Ever wondered what it would be like to sing God’s praises in Italian, Hindi, Swahili, Lingala, Portuguese and English (of course!!) with a little Arabic, Korean and Spanish thrown in?
I posted the following on Facebook after the recent terrorist attack here in London. It obviously struck a cord as it was shared many, many times.
Here’s the statement from the Muslim Council of Britain in regards to last night’s attack. Christians need to stand together as co-belligerents with our Muslim friends to work against terror in order to make London better for all.
What is a “co-belligerent”? Francis Schaeffer states it well: “A co-belligerent is a person with whom I do not agree on all sorts of vital issues, but who, for whatever reasons of their own is on the same side in a fight for some specific issue of public justice.”
Sometimes, I’ve had people ask me “What do you do all day? Don’t pastors just work one day a week?”
My work as the pastor of New City Church is involves a variety of activities which vary day to day. Private prayer & study, preaching & teaching, meetings & talking to people one-on-one, as well as administration & various other tasks (Who’s going to change that lightbulb?)
Yesterday was a good long day which provides a snapshot of my work. Although my days are not normally this long, it was a day which touched many of my responsibilities.
7am – Drove a Korean-American university student, who had been staying at our flat, to Hammersmith in order for her to catch the tube to Heathrow
8am – Read (Confessing the Faith by Chad Van Dixhoorn, Brothers we are Not Professionals by John Piper, and The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller)
9:15am – Attended the New City staff prayer meeting
10:15am – Met with two men (Marcus and Oong) who are growing in leadership at New City. We discussed Marcus’ upcoming sermon from Genesis 16 and verbally worked through a few theological questions
12pm – Lunch with a young Iraqi from New City who’s preparing to fly to Sweden to visit his family
1:30pm – Nap for 20 min (Got to squeeze in my nap!!)
2:30pm – Josephine and I met with someone who’s struggling
3:30pm – Joined “Open Church” during which I had extended conversations with an Irish man who’s nephew had recently died, a young teen I hadn’t seen in a year, and a homeless man who writes poetry. During this time, I stepped aside for a 20 minute phone call with a former New City apprentice who’s now in seminary
5pm – Closed “Open Church” in prayer, had a short conversation about a toilet without a working light and walked home in the rain
6pm – Hoovered the flat, took out rubbish and helped with a few other items as Josephine was cooking
7pm – A young couple arrived for dinner. She’s from New City, while he’s from another London church. They’ve recently started dating and this was the first time Josephine and I were able to have long conversations with the two of them together
12:30am – Couple left
I’m tired just reading that. But thankfully the day before was a quiet day with no meetings!
I played a little trick on the good folks at New City Church yesterday. Here was the start of my sermon:
Most of you know probably know the story of Noah. Remember that God told him to build a big ark and after many years it started raining. A violent storm suddenly came up and the boat was tossed and turned on the waves.
Finally, the people threw Noah off the boat and the storm died down. Noah was swallowed by a giant whale. After three days he was spit out on the beach and he went on to preach like he should have done in the first place.
Don’t remember that one? Good! Because I mixed Noah and Jonah – two men who’s lives involved a large boat but not much else. The details of these bible stories are important!
You may have vague ideas about them, but honestly you need to know the details. God teaches us through the stories – they were written down for a purpose. Read them over and over. Know their stories!
Thankfully people caught on pretty quickly and started to question, laugh and even shout at me as I spoke. They’re a tough bunch – couldn’t even slip a little “fish story” past them!