Glencairn Methodist Church
Cosy or Challenging?
Adrian Plass is a well known Christian author and speaker. In one of his books , he tells the story of a city mission director who had just taken over responsibility for three mission churches in the city. His first act was to close all three of them. This raised religious eyebrows, but his explanation was simple - "They are not doing any mission! Each church has got its own little congregation that turns up on Sundays, and that is as far as it goes. They don't do anyone any harm, but they are not harmless! The mission churches are supposed to be bringing God to the community, and they are not, so we'll close them down until we've decided how to do what we're here for." Plass adds: "Christianity cannot be stored in barns called churches."
Are the people who come to your church members of a cosy Sunday morning congregation, happy to come along once a week to sing happy songs and to hear a happy sermon? Or are they members of the Church - the body of Christ? Are they showing the outrageously generous love of God to people in the neighbourhood? When God asks, "Whom shall I send?" do they reply like Isaiah, "Here am I, send me!" . Have they gone, like Jeremiah, to "the potter's house" to hear God's message for them, to be re-moulded as God wants them to be?  Do they want passionately enough to pray like Jabez, "God, bless me and enlarge my territory" - help the church to grow in our neighbourhood?  Through reaching out to the community in love and service, are they provocative and challenging? Is your church making a difference?
In the cosy festive season of Christmas, we are often reminded by the RSPCA that "a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas.". Marks and Spencer are selling nice red carrier bags with the message, "A bag is for life, not just for Christmas." We should be challenging others to realise that by welcoming Baby Jesus into their lives, it is for Life and not just for Christmas.
"Advent tells us Christ is near;
Christmas tells us Christ is here."
Enjoy a happy and blessed Christmas. Take the gift of Life that Christ offers and share it with others.
27 November 2008
 Adrian Plass, When you walk, Oxford: Bible Reading Fellowship, 1997, 2007, p 382
 Isaiah 6:1-6
 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
NOTE - Previous "Monthly Messages" are archived at http://glencairn.connor.anglican.org/previousmessages.htm