Whilst my boss watches the tennis on the big screen and the band practices to lead worship in about 30 minutes, I will fill you in on what I thought of Growing inFaith, which is my churches response to the Transforming Presence document from the Bishop of Chelmsford.
Last Wednesday we gathered altogether for coffee and tea before watching Francis Chan, and his talk a out what God looks like and how we talk to him. I have heard plenty of people talk about the book of Revelation, some with passion (Mike Pilavichi) and some with fear (can't remember who!) but it hadn't struck me in awesomeness. Francis Chan said so much that I can't possibly mention all of it.
What is your picture of God? Is it a big man on a cloud who looks a little bit like Western Jesus, just a bit greyer? Or is it like the beginning of Revelation? Read chapter one, 12-17 slowly, and tell me what you think! Read the whole of chapter four, slowly and tell me if your picture changes?
We love in a society, Francis Chan says, that has the notion, has grown up with the idea that 'God is whoever you want him to be', which means we have watered him down, we have used words that don't do God justice. God says 'I AM' and nations fall to the ground, yet we wander into his presence and really don't take it seriously.
How are you coming to God? With the fear of the creatures who cry "Holy, Holy, Holy" or with absent mindedness and your shopping list on your mind? What is scripture teaching you about God?
Paul says in 1 Tim 6v16 that Jesus 'lives in unapproachable light' and that the honour should be to him forever! That's amazing! Yes, we are called to a relationship with Jesus, and the great thing is that we can go to him, and he will stand in the father's presence and petition on our behalf. God is holy, his name is holy and we shouldn't water it down at all.
After listening to Francis Chan, we were split into groups, for discussions about what we had just heard. Some excellent ideas and praying for each other came out of time in small groups, also some issues that we are praying about.
We sang at the beginning and end as well, which was encouraging for me!
Overall, I really enjoyed it and now I am sat in Church seeing how Wednesday night has affected some already and hoping that it will spread like wild fire.
It's Sunday and I'm looking forward a busy but lovely week. One passage keeps cropping up in my life, which I will stick to for the next couple of weeks... Ephesians 3:14-21