Monday, August 26, 2013

Going with Christ

Saturday dawned. The washing machine slish-sloshed the first of several loads. 

It was golden, warm and sunny and on my agenda I had Friendship Sunday invitations--six of them!

The thought of that sent me to my basket of devotional reading for a few minutes of spiritual muscle building. There is nothing like a leap out of your comfort zone to bring you to your knees, and going out into the neighbourhood with six invitations, qualified.

As I read, I found a prescription for inspiration in a short sermon of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's, delivered on January 1, 1934 in London. January 1st, that universal day of good intentions! 

Bonhoeffer wrote:
So a new beginning is not something one can do for oneself. One can only pray for it to happen... But we can pray only when we have realized that there is something we cannot do for ourselves, that we have reached our limit, that someone else must be the one to begin.

And he went on to speak from his text, Luke 9: 57-62

Luke 9:57-62

The Message (MSG)
57 On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.
58 Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”
Jesus said to another, “Follow me.”
59 He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.”
60 Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!”
61 Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.”

I was getting a message loud and clear! It was magnified when I read the Daily Light evening reading for August 24 which only served to light the fuse on my by now fully loaded rocket ship. 

Brenda was coming for tea at 11.45, so I left right away at 11.30, sure that I would be back in 15 minutes.

I had noticed that the invitations did not have the address of our church printed on them so I decided that if no one answered a door I would go to the next house. Leaving them in the doorway would be a waste. I would only hand one to someone personally so that I could give directions.

In my journey there were three houses at which the door was not answered, but I had four lovely conversations and handed out invitations that were received with thanks! 

My next door neighbour was very busy getting ready for a trip with her extended family, but said that if she could manage it she would come.

I met a lovely young couple with their little girl; new to the neighbourhood. We chatted about their house, all that they had done since moving in, how long we'd lived here (25  years!) They thanked me for the invitation.

The next door was opened by a young woman who listened as children ran in and out, stopping in curiosity to listen too. She seemed interested and said thank you.

Her next door neighbour was interested in the church as they were traveling further than they liked to their own church--and the woman had been praying for the woman next door who had seemed interested when I gave her the invitation. "Maybe we could come together," she said. We talked a while about churches and our histories, which had some things in common. 

"Do you have a Bible study at your house on Thursday nights?" she asked, "We notice all the cars when we drive by on our way to Awana." (Awana is a children's program.)

It was only then that I realized I was half an hour late for tea with Brenda and had to run to make sure I didn't miss her!

45 minutes out of the boat, casting a net and seeing what God would do.

Bohoeffer's sermon finishes with these words:
Let your new beginning with Christ be followed by a story of going with Christ....I can think of nothing better.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for you Brenda. Do keep us posted.

Belinda said...

Hi Anon, It was a case of "do," or die to hearing God's nudges. The four people didn't actually come to church the next day, but we now know one another and that is a very good thing.

Marilyn said...

Bonhoeffer's words are being savored here this evening. Thank you for bringing them forward and for continuing the story of the invitations.

Belinda said...

Dear Marilyn, the book of sermons is wonderful. Each one feels as though written for today, even though they were written and preached a remarkable 80 years ago!