The one who walks beside - Jesus Army Life

I'm trying to work out what I need to express. One of the emblems of our church is a swirl of colours, reds, yellows, greens and purples combined into a river of life.

The original wisdom behind this is a picture of many coloured candles which melted into one, fusing their lights into one beacon of hope - a sign of the unity God's love brings to his people.

This church is a people of life. You can feel it every time we get together. It's not about a set of individuals gathering with their small personal agendas, it's a positivity, a sense of relaxed togetherness. Sometimes you might think of people singing together around a camp fire, there's a beauty there, but that's not what I'm talking about - this is different, a renewed family, the ties here are strong, even though they might get stretched, even torn. It's about a pattern of life which doesn't just last for a moment, a sense that whoever we are, we all belong to the same organic root, we all drink of the same spirit-life and it has covenanted us together.

I write this because it's been a hard week and, as I sit at the church's music-cafe night, it's good to remember we are a beautiful people, for all our faults and ups and downs. I like the fact that we can stand by each other, even though life can seem like it's been ripped down the middle.

Things are never easy, we people certainly aren't simple. Somehow in all the craziness and complications God reaches through and comforts.


Tribal odyssey - Jesus Army Life

Photo by adebⓞnd of flickr.comThis weekend we were together for a 'big meeting'. Big meeting is my personal terminology for a gathering which involves our entire church. They are usually exciting, often inspiring and always significant.

What was special about this one? You'd have to ask a few different people to get a full picture, and of course, you'd get several different answers. Someone today said it was the exploratory worship - a whole church breaking out of routine songs into breathtaking spiritual life. Another commented that it was the moment when so many valued friends walked out of the meeting - about a fifth of the people there - they all departed to show how desperate we would be without the many individuals who have devoted everything to God and his church (but they came back, it was only a demonstration). For me it was seeing so many many people having a great time together, relaxed, loving each other, positive about God and willing to face the future as one.

And we are one. We'll be back together in under thirty days to explore the journey together a little bit more, and then together again the month after that and the month after that. That's what it means to be part of a committed people and that's why the times together are always significant whether we're succeeding or failing. Ultimately this is a tribal odyssey and vibrant or desperate, we're going through it all as a people who have learnt to laugh together and to cry together.

Photo by adebⓞnd of flickr.com