Friday, 25 February 2011

A doorkeeper?

"I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God..." - these are some words from Psalm 84, as the writer pictures himself standing at the door of the temple, welcoming people to worship. Some of us still do that; we welcome people to worship as part of a welcome team.

Some Cambodian communities have people called "doorkeepers". This is no longer physical, but their job is to look after the best interests of the community. If you want to run a project in their village, you need the permission of the doorkeepers; they will let you in, but also keep you out.

There is a great deal of door-imagery in the Bible. Jesus calls Himself the gate; He stands at the door and knocks; John saw a door open in heaven. (John 10; Revelation 3,4) Here's a Celtic prayer:
God the Lord has opened a door
Christ of hope, Door of joy!
Son of Mary, hasten Thou to help me:
in me, Lord Christ, let there be joy.

How do people find the door into God's blessing and the joy of Christ? There are lots of people who would love to find the door into faith, but are not sure where the door is. Some would even like to begin to be part of a Church, but they don't know how to begin.

We should be keepers of the door and that should mean creating opportunities, creating ways for people to find their way. Maybe we even need to be the doors, so that by and through us, others find their way to faith, to Christ, to Church. How does the Church create these opportunties?

Do people feel for the door, but all they find is a wall? The door ought to be there, and they feel for it and grope along the wall, but they find no doorway, no opening, just a solid wall stopping them from getting in.

2 things: are we blocking the door? Is there something in us or in our Church or in the way we do things that creates a brick wall rather than a door?
Secondly, "the most important thing anyone can do is to take hold of one of these blind, groping hands, and put it on the latch... and open it, and walk in, and find Him... So I stand by the door. (Samuel Shoemaker)

Friday, 18 February 2011

Telling our story!

Have a look at this link to the Tearfund website; you might see someone you recognise!

I was asked to be involved in this DVD project (there is a longer version, with some other people as well!) to tell other Church leaders about our connection with Cambodia. I went to Manchester for a Saturday last year to take part in the filming; it was a long day and there were a few retakes; apparently some bits of the interview appear in another Tearfund DVD, but none have appeared on You've been Framed! yet.

It is good to tell our story, not so that we can boast about ourselves, but to share with others some of the ways in which God has been moving us and prompting us. We have to tell our story in such a way that it is clear that we give glory and honour to God. By telling the story of our involvement with Tearfund and Cambodia, I understand that some other churches have begun to show an interest in this kind of Connected Church project.

This DVD tells part of a story about a particular thing we do and others have responded. As Christians we can tell the story of Jesus, or the personal story of our own faith, whenever the opportunity arises, and tell people a little about the love and faithfulness of God. Perhaps they'll respond positively to that too.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

a selfless act?

Have a look at this; it is excellent.

Last night at Bible study we were thinking about Matthew 5:38-48 and the challenges presented to us by Jesus to be different and to learn to copy the love of God.