Tuesday, September 26, 2006

with a long view

Had a great time at the Cambridge 125th anniversary celebrations. The sermon went well (a listener’s perspective is here). 1 Kings 19 was my grounding Biblical text: Elijah had seen the good old days of God’s power in 1 Kings 18. But in 1 Kings 19 he needed to move on: to learn to listen to God in new ways, to go to a new destination in a foreign country and to find new partners. It is a fascinating text as it places change within a Biblical narrative.


As part of the preparation (and as an example of listening to God in new – creative – ways), I’d asked an artist friend, Pete Majendie, to reflect on the text. He had produced 2 paintings. We caught an interview with him on DVD; themes of
– place (a map of Cambridge is on the background);
– depression and being honest about our human experience (the black paper is handmade and is torn, looking through the hands of red and blue);
– journey (railway tracks made in the shape of a cross);
– God’s presence (gold flecks, including the stars of the Southern Cross on the red handed art piece).
It was great to have his art and his voice as part of the sermon. I finished with “Racing Away” from 1 Giant Leapalbum.

I had pastored at Cambridge for 3 months in 1993/4. As I left on Sunday a woman said how much she’d appreciated my sermons during that period. And then quietly mentioned that she’d written and recorded some songs in response to those sermons. How humbling is that!

It was a reminder for me that ministry needs to come with a long view. We often may never know the impact, or otherwise, of our actions and our words.

Posted by steve at 01:37 PM

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