When I preached this morning, I had another go at inviting questions by text. Here are my responses to the two that I didn't answer before the end of the meeting...
Did the Jews repair the torn curtain in the temple?
Wow! It's been over 3 weeks since I last posted something here. I always find September and October to be the busiest time of the year. In this last week, I delivered 6 different talks to 7 different groups of people, which is a lot more than I usually do - and it took up up a lot my creative energy.
My experience of answers to prayer is that even miraculous things don’t often feel that miraculous in the Hollywood way of things. It’s more like, you blink and things seem different and you gradually realise something amazing has occurred.
For example, when people released from evil spirits, it’s nothing like the film, ‘The Exorcist’! They quite often give a little cough and feel an inner peace, but it usually takes time for them to observe the real changes in their life that show they have really been set free.
We had a scan at the JR yesterday, and discovered that baby no. 3 is almost certainly a girl. Not having found out the sex of the first two before they were born, I'm finding it a bit weird to know this. It's made more the whole thing feel a lot more real, and I'm getting more and more excited about being a dad again. Having two wonderful daughters already, I'm finding it quite easy to imagine having a third.
Whew! Quite a lot has happened in the last 10 days.
About a year ago, Bev developed a strong desire for a bread maker and, amazingly, her dad found one on Freecycle in Cheltenham that worked fine. We were genuinely amazed that such a good thing would come up on Freecycle and that we'd get it. And it worked fine until about a month ago, when the motor in it stopped working. No more bread maker :(
What a great time we had with the ‘Salt and Light’ family last week at 28:18! The weather was perfect, and Bev and I came back feeling very much refreshed. If you weren’t there, I highly recommend downloading some of the talks from here. Of these, Dave Richards on ‘Never Stop Exploring’ and Francois van Niekerk on ‘Living life from the Mountain’ speak directly to the issue I’ve been considering here: the scattered church.
In previous posts, I’ve written about:
I’ve been thinking about what the Christian community does when we are scattered away from church meetings. In my last two posts, I wrote about the growing significance of the scattered church and the relevance of Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom.
The Bible teaches Christians to meet up with each other (Heb 10:25). But these meetings are not ‘the church’, any more than a building is ever ‘the church’. The Bible instead defines ‘church’ as the actual community of Christians. In Christian meetings, we are meeting with the church not in the church. We should not say that we are going to church, because we are the church. When we leave church meetings, we are not leaving the church behind. Instead, the church is scattering!