Each Sunday the menu is different. Today it was an informal service consisting of a period of praising God, an address conducted by the local coordinator (Rob), discussion in small groups and an informal communion. The day starts at 9.30 am for those who wish to pray. 10am coffee is served and we catch up on news and welcome newcomers. We then go into the part of the Methodist building used for group worship. The children are with us but move out when the address starts.
I always learn something. We were reading Romans chapter 8. St Paul wrote to them. This was a tough call. The Romans must have been amongst the toughest and most sophisticated Italians of the time. St Paul adopted a Q and A type of approach. That was the first of three things that struck me. The second was the stark warning at the end of chapter 6 v 23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in union with the Messiah Jesus our Lord.
In other words do what you desire. You will get ‘paid’ but in the wrong currency, the currency of death (of the soul). The FREE gift of God will lead us to eternal life.
I met some new people. A South African couple who had English passports told how they were born in UK, moved to South Africa (Cape Town) and moved back to the UK after the social and political conditions were becoming worse. They ended up in Blagdon nearly here which pleased the husband Marvin who is a great sailing enthusiast. There is a large lake / reservoir and a sailing club.
I learned something else. A couple of people asked how I was. I attempted to give a meaningful answer but soon realized that they did not want to know. Their eyes glazed over. Brian – (to myself) – just answer mechanically ‘I am fine’. Remedy – only ask if the person is your friend or who knows you well in some context or other.