Megan Taylor preached at St Michaels (Southfields London SW18) this morning . She spoke about the story of Zacchaeus. She would not know that exactly 6 years ago I had actually been in Jericho by the 'very tree'. She was right . We know the story as a children's story , but it is for all . Going deeper , she spoke of how Jesus got right by the side of Zacchaeus, didn't criticise him, or threaten him , but loved and accepted him . The consequence was that Zacchaeus turned his whole life right around . Megan went on further to tell of the inspirational Salvation Army Officer, Danielle Strickland who gets alongside prostitutes and drug addicts. She told also of the #I'll ride with youTwitter Movement , which grew out of the Sydney Siege in December. Then we were all challenged to go further and deeper ourselves, by getting alonside people as Jesus did. There was prayer time and ministry, we all were able to allow and invite the Holy Spirit to help us to move on into this.
You are bringing your baby to be baptised, and you have not been baptised yourself ?
Thus began the rest of our life.
My husband decided after being a churchgoer all his life , part of the congregation of one of the oldest Baptist Churches in London , Battersea Chapel , and by now worshipping near to our home in Wincanton Road that John Davies had a point. No , he had never been baptised .
And so classes were held in our house. Invite all your friends said John Davies, so we did. We all realised that our faith was real, but needed to 'come alive '. Our small group became a housegroup, and with the encouragement of more neighbours , Mary and Robert Fuchs of Hambledon Road we not only learned to read our bibles , but also heard about "Baptism in the Holy Spirit'. John Davies tried to deter me from reading Michael Harper and Reg East, but I wasnt having any of it , and sat in my bedroom on 25th March 1977 and prayed
Lord if there is any more of you I have not got ,I want it now!
Thus began even more of the rest of our life.
So we have much to thank the fellowship of St Michaels Southfields. I was part of the Wives Fellowship, and hungry for all the Bible Studies. I read book after book, went to as many talks as Mary and Robert would take me. (Bishop Cuthbert Bardsley was the first clergyman I ever heard speaking who actually made sense, and I had been going to church all my 30 years).
My husband had known St Michaels all his life, had gone to St Michaels school ,where he had to learn the creed much to the consternation of his baptist parents. His mother had been a 'young wife' in the 40s and 50s, his uncle Arthur Rowling and cousin Brian had sung in the choir in the David Bubbers days.
Today we have been back for the first time since we moved away in 1980. I still thank God for Dorothy Thiajaraj and Iona Burchill who prayed together for my faith to come alive and got alongside the Zacchaeus in me.
Its not about individuals at Cafe Church . We work as one , so don't be fooled by the title! I just wanted to Praise God for the way God uses all of us to His Glory. Over the months we have served #cafechurchfiley to Filey we all have found a way to help that is our gift.
Today we were completely out of our comfort zone. David was away skiing somewhere cold, Pam was fellowshipping in Scargill, I made the coffee too gritty, someone unplugged a microphone lead, the timing on the hymns was not the same on the video clip as in the room , and there were more toys than babies. Yet I came home thinking the atmosphere was all pure Love and Joy.
Its very early , I've awoken realising that before I set off at 7am to collect the Sponge Bag and Nightware of Ancient Parent from Beverley and take to the Hull Royal , I need to cancel a taxi I had ordered to take me to a different hospital for my own impending surgery, now cancelled . IT has been a Doom Laden week.
More glass has shattered in my greenhouse on the allotment
Local Christians will go on and on to me about the impending Apocalypse
Local Atheists will go on and on to me about the impending Apocalypse
We have run out of Marmite (or is that a food sacrificed to idols)
I've had a massive Library book fine
In the scheme of things , and here I am not talking about the Apocalypse , but just how my tiny tiny life fits into this tiny town and how that fits in to the rest of the world. The Global Atrocities are so really awful that it would be very easy to ignore them all together by Head Burying, to try and make sense of them by Head Worrying or to convince oneself that all will be right and all will be right By Head Pleasing.
So let the Doom Merchants keep on considering the Illuminati , Zionism and the New World Order and let us FIX OUR EYES in another direction.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Ecumenical Lent Groups will be starting soon in Filey, so if you live here , consider joining one . I know of 2 so far being planned, at St Marys RC on Tuesday Morning , and Salvation Army on Wednesday Evening .
As a PS Ive just read my wonderful cyberfriend Archdruid Eileen's post on Children In Church .That will lift the DOOM.