the baby and the bathwater


Wisdom 6: City
March 12, 2009, 6:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices (Proverbs 11: 10)

I wandered through Cheltenham Town centre this lunchtime with a friend. We had just been to the gym and worked out, and had popped into a little coffee shop and picked up a sandwich and a latte and headed off back to the office. As we wandered through the town we passed one of our friends who regularly busks, playing his guitar and singing. He sings many songs, some of them are songs that we may sing in church from time to time. I am struck by the influence he has on the atmosphere in the town when he is there.

Every couple of weeks a team of people go out onto the same street and pray for people who need healing. We have heard some great stories about how God has touched people, met with people for the first time, started the process of transformation. People are coming into church because of it, I’m sure. But aside from that, the air is changing in the town.

On many late evenings and into the nights, others from the church go into the clubs and streets and hand out water and chocolate to the club scene. Another of my friends has felt the call to be very much part of the club culture, dancing and chatting to people and drinking water and praying for people. The other day she told how that she would be called up by the bar staff to pray for people who are in a mess, in the clubs, in the town.

The kingdom of God is coming.

Can you see it?

Can you feel it?

When I need to hide away and read and pray and write, I often do it in a coffee shop in town. I have my own table in the corner by the window (well I like to think of it that way). I get to regularly chat to the staff. Hamed, Paul, Nicky and the others. We chat about life and their challenges and their stresses. The coffee shop is becoming a meeting place. The air is changing.

The kingdom of God is coming.

Can you see it?

Can you feel it?

Because it is coming.

The town is changing. Slowly. Sometimes one step back before two steps forward. The changes are small, but the town is changing.

And it is a good thing. Because I want to live in a great town.

I heard a talk by Tim Keller the other week, and he said this: “Too often we want to use a city to make a great church, when actually we should be using the church to make a great city”.

Let the righteous prosper.

Let the city rejoice.

God let Your kingdom come.

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