Sunday, 21 June 2009

Wired to live; waiting for heaven

Wired to live; Waiting for heaven

This morning the phone rang at about 7:30 and I knew what it was about before I took the call. We had been expecting this call for a few days now – but that didn’t make it any easier. The news was that a very dear person in the church family at Kings had… how do you put it?... died. This special lady, who has been a dear friend and an inspiration to many of us at Kings for over 20 years, died after a battle with cancer that had been going on for some time. Yet such was her resilience and confidence in God that all through that time, she just continued to exude joy, serve unstintingly and face each day with her trademark appetite for life! We shall miss her very much.

For me, Hazel found the right balance that I believe us Christians should have when facing the present and the future. Regarding the present, we have been wired by our Creator God to live life, enjoying the gift of life that He has given us, with enthusiasm and gratitude. As for the future, we have a great hope and therefore no need to be fearful, but we are not to have an unreal anticipation to depart this life before time.

My times are in your hands; Psalm 31:15

That’s why we do have a bit of a problem finding the right words to sum up what happens when a Christian breaths their last in this life, because death is no longer what it used to be. The New Testament writers got around it by using the expression: ‘… he fell asleep’ Acts 7:60, 13:36 etc. That’s quite a good way of saying it. Christians often speak of ‘going home’ which is a great way of putting it, but that can be confusing unless you explain the address! I jest, but the reality behind those words are very special, and it is wonderfully true.
Above all else, I can confidently say that Hazel has gone to be with Jesus.

I have no doubt that she enjoyed her welcome!


Friday, 12 June 2009

Working together in Copenhagen

Angie & I are here in Copenhagen for the weekend to once again spend time with our friends at Copenhagen Community Church (CCChurch). We began with a leaders meeting yesterday evening and we have quite a packed agenda for the next few days, including a brief visit to Malmo, Sweden, on Saturday. Having said that, there’s no question in my mind that we won’t have a lot of fun along the way! Josef has put a strong foundation of friendship into the church here with the result that they enjoy eating together and generally enjoying one another’s company almost as much as we do at Kings – so tonight we have a social with the leaders and their wives. Great!
Jim Drew and Jon Mullender arrive shortly to help with some of the administration and publicity needs here, so there will be quite a gang of us here from Kings!

This is so much a part of our vision as we do church; we are friends on a mission together, and that is very New Testament. Just think of the language of the New Testament… ‘my dearly beloved..’, ‘who I long to be with..’ I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.’ or how about this one: But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 1Thessalonians 2:17.
The church is not an institution, it’s a family, it’s people from every walk of life and every nation, whose lives have been impacted and changed by the grace of God discovered in Christ. And He is the One who is gathering and building His church across the nations. Just the other day I was speaking with my friend Byron in Beijing, and shortly Josef and Elin will be returning to Turkey, tomorrow will be a new experience for me – my first time in Sweden, and so it goes on!

I love being just a small part of this - the most significant endeavour in the whole universe: God’s redeeming purpose in a broken world, saving and restoring, healing and transforming, and bringing together a people, a family, for the praise of His Glory! That’s the Church!

See you next week,

Goff & Angie