A quick break from the Focus films on the resurrection to insert some films from another angle.
I joined Wycliffe Bible Translators in the UK about three and a half years ago. It may seem like a strange move for someone who is only an effective communicator in English, but what most people don’t realise is that the vast majority of roles in this organisation have less to do with language skills and more to do with support for translations projects – whether that’s in teaching, communications, IT, personnel, training, finance, maintenance… My own role involves coordinating and managing communications in the UK. That could be magazines to supporters, promotional material to churches or support for speakers at events. Not so Bibletranslationy really, but equally important in the scheme of things.
On Tuesday this week I was leading our Centre Fellowship time, the point in the week when everyone at the Wycliffe Centre here in Buckinghamshire has the chance to get together. This week I used some Wycliffe films from around the world to remind people about the work we are involved in, whether we are Bible translators, communications guys, IT staff… well you get the picture.
The audio from last week's Global Connections conference, 2020 Vision - Mission in times of uncertainty, is now available on the GC website. Personally I'd direct you to Eddie Arthur's opening message and presentations by Richard Tiplady and Gerard Kelly. Not that they were necessarily better than any of the others, it's just that they presented in ways that particularly engage me. Personal taste and all that.
I also know that Wes White was quite brilliant, but I think I'm going to have to listen to him a few more times for it all to go in.
It was truly an excellent conference, although, my personal highlight came in the evening discussions in the bar. Wisely, we didn't record these times, I'm not sure the jumbled mess of our conversations would be editable, but the relationships, understanding and insight that these times generated were well worth losing extra sleep for.
LICC have shared a video of Alister McGrath's lecture Why God won't go away on their YouTube channel. It's a response to the New Atheist movement and worth a watch when you have 90 minutes going spare. The video is at the bottom of this post.
Finally, OSCAR, who provide support services to the UK mission community, have set up a group on LinkedIn. If you're on the social networking site and have an interest in mission you may want to take a look.
There’s more rioting on the streets of London. What started as a peaceful protest against the police shooting of a suspected gunman has quickly turned into an excuse for rioting.
Today’s news is full of images of shops burning, kids looting and people asking ‘can the police cope?’. The Facebook group Supporting the Met Police against the London rioters has over 400,000 members in just two days – most of whom seem to be calling for martial law, water cannons and any use of force to restore the violence, while one commentator observes …
“In the middle east, people riot to gain their freedom. Here, we trespass on the freedom of others to get a pair of trainers and a flatscreen tv.” [Jolita Kaspar]
Of course, we’re not the first nation to suffer from rioting, nor are we the first place to have people use the untimely death of one individual as an excuse for senseless violence.
When Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in Memphis TN, rioting broke out across the US. However, in Indianapolis peace remained – largely attributed to Bobby Kennedy who was the first to announce the death King. In a short speech – you can hear in the YouTube clip below – he said the following…
“What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”
- Maybe we could replace ‘United States’ with ‘Britain’.
But maybe the top quote should be left to the Paul, when he wrote in his letter to the church in Rome,
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
So my questions…
Who should be speaking out against the violence? Where are the community leaders, public figures, celebrities, who are prepared to stick their heads up and say that violence isn’t the way?
Is it right to use violence to stop violence?
How can justice appear to be different to revenge and still serve to be a deterrent?
The church that Tany and I attend in Thame is a couple of years old. Planted by a local Baptist church we’ve seen steady growth over the last year to the point that we are now considering what the future holds and what the church is going to be like 12 months or more from now.
As part of this we have months of meetings ahead to work through the details. However, I can now safely say that we can skip the meeting for planning Sunday morning services thanks to this helpful instructional video…