It's always exciting to realise that people are not only reading but engaging with what you write. So thank you.
I am aware that many of you reading this are not part of our normal Sunday congregation and that is humbling to know that you follow these postings. If that is you then do let me know a bit about you, either by making a comment on Facebook or by leaving a message here on this site. If there are particular things you want me to look at again let me know, you never know we might actually agree.
Over the years I have realized that there are many, many Christians who have an active faith, know Jesus as their Saviour and Friend, who often read the Bible and pray regularly but for one reason or another don't attend a church regularly. That's not a criticism; just a fact and maybe blogs like this help to make you feel a bit more grounded in your faith.
This week I was preaching from Matthew 5. This is Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, one of the largest blocks of Jesus' teaching and, as such, is worthy of our consideration. In verse 14, Jesus says 'You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.'
We are seen by so many people everyday and they make decisions about who we are, just like we look at them and make decisions about who and what they are. The difference with us is that regardless of how we feel about this we are representatives of Jesus. In fact, we might be the only picture of Jesus that people see. We cannot hide, just like a city on a hill or a lamp in a room. We are there for all to see. What do they see when they see us? Jesus goes on to say that we are seen by our good work. Faith isn't just an inward thing that stops when we say the sinners prayer, but continues as an outward sign to others, often by our good works. Take a moment and look at your own life; are you known for being compassionate, generous, caring, loving? What do people see when they see you: good works or a bitter and twisted soul?
You know there is a God who forgives and grants us a second chance. Its called repentance. It's never too late to start afresh.
Three years ago, I came to a surprising realization. I love telling folks about Jesus, I love preaching about the Good News but realised that I didn't have any non Christian friends. I didn't hang out with normal folks; my entire life was church based. How could I invite people to events when I had no one to invite? How could I tell a lost world about Jesus when I didn't have any conversation with them. So I joined a snooker club. I am horrible at snooker, but for three years I have popped in once or twice a week. Everyone knows I am a minister and that causes some interesting comments. However, I have found I have had more amazing conversations here than anywhere else. I have people who have booked me to do their funerals....when they die. I find myself regularly listening as people un-burden their hearts about bereavement or talk about their problems. I don't preach but they know they can find a listening ear with me.
Last night I realized that men are no good with feelings so when someone starts to talk about their feelings we change the conversationa as fast as we can. I don't; so people can chat about what is happening in their lives. I am different... a City set on a Hill.
The club is run by a committee and this year I was asked to put my name forward for election. I did think that if it came to a vote I probably wouldn't get enough votes, but in the end 10 people put their names down for 10 positions and that was it: I was on the committee. At the first meeting, they unanimously voted me as Chairman of the club, saying that I was just the right guy for the job . A minister as chairman of a private club. A City on a Hill cannot be hidden. My name and title "REV" go on all the documents, I can't wait to see what happens next. So if you fancy a game of snooker one night or a quiet drink in a nice bar let me know.
I have done another fun quiz for you to try, just follow this link, its anonymous too!