I’ve just been thinking this afternoon what a privilege it is to be a curate here in Brunswick. So many people I have met so far have been really generous in sharing their stories with me. Our stories are really precious because they allow people a window into our lives and hopefully, for those of us who know and love the Lord, our stories also give people a way to encounter the good news of Jesus. To share your story or to listen to someone else's story is a way of honouring someone because it gives the other person worth.
On Sunday Robert from Operation Restoration came to share his story and the story of the school he runs in Trench Town, Jamaica (more here). You can also see a video of the work they do here.
I was particularly inspired by his story of giving up life in the financial sector, and the wealth and lifestyle that it attracts, to become the principal for a school for those who would otherwise not have access to education. It’s that kind of self sacrificial love that gives a window into the the gospel. His story reminded me of a verse from the letter to the Philippians in the Bible:
“All the things that I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant - dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him.” (Philippians 3:8 - The Message Bible)
As a church we give to Operation Restoration through our missionary giving but f you would like give an additional donation to the project, we are happy to collect those gifts and pass them on.
On Sunday, Judith talked to us about the Church at Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) who had a very different story. They were described as being lukewarm - bringing nothing of value to the world. A harsh judgement indeed! Yet even in judgement there is a message of hope and a chance for redemption. Jesus proclaims that he stands at the door and knocks, waiting for them to welcome him in because of his great love for them. Their story was one that was doomed to failure because of their own self centredness however, because of the great love of Jesus, they had an opportunity to take their story in a different direction.
I probably don’t yet know your story or the twists and turns it has taken but if you are reading this, one thing I know for sure is that the final chapter is not written yet. Maybe take some time this week to reflect on your story and perhaps take the time to share it with someone or to listen to theirs. Where is Jesus in this story and where would you like Him to be?
I look forward to getting to know more of your stories very soon.
With love, Jess