As I write this, our dog Roddie is gently snoring underneath my desk . Sadly on occasions he uses this position of comfort and contentment to gently pass wind too. Yesterday, Roddie had to learn another lesson in his steep learning curve of how life operates in the Jones household – he was left for the longest period by himself since we had him. He was thrilled when one after the other we returned. His contentment this morning is a sign that he is beginning to trust us both completely. I read a bit of Isaiah 51 yesterday morning, verses 12-16 were a brilliant encouragement to all the changes that are coming at STEPS. I must admit when I am nervous or a bit apprehensive, I don’t think too much about trust or contentment but on the task ahead. But God reminded me in these verses, ‘don’t fear….I’m the One who covers you with the shadow of my hand’
Over these coming months at STEPS, September to December, on a Sunday morning we are going to look at the Apostle Paul’s letter to the young church in Corinth. What a place Corinth was, if ever a soap opera was to be drawn out of the bible, I think Corinth would leave Albert Sq. and Coronation St. far behind. If you’ve got the 1st century equivalent of the phrase ‘sex and drugs and rock and roll’ – that would perhaps sum up Corinth. Yet Paul, he trusted God, completely; and when the Jews started getting all aggressive towards him there as he tried to share Jesus with them, he just went to the non-Jews, and even then,
‘God said to Paul .in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.’
I’ve grown to respect Paul, he was focussed and full of purpose, didn’t worry about what people thought of him and he trusted God completely – must keep trying I think!
I find the words ‘I have many people in this city’ quite brilliant too, God’s reassurance that Paul’s purpose and focus in Corinth was going to do just what God intended –‘ there are people here Paul, they’re mine, they just don’t know it yet!’ – or something like that!
Time to kick the dog out…. gently.