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Simon says… (words from the Rector)

There’s a song by a band called One Republic that’s opening words captivated me a while ago and I thought I would share a few thoughts about them with you.  The song “Counting Stars” is most certainly not a Christian one but the first verse just stirs something in my soul!!
Lately I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But, baby I’ve been, I’ve been praying hard
Said no more counting dollars, we’ll be counting stars
Yeah, we’ll be counting stars…

These lyrics (taken horribly out of context) remind me of Genesis 15, as God invites Abraham to “look up at the sky and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  This is the sort of stuff that causes me to lose sleep. I want us to be a Phd Church (Preaching, Healing and Delivering) that is adding members to the family every day! I want us to be daily discovering new stars as we minister into these villages – the harvest is plentiful!
You see, having been here for over the 6 months now, let me give you a report.  God is building something special in our parish.  I take no glory in it – it was building before I arrived.  We are not a perfect community but we are a mightily blessed one.  The Spirit is moving in our midst, He has gathered together some of the most faith-filled, faithful people that I’ve encountered. There is endless amounts of untapped potential in people that are sitting receiving but not yet serving in our Church.  And there are people just waiting to hear the Gospel (Jesus lived, He died, He rose again, He appeared to me!) in our community – young/old/everything in between!!!!
I understand that some of you with think that this report of our parish is naive.  But let me share a short account from a story in 2 Kings 6, where Elisha the prophet seems in big trouble with an army descending down the valley to capture him and his servant is understandably panicking! I love what it says in 2 Kings 6:17, “Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”  My prayer is that you would see what I see, a church with tremendous potential if we start realising (what the song says) “the things that we could be”.
But I’m not just concerned with the unreached and unknown stars, I’m also concerned with the one’s already discovered!  We must be a family that loves one another.  Can I remind you that nothing we do is meaningful unless we have love. Otherwise we’re just a clanging cymbal/an unpleasant racket!!  I have seen some beautiful unity since I’ve arrived in the parish, but we still have work to do (and always will). Romans 15:7, “Accept one another as Christ has accepted you, for the glory of God.” Ephesians 5:21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted.”  Again these are things that I’m dreaming that we could be!
So please do feel sorry for your Rector who’s losing sleep dreaming about your potential.  Let’s look up at all the stars, and remember that the words of Philippians 2:14-16: Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God…then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
Let’s shine, so others want to shine too…