Your Choice: Basic, Better, Best

I like e.e.brinkers blog amongst others, because she challenges my little grey brain cells. My church ladies group are also challenging, should the Vicar drop in well there is exemplary behaviour, at other times?

At other times they they are well, normal. Most of them actually never set foot in the church, we meet on a week day evening in the church hall, and this for them is ‘their church” no fuss, no rules but a safe place to come, a place where joys, and troubles can be shared, a place where non-religious women can get a prayer on asking, and still feel they are your basic normal not religious woman. Every one of them has faith, and plenty of it, they just choose a different kind of church.

We make many choices everyday about all sorts of things. We would find life drab, and colourless without choices, and yet despite the huge number of TV channels, we can never find a programme we want to watch, it seems quantity does not always mean quality. There is one long running programme where 3 antiques are placed side by side and the audience are asked to decide which is basic (least value), better ( middle value), and best (most expensive). Of course the one judged to be best is going to be the rarest and possibly a great artist’s work.http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mj2y

But would we always choose to pay a kings ransom for an object that we thought ugly, just because it was by a celebrity artist, or rare?

We go shopping and the shelves are full of goods with countless brand-labels. If you only have pennies not pounds to spend, you have no alternative. You have to choose the basic and cheapest. If you are a little better off you can afford better, or best. But, hey hold on there. Isn’t the dearest price inflated by all the TV commercials, that spoil our enjoyment of TV? And what about all those circulars and brochures that come unsolicited through the letter box and go out, unread into the recycle bin, isn’t that part of the price tag too! You can have too much information thrown at you.

In the shoe shop, or dress shop, along comes the sales assistant to help you make your choice, to help in our moment of confusion, beware if she tells you your size 7 foot will feet into a size 4 that , dear reader is not good advice. If stuck, unable to make a choice, we can always try confused.com

In John’s Gospel, (John 15:16) Jesus tells his disciples, ‘You did not choose me, I chose you’
Why on earth should He do that?
In Matthew 13: 45 He says, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls, when he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it’
When He came looking for for his fine pearls did Jesus pay for Basic, Better or Best?

Should we dare, as Christians to think ourself Best?

I think we should think ourself basic but He can build on that, we can all do better, and that to put God first Is best.

Churches can be places of too much confusion, too much information, too many advisors, perhaps that is why some choose basic, simple fellowship. The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love in a company where no one regards herself better than another and the cup of tea or coffee is styled as the best I’ve had today.

One Heart at a Time

The Lord Jesus claims one heart at a time for His Kingdom.

The story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem, the King on the donkey captures our imagination and our hearts; the crowds, the waving palm branches, coats strewn in the donkey’s path, all make us want to join in with the great shout, Hosanna – glory, glory in the highest!

Yet Luke tells us (Luke 19″ 41-44) that seeing Jerusalem as He approached Jesus wept. Jesus wept with a heart moved with compassion for a city and a people who despite their jubilation had not recognised the Way of the Kingdom He was bringing.

Perhaps,our Lord weeps today looking at a world where so many hearts still do not accept the message of the Kingdom of Peace, perhaps He weeps now for those who not accepting God’s will and Way prefer hatred and conflict to love and peace.

I picture the crowds who called my Lord King and then chose another, Barabbas to live while Jesus died on a cross with a notice nailed to it ‘King of the Jews.’

And then my thoughts return to His heart moved with love and compassion for fickle, changeable human hearts. I believe that lovely heart still reaches out in love to claim One heart at a time for the Kingdom of God; and I marvel, that One heart is All to Jesus and that His joy is made complete when One heart whispers back, ‘Jesus You are all to me.’

What moved your heart to love His?

This I know, the Kingdom is not about head counts but about the meeting of hearts.

A Chilly Easter

The snow is still there, though slowly disappearing as temperatures rise a little during the day time; I have known other cold and snowy Easters, but this one well…

A digital thermometer gave a reading of 3.6degrees C in the church last Monday, a massive leak has appeared in a pipe some 4 feet below ground; the exact location of the leak was finally discovered by introducing hydrogen gas at pressure into the central heating system. Needless to say intense cold like this is not healthy.

Fortunately, Church has a separate parish hall, so Church moved. All that was needful was carried across a busy main road, in several journeys. Good Friday, Easter Day, Junior Church all happened in our large hall in warmth and comfort, most weekday evenings see the hall being used by dance classes, but we made an altar, lit the Easter Fire, and Paschal Candle, sang the Easter Hymns and found, that The Lord had gone before us … This years services were better attended than those of the past 4 years, and there was such depth of worship and joy, delight in being together, new faces, new friends…

Easter was different this year, but, The Lord was with us, reminding us that the first Easter Day was very different from all the traditional Easters which have grown up since in the many denominations and places in the world. It left us feeling that simple fellowship, coming together in love is all that The Lord asks, He still delights to appear in the midst, still holds out his hands in welcome, it is for us to respond.

What was your Easter like?

Tomorrow, early, I have an appointment with the engineers coming to take up flooring and to begin to install new pipe: but my first meeting of the day will be with the Risen Lord to pray for those new lambs He introduced to us over this chilly Easter. After the Resurrection, The Lord Jesus said to Peter ‘Take care of my sheep’ (John 21 v16), whatever difficulties, hardships. Or trials that is the first duty of his church, the Good Shepherd knows that lambs are born in the cold as well as in the sunshine, he knows too the sorrows and griefs that some of our visitors bought with them this Eastertide. Some are called to mend pipes, others to pray for the mending of hearts.

Warmest Easter Blessings to you!