inadvertent theological reflection (or ‘ooops!’)

As an Association of Baptist Churches we are engaging in a process of prayerful reflection about the future strategic direction of the Association. To this end we have sent out postcards to all of our churches and asked them to pray about this and, assuming that God will say things in response to the prayers, write anything down that he has been saying and send them back for us to consider.

To help facilitate this we also sent out an email with some suggestions for how the prayer postcards could be used and inviting churches to use a prayer that I wrote as part of this process. This is the prayer:

Lord Jesus, our Savour.

We have recently celebrated your birth in this world and rejoiced that you are Immanuel, God with us. You have shown us our Heavenly Father’s love – supremely in your death on the cross. Thank you that after your resurrection you gave your people, the Church, the task of being Immanuel among the people who do not yet know you. You call us to go into your world, to make disciples, to baptise them and teach about you. Thank you that by your Spirit you are with us to help us in this task.

Thank you too that our local church is part of a wider family of churches, particularly Baptist churches, and as part of that family we are seeking your guidance today.

Inspire us in our thinking. Encourage us our imagining. Help us to see with the eyes of faith what you would have us do and broaden our vision beyond our human limitations. Speak to us and through us so that we might discern what you are saying to us as a church and to our wider family in the Eastern Baptist Association.

Speak, Lord, your servants are listening.

Amen

Did you spot it? The deliberate mistake that was put in? Or, to be more honest, the typing error on my part.

“Lord Jesus, our Savour” – I missed out the ‘i’ in ‘Saviour’!

Ooops

And when I noticed this morning I wondered whether it might not actually cause some unintentional theological reflection. Because ‘savour’ has interesting meanings, including:

VERB:

  1. Taste (good food or drink) and enjoy it to the full
  2. Enjoy or appreciate (something pleasant) to the full, especially by lingering over it

NOUN:

  1. A characteristic taste, flavour, or smell, especially a pleasant one
chocolate 2
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8)

So how does Jesus add savour to your life? How much do you savour being a follower of his and enjoying it to the full? How much do you linger over who Jesus is and what he has done for you?

 

I know that for some of you life is not easy, joyful, happy… but that does not mean that focusing your attention again on Jesus will not add savour to your life, it does not mean that you cannot appreciate who he is.

He certainly savours you.

Be blessed, be a blessing

late mistake

Hot Air Balloon
Getting bigger and hot air – the themes of today’s bloggage in one image

I seem to have got bigger. No, I’m not talking about my weight or waist size thank you very much (cheek!). In the last few days I have started my new role as a Regional Minister and my area of responsibility has expanded somewhat – seeking to support and encourage 60 churches across most of Essex (and 120 more spread across the whole of East Anglia).

Yesterday was my first day ‘on the road’. I have bought myself a ‘hands free’ unit to help me with this. I like it because it links to my phone via Bluetooth and to my car radio via an FM signal so I can play music from my phone through my stereo – and when I make or receive calls the system cleverly mutes the music and I can hear the call through the stereo. Very convenient. Very clever.

But any system is only as strong as its weakest component. Often that component is homo sapiens. Last night it certainly was.

I was travelling back home after spending some time with a church and decided to call home and let them know what time I expected to be back. I tried in vain to get the system to work as I thought it should and pressed one button twice. On my phone that should activate the voice-activated help system. But on the Bluetooth gadget I discovered that it told the phone to redial the last number that had been dialled.

Unfortunately I didn’t know it was doing this until the phone started ringing and I couldn’t work out how to stop it. Neither could I work out who it was calling because the phone screen was blank. A voice I did not recognise answered the phone and I realised what had happened. I desperately tried to remember who I had called last and thought it had been my new colleague, Simon. I said hello and that it was Nick calling, ready to explain that I had not meant to call.

It wasn’t Simon. It was a member of a Minister’s family I had called earlier in the day. They didn’t know Nick. So they terminated the call. Fair enough. I would probably have done the same if I had had a strange call late in the evening.

It was at that moment that my phone chose to tell me who I had called. Now I had a dilemma. Should I call back and disturb them again to explain what had happened or wait until today to offer my apology. I opted for the latter approach. I hope that they will understand and laugh.

What do you do when you make a mistake? Do you admit it, ask for forgiveness and seek to start again? Do you tell a little white lie to try to cover it up or at least minimise the error? Do you refuse to accept that you were at fault? Or do you go the whole hog and try to cover it up Bart Simpson-style: “I didn’t do it, you can’t prove anything!”?

Which is the approach that is most likely to lead to or enhance healthy relationships? It’s the same with your relationship with God.

Be blessed, be a blessing