a large department store in Tonbridge to sing some Christmas music. This time I think the adjoining Sainsbury’s will keep their doors open!