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I know the power of the love of Jesus and I wonder…

June 29, 2014

“We have a Gospel to proclaim” a wonderfull hymn that I will sing later today. I  will sing those words together with lots of others. Hopefully, we will be full of joy and ready to share the wonder of God’s love with the people around us. But will we really do that or just sing the words and feel good? I’ll stop picking on them: Will I really prooclaim the Good News that Jesus has given me or will I just enjoy a good sing?

I want to be honest here, but I don’t like the answer. The answer, the true answer, is something like ‘I’m not too sure’, or ‘I hope so’. I hope that I will be open to the Spirit so that he can make my life attractive to others, or more accurately I pray that the Spirit will make His life within me shine out. I pray for it, I want it and sometimes I do it.

I was at the Royal Norfolk Show last week – both days leading a team of people reaching out to the crowds of people out for a great day. I was only a small part of it all but it felt good to stop and chat to people. To chat about the weather – the Show is very English. To chat about their children, their dogs, or livestock: A welcome, a link to God’s love. I chatted about Jesus too, normally, casually as if He really were my Saviour and friend, and theirs too. Which of course he is, but so often that bit gets dodged.

I shared what I have received from the Spirit. I shared and the Spirit gave more. So I shared some more and more of the Spirit came.

I came to the show, tired and busy: A little weary from all of the responsibilities of being a minister. I arrived at 7am wondering why I had ever let myself get involved when I am already over stretched. I prayed and the grace came down. I spoke to people and grace came. I prayed with people and helped them to be quiet with God –  and grace came. I helped sort out the tent, carried boxes, served coffees, made badges, and listened to life stories – and grace came down.

4,000 stickers had been printed to give out to children, and we ran out on the second day. Thousands of encounters with the Gospel, some with fellow Christians – I pray they were as encouraged as me. Thousands of encounters with the Gospel, some with people who did not know Jesus or were only passing aquaintences – I pray that they know him better now.

All of that outreach, all of that procaiming the Gospel gave me a little insight into Peter and Paul. Such different men. One a short tempered, bruiser of a fisherman; the other the class geek. So different but both used by the Spirit to shout out the good news that Jesus is alive, that death is not the end, that life can be different, better in so many ways with meaning and purpose.

Paul would have been the educated speaker who could explain the difficult bits. Peter was probably better at pub type ministry. But both are giants of the faith.

So I look at me, in my mind I look at my fellow Christians: I see short and tall; I see academic and non-academic; musical and non-musical; young and not so young. Some are naturally shy; some extroverts. If I learn nothing else from Peter and Paul, then I must learn this, that none of that matters, not really, not to God.

When I open my heart to him God fills me and leads me to share that with others. He uses my strengths and my weaknesses.

I want all people to be His too. I want more and more of us to rest in prayer some time and imagine looking Jesus in the eye. Some may not be strong, or confident, or maybe they are both of those things. Either way, through the Spirit Jesus will look in, see it all and love you and me and everyone into being more like him. Then he’ll lead us to share what he’s done in us with others. To share what we are, and know, and let the Spirit do the rest.

Peter never claimed to be a theologian, Paul never claimed to be a macho leader, and they became great leaders of our faith. None of us need to claim to be anything special, but I look and I wonder… I wonder what the Spirit will lead me and you to do, or say or be.

I know the power of the love of Jesus and I wonder…

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