This Sunday we start a new preaching series called Topsy-Turvy kingdom – a life worth sharing. Alan Loach has once again done a great job in creating an appropriate and eye-catching graphic to go with this new series.
A blessing that ripples out and beyond
It is a privilege to work with many fantastic and gifted teams and I’m blessed (and hope you are too) when each of us operates within our calling and plays to the strengths God has given us. That goes not just for the staff team, but for the many teams and groups in church. God has a call on each one of our lives and we, this city, and further afield, are blessed when we operate within the calling God has placed upon us and play to the strengths he has given us.
Called to participate
God calls everyone of us to live and serve in His kingdom. This is a “topsy-turvy” kingdom, or as Donald B. Kraybill famously called it, “The upside-down kingdom”. So often we find the strengths God has given us are viewed as weaknesses by wider society. I take heart from this, I hope you do to.
Kraybill’s book had a massive impact upon my life when I read it many years ago. If you have never read it then, do yourself a favour and read it. Be warned, …you may never be the same again!
A shift but not a break
Last week Iain drew upon Peter and John’s encounter with the man at the beautiful gate (Acts 3), to unpack something of our new vision. This represents a shift, a development, rather than a break. The guiding image in our previous vision was the table, drawing upon God’s invitation for all to come to His table.
The guiding image of the new vision is the gate, a place between the table and the temple where Jesus filled, Holy Spirit encounters take place.
Table – Gate – Temple relate to one another. We need those smaller spaces (tables) where we encounter each other and Jesus in our midst. We need, more than anything else, a space where we encounter God in a way which goes beyond our own private time with Him (Temple). And because God loved the whole world we are called to position ourselves and be ready to act in His grace, at beautiful gates, places outwith the four walls of church or home.
You might like to think about where in your week you find yourself at the table, temple and gate.
Invitation is still a thing
So, whilst our new vision emphasises that everyday places, your “Front Line” (where you spend most of your day), can be “beautiful gates”, we are not giving up on invitation. So we are intentionally creating spaces to which we can invite people.
There is a great opportunity to exercise our invitational muscles on 14th May. The wonderful and talented Yvonne Lyon, Gareth Davies-Jones and David Lyon will be in concert here at QP. As if that isn’t enough, in coming along and bringing friends you get to help support the work of Tearfund!
You can get tickets HERE
Buy early to avoid disappointment!