I long to see the Churches not hiding away behind closed doors pining for a bygone year, but rather match fit and on the front-line believing that the Church in U.K’s best days are ahead of us rather than behind us.
The world is changing fast, but God remains faithful, and his gospel remains good news.
His word is still as relevant and fresh as it was on that first Pentecost celebration when the Spirit was poured out in the upper room in Jerusalem, as true and transformative as it was upon Hanham Mount when revival visited Kingswood through Witfield and Wesley, and as radical and revolutionary as whenever it was that the Lord captivated our hearts with his love.
One of the projects I have been worked a lot is the Street Pastors project.
In the early days of patrolling the streets we would wander around at break-neck speed and miss everything that God was doing. Soon learned to walk slower and spot those signs of God at work.
In many ways like Jesus could have been too busy talking good theological doctrine to his disciples that he missed the miserable little tax collector up a Sycamore Tree, but he didn’t and an unlikely person -received salvation and blessed his community.
Do we miss what’s God is doing?
Does our baggage and pre-suppositions cloud our judgement, blur our vision, of what we actually see, rather than what we think we see.
My prayer is that as we look again at Kingswood we may see those wonderful thing that God is doing and beckoning us to join in with them.
Mission, Rowan Williams reminds us is about “finding out what God is doing and joining in”.
“O Let me see thy footmarks and in them plant my own I want to follow duly in your strength alone”.
Even when it tough and challenge, God never leaves us or forsakes us, and he missionary God does not stop knocking on the door of his beloved’s life.
Rowan Williams reminds us again that “it’s not the Church who has the Mission of God, but rather the missionary God who has a Church”.
The Spirit of God leads his people from his Church into his world, so that his world can know him.
God is a God who makes a way in desert.
God makes a way, when none existed before.
He hasn’t finished with us yet.
To quote C.S. Lewis “Aslan (a Christ-like figure in his children’s books) is on the move”.
God longing that ‘none shall perish’ and yet sometimes we have retreated into our buildings and internal programmes, and I believe God is calling us to open the doors afresh, look aside, and join him in his world being his good news.