This week our thought has been written by Graeme Ross
As Sue left the house, her final words were ‘Thanks for housesitting. I know you will take great care of the place but please, please, please don’t forget to water the garden!’
‘You know that you can trust me’ Bob replied with a grin. ‘I hope that you have a great trip’.
Sue was worried about the forecast for high temperatures and no rain but she was grateful that her garden would be watered and so would survive. She had spent years cultivating her garden and getting it just the way she wanted with beautiful flowers, plants and an overflowing vegetable patch but she had also explained to Bob often enough that her plants were the most important thing in the world to her and so everything should be okay.
As Bob watched Sue drive away, he got his list out of his pocket. Sue was going to be so pleased when she returned, she would be blown away by the improvements that he was going to make to her house. He turned away from the window and began to put his plan into action.
Several weeks later, Sue returned and immediately she noticed how clean her house looked. The walls looked like they had been power washed and the windows gleamed. Inside, the house was spotless, the walls for each room had been freshly painted and Bob had even hung photos of gardens and flowers around the house ‘I know plants are important to you’ he said as he pointed each picture out enthusiastically. As they walked through each room, Bob pointed out all the changes that he had made while speaking enthusiastically about each DIY project with great pride.
Sue was astonished, ‘Bob, how did you manage all of this done while I was away?’ ‘Oh, you know I like to be busy doing things’ Bob replied.
Sue was eager to get outside and to see her beloved garden. She was looking forward to picking some fresh vegetables for lunch and taking some time to sit and to look around at the beauty and to smell the beautiful fragrances. As she walked out the door, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Everything was dead or dying, the garden was ruined.
Bob had been so busy renovating the house that he had forgotten to water the garden. Sue was grateful for the work Bob had done in the house, but it really wasn’t what she had wanted. Sue was heartbroken.
Before ascending into heaven, Jesus told his followers to ‘go and make disciples’.
Jesus was making it clear to us that his number one priority is that as many people as possible need to hear the good news and that those who respond to it should be given the opportunity to grow in their journey of faith as followers of Jesus and in turn they can help others with this too. Disciple making is something that we are all called to join in with, we are all called to be disciples who make disciples.
As followers of Jesus, are we responding to his call to make disciples or has his command got lost in the busyness of life and in the running of churches?
During lockdown, we hosted some Zoom meetings to ask what God was saying to us and what we heard clearly was that discipleship is our central priority. There were five distinct emphases within this and you can read about these here https://www.easternbaptist.org.uk/news/what-might-god-be-saying-collation-of-zoom-discussions/ We would encourage you to look at this document as churches, to consider what is God is saying to us and how we will respond to it. We will also be releasing resources in a few weeks time to help you to pray through each of the five areas. Watch this space for further information.
Please remember the children and young people who are returning to school this week. In this time of uncertainty and change we should especially remember those who are starting new schools but who have been unable to have the usual transitioning process to help them to prepare.
This Sunday, I’m preaching at Elmswell via Zoom and Nick and Beth will be worshipping virtually with different churches.
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