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WHAT SHOULD OUR CHURCH LIFE BE LIKE? (5)
Why is preaching like cooking a meal? It takes ages to prepare, is gone in about half an hour and often people don’t comment on how they have been fed.
Preachers long for comeback. Preachers, and that includes visiting preachers, love friendly, enquiring feedback to their sermons. So if something wasn’t clear, or you wonder if the preacher really meant to say, ‘-
In the July newsletter I was seeking to develop some thoughts from Colossians 3:16 from the words, ‘teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom’ and dealt with the question of what we should be doing after a Sunday service. I quoted John Angell James: ‘Better, far better, not to speak at all, but go home in silence, than to enter upon all kinds of general conversation as soon as the service is over.’
However I added what I believe Colossians 3: 16 mandates as the proper Biblical response:
BUT BEST OF ALL, ENGAGE IN SPIRITUAL CONVERSATION BY TEACHING AND ADMONISHING ONE ANOTHER.
In that, I’ve had zero response in the last month I could conclude that no-
Personally, I think that the second alternative, that we know this is something we should be doing but find it difficult and don’t really know how to express ourselves on the subject, is the most likely. I think that it is most likely to be true of others because this is what I feel about it myself. I had intended, but never got round to, saying something about it during a Sunday morning service in order to explain that I don’t write things like this as someone who has everything tidily sorted but someone who, like everyone else, can be overwhelmed by the things that the Lord wants from us and which we struggle with.
Some thoughts on making a start at Spiritual Conversation:
1. Start by talking to yourself. In the Christian life this isn’t the first sign of madness but of sanity. Meditation sounds a fancy word but simply means discussing something with yourself. Do this as you read and study the Bible asking ‘What does this mean?’ and ‘How should this impact on my life?’
2. Develop Spiritual Friendship. Perhaps with one person and agree to meet (monthly? and schedule it in as a priority). Simply agree to share and discuss key things you have been learning from God’s word – via sermons, bible reading or Christian books – and to pray together about them.
3. Keep practising obedience to this command. Like most things we have to learn it is easier as it becomes habit – anyone who has learnt to drive knows how unnatural and difficult it seems at first.
In saying farewell don’t hesitate to discuss things like this with me.
Yours in the Lord, Mike
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