Sunday, 17 July 2011

What's the story, eternal glory.

I have been away on holiday in Turkey, it was glorious! Seven days of cloudless skies, temperatures in the mid to high 30's. Because I woke up earlier than the others who were with us, I had the joy of reading and praying on a shady balcony with sea views.
In the last blog I wrote that I would be thinking about values that might help shape the Church in Lusaka.
I read a quote by Alasdair MacIntyre a few weeks ago and it has resonated with me."A central thesis then begins to emerge: man is in his actions and practice, as well in his fictions, essentially a story-telling animal ...I can only answer the question 'What am I to do?' if I can answer the prior question 'Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?"
After Virtue, p. 216
I have been thinking much about the story in which I find myself. I don't relate easily to Mission Statements or vision and values, but I get stories.
As I prayed and read on my balcony in Turkey, I marvelled again at the story that has captured us, Genesis 1:26-27. Man in the image of God was not completed in the creation of Adam and Eve, but will be completed in a bride suitable for Jesus, Revelation 21:2.
As I prayed and read, I was struck by the story of Jesus stilling the storm Matthew 8:23-27.
Jesus' disciples were professional fisherman, accustomed to the conditions on Galilee and the danger of the sudden storms. As the storm arose, it became the compelling story of their lives, however the true story of their lives was Mark 1:17.
Under stress, we can revert to the wrong story, the small story. If we are to see a God glorifying Church in Lusaka, we will need to work together to focus on the big story of a community in whom the image of God is being formed.
The first value I am praying for is an understanding of belonging in God's story.

In the last post, I mentioned that Gary and Nicky Welsh were visiting our Church, Bexleyheath Community Church. He spoke brilliantly and you can download it here.
Our extraordinary Church also had a love offering for us as we go to Zambia, over £12,000 was raised. It is a small Church and the sum raised represents faith, sacrifice and love on a staggering scale. It is a privilege to be part of this Church.
In the next post, I will share some more about values and what I learnt at Together on a Mission in Brighton.
I would love to begin a discussion on values and vision with anyone who reads this blog (hello Mum!) Please feel free to use the comments section.

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