Low expectations of the Bible?
A couple of weeks ago 300 of us headed down to Epsom racecourse to relax together and to hear from God's word.
The grown-ups heard 3 excellent talks on the Bible from Garry Williams, which many people have said were extremely helpful. The question of the authority of Scripture is a key topic for our society, our church and our hearts. If you have not yet had a chance to listen to Garry's talks, they are available on the website here and his handout is here.
We covered a lot of ground very thoroughly and warmly, but three top challenges that stand out for me:
Do we have high enough expectations when we gather together to hear God's word on a Sunday? Have we grasped that this is the covenant-making king of creation speaking to us? Do we have such a sense of expectation that the children in our midst will catch our excitement in gathering together as a church?
Are we seeking to know Christ better in the Bible or are we studying the Bible as an end in itself? When we talk of "studying" or "getting on top of" a book of the Bible, are we trying to master it? or are we humbly sitting under the authority of God's word and longing to know Jesus better through it?
What are the parts of God's word that we find hardest to submit to? Have we fully submitted our hearts to God's word?
The children also had an excellent time studying God's word. The youngest (0-4) looked at Jesus' parable of the lost sheep, whilst the older children (5-14) learned from the parable of the good Samaritan.
During the afternoon some enjoyed walking off an excellent lunch on the Epsom downs whilst others played games in the open air. The afternoon finished with an impromptu "horse" race as fully grown adults became overly competitive about who could run half a furlong fastest with a child on their shoulders. Congratulations to Patrick Minchin who wins the competition for the fastest child encumbered adult in the church.
Huge thanks to Garry Williams, to those who helped to run the children's work, to the kind staff at Epsom race-course and to Tim and Suzanne Malton for organising it all.