It is hard to believe but at the end of this month of June Teresa and I will have been living, working and dwelling with you in the sunny South for 20 years. As well as that this month is the 30th anniversary of my ordination at Liverpool Cathedral. I cannot believe where the time has gone, but it has, and although I have lost a number of things i.e. hair, physical fitness, I have gained in their place weight and wisdom to compensate. (Is that a fair swap? Answers on a postcard)
As I reflected and remembered the many different people that have featured in our lives over these 30 years I felt conflicted, because many of you are still here, and many have come and gone. Every now and then I would suddenly remember someone who I had invested time, energy and prayer into only for them to move on into a life seemingly without Jesus.
This time therefore between Ascension day and Pentecost seems a poignant season as we pray together for the Holy Spirit to set us and our churches on fire for Jesus. During this time, we have been commissioned to pray for at least five people whom we know that don’t yet know Jesus as Saviour and Lord. And for those that do, to take the Gospel message out from our churches into the world. In the first video that was released for ‘Thy Kingdom come’ the theologian and former Bishop of Durham Tom Wright said this ‘Jesus announced the Kingdom, embodied the Kingdom, and by his Spirit he was enabling the Kingdom.’
When I think of all the discussions, arguments, battles and temptations to compromise that I have experienced as a church leader I can honestly say that my hearts cry has always been to see God’s Kingdom come, personified in Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
If that’s what you want to see too, then you are in the right church!