|Great Crested Grebe, Podiceps cristatus|
We lunched at the Wetland Trust - chicken curry for the Captain, veggie lasagne for me - and went for a walk after. I must admit I started off very gloomy as I had spent the early hours brooding about the fact that if my shoulder is now fully healed, as they tell me, then I have been left pretty crippled and in a lot of pain. However, the beauty of the creation gradually got through to me - lots of courtings and chasing and life everywhere. And I also thought about the Memorial and the C.O. visit which has just finished.
And so to encourage myself I am going to try and re-create some points from the talks on Sunday. The C.O. did the Public Talk and then we had an extra one. And then Jenny kindly took Jean and me out on the preaching work for an hour.
The Public Talk was: "Who are the Real Followers of Christ?"
A very important subject, given Jesus' words at Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’
Many would claim to be followers of Christ, but Jesus would only recognise as his followers those who were doing his Father's will.
The Circuit Overseer illustrated this in a vivid and simple way by using the example of a babysitter. The parents arrive back having left the baby with the sitter all day. They come back to find a gleaming tidy house, but with a sobbing, unfed, unchanged, unwashed baby screaming downstairs, and no sign of the sitter. The babysitter is found upstairs cleaning the windows. "See what a lovely job I have made of the windows" she says proudly.
But she had not done the job she was asked to do - the most important job of all.
We need to find out what Jehovah wants of us, and do that - not decide for ourselves.
And he gave us 4 Scriptural points to think about.
1. John 17:17: "Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth."
True followers of Christ believe, as he did, that God's word - as set out in the Hebrew and Christian Greek Scriptures - is true. And they study it, and try to live by it.
2. John 17:6: “I have made your name manifest to the men whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have observed your word."
John 17:26: "I have made your name known to them and will make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them.”
True followers of Jesus make Jehovah's name known, as he did.
3. Luke 4:43: "But he said to them: “I must also declare the good news of the Kingdom of God to other cities, because for this I was sent.”"
Followers of Christ must declare the good news of the Kingdom of God, as he did.
4. John 13:34, 35: " I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.”
True followers of Christ, who come from "every nation and tribe and tongue" are one united, loving family.