Ministers Message

ear friends, This week I had the pleasure of popping into Toastie Tuesdays down in the Church hall. If you haven’t been I would highly recommend it. It is a wonderful example of God’s love in action. There was no Bible reading, no hymns or praying, just a team of committed Christians with a heart to feed young people. I have no idea how many people were fed while I was there, but it must have been over 100 high school kids that came in. Kids from around the world, some with faith and many without probably. However, they came into the church and they were made to feel welcome. It reminded me of the words of Francis of Assisi when he said;
“Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”
We can get so caught up with what we say and how we say things, that we at times can forget that actually our actions speak louder than words. That God wants us to be us, and He wants us to reach out to all. Those kids who came in to eat on Tuesday probably would never set foot in a Church normally, but they got the chance to see that the Church is a warm and welcoming place. It was a place where they are recognised and accepted as they are, a place where they will never be turn away from, and one where they can feel safe. There was even a boy who had left the High School and was at College but came back for his Toastie as it was comforting for him, it was normal and it most importantly it was safe.
What a perfect example of what Church should be, and one that we so often fall short of. We are not faultless as humans, and we all carry our pasts with us. It makes us at times quick to judge, when perhaps we need to give a second chance, or even a first chance. The person sitting next to us on a Sunday or the person sitting at the desk across from us at work, or even our ‘weird’ neighbour, all of whom we try our best to ignore. The Bible reminds us time and time again that we are loved by a God of second chances and He takes us as we are. Just think of how Peter denied Jesus three times yet was welcomed back and became the rock on which God built His earthly Church. Or Jonah who ran away and
was given a second chance, or Nicodemus who cheated everyone and yet was welcomed back by Jesus. We too have been welcomed back by Jesus despite everything that we have done in our lives.
Perhaps it is time that we love as we are loved by our Father in heaven. As we reach out let’s remember that we don’t need to have the right words, just the right heart. Perhaps today is the day that we talk to that ‘weird’ neighbour or the work colleague who irritates us, or even the person in Church whom we dislike. As we do, hold onto the words of Peter when he reminded us that God is patient and will wait for us;
Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change. 2 Peter 3:9 (The Message)