Friday, July 27, 2012

This morning 10 of us from St Columba's said their farewells to friends and Family and headed to Heathrow where we are at present. Surrounded by prayers of parishioners and friends we are looking forward to the next 14 days touring around Zambia - meeting new friends and discovering what the local Church in Zambia is doing. I was speaking this morning on the phone to Archbishop Chama who is looking forward to our arrival. We would also like to welcome to our blog Cliff ... one of the youth at St. Paul's which be will be visiting later in our trip ... Mulishani? (How are you). One of the great things about being sent out this morning from our parish I asked our prayer chain to pray for a simple and straightforward travel ... It is amazing when we count our blessings ... We got through the fast lane in Terminal 5 Security :-) God is Good!! Please keep praying ... we hope to update this blog as much as possible ... please do leave comments below we will pick them up from time to time on the trip. Blessings Robert (In T5) no photos yet but some will be coming on future posts

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The simplicity of sent ... simply sent

'89/365 Mar 30, 2011' photo (c) 2011, becca.peterson26 - license:

A sermon preached on Sunday 8th July 2012 at Holy Communion Service in St. Columba’s Parish Church, Knock, Belfast. 

Text: Mark 6: 1-13

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be now and always acceptable in thy sight O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen
Bible passages at this time of year remind us that we are called as Jesus disciples to go which is quite interesting due to the number of people who when it comes to the summer holidays are going places. 
Yes, airports, seaports, rail & bus stations are gearing up for the annual get away. Journeys near and far. In houses The packing, re-packing, measuring hand-baggage and the weighing of cases are all taking place. We pack things just in case the weather might be hot, cold, rainy, dry. 
Whether we are going for a hike, a camp, beach, city, village, or simply planning on a staycation ... preparations are being made. 
For the Zambia team which we commissioned last week we were reminding the team last sunday of the things which they still needed to do. 
... What they need to bring with them 
... What they need to leave at home 
... What they need to prepare 
I have this file full of stuff ... health forms, Risk assessments, Airline Tickets, Mobile phone numbers, draft Itinerary, maps, visas, Packing lists, budgets, insurance documents ... and all the rest. 
Things which are all essential to responsible travel today. Making sure every i is dotted and t is crossed. 
All of this is to enable our team to have a successful experience overseas. 
However - when all of this is stripped away ... the task is the same ... whether we are going to Ballyhackamore or Kitwe Zambia. 
We are called to be sent out ... simply ... with our own God give strengths and weaknesses , with our own experiences of life ... to do what we can ... alongside those we meet. 
A lot of attention has been placed on the Zambia Team in recent weeks and months ... now the challenge I would like to present is one about being sent here in Knock. 
As the team responds to the call to go to Zambia ... what about to our local community here? 
Do we know what the needs are around here?, Do we hear the call to the people we encounter day in, day out?  
What could you or I do simply and without big resources ... no money, no extra clothes, no bag? ... just ourselves ready to serve God in whatever way? Reaching out into those areas in our community which need to hear about and see expression of God’s love in action. 
Are we prepared to use whatever we have in our hand to propel us on, to encourage others as they walk with us. 
Do we believe we are sent ... to our young people in our parish ... could we get involved on a Friday Night? 
Do we believe we are sent  ... to show love and support to those members of our congregation who are living lonely lives in our neighbourhoods?
Do we believe we are sent ... to encourage our friends and colleagues when they are going through difficulties? 
Do we believe we are sent ... to get help our neighbours down our street and share with them the hope that we have in Christ ... in a simple way ... 
Do we believe we are sent ... to those who are struggling with life and doing what we can to alliviate their suffering
I hope we do believe these things ... because as Jesus sent his disciples so to this day he sends us to do these things. 
As the Church, as the people of God in this place ... we have a responsibility and a calling to Go ... a calling to live lives doing what we believe God would have us do. 
At the end of each service we are dismissed with the words ... Go in peace to love and serve the Lord ... in the name of Christ
May we take this as our commission for this week ... and Serve God Simply with what we have. 
Let us pray.