Monday, October 04, 2004

Monday Wrap

Postscript on the garage cleanup - we get home from church last night and start to load this stuff down to the gate - bear in mind this is 9.30pm - before we're even halfway through loading the junk a van pulls up, the door slides open and a man in a balaclava pulls me inside...hang on that was last week...the door slides open and out steps a middle aged Samoan woman. She starts talking about how their house burned down...not sure whether thats a shame-covering excuse but it really matters little - even if she's just collecting the stuff to sell, she still needs I give her a guided tour of the Jones junk. Sobering. This morning probably half of it is gone. I'd love to know where.

So last night went OK it seems. A new couple back for a third time asking about getting involved. A young guy in his last year at High School, new to the place, asking about getting into a small group. An irregularly attending seeker came along having reconnected through our picnic and sports afternoon. Our friend Nick the agnostic (formerly the atheist) stayed to help pack down. Some responses to our next baptism lots more little God moments around the place.

I preached what was for me an extending message. Preached on the Fall as part of our new series on Genesis: Playing Hide and Seek - Genesis for Adults. So I tried to do it narrative style with the verses coming up on the screen as I told the story from the perspective of one of the protagonists who was on the run and trying to make sense of it all. I started preaching in darkness with a first-person running and hiding video backdrop. And then as the lights come up I emerge from behind a stand of trees on one side of the platform ("Eden") and try to unravel how it all went wrong. On the other side of the platform there is a wasteland made of rubble and cunningly draped cloth and I preach from that spot when talking about what was lost. Had some nice starter ideas from legendary pastor Steve Deur. "Where are you?" "Why are you hiding?" And then I connected this game of hide-and-seek together with Jesus' encounter with Zacchaeus - why you ask? Well, a couple of reasons really. Primarily because its the passage where Jesus says he came to seek and save what was lost and so it really connected with the idea of Jesus "coming ready or not". The whole cosmic hide-and-seek thing. But also because Z's choices resonate significantly with the meeting of our core needs through Jesus rather than through the cheap substitutes that we see reflected in the events of the Fall. I also liked the fact that it focused on a tree. That seemed appropriate somehow.

It really stretched me. That was good. The whole interactive approach to the environment was also really cool to work with - it provided a whole new palette to play with. So while there was some planning, there was also a lot to react to in the moment, to engage with as I went deeper into the story. There did seem to be a good response, although I was ready for the whole room to respond to the power of the story and follow Z's example! So we'll see what the feedback sheets say...preaching remains a lonely place where my character is tested. You give your all for God and in the resulting vulnerability there is this question: did I make a difference for people? And its all too easy for the answer to that question to focus on the wrong things. I know I'm not the first to struggle through this. I'm glad I have my awesome, godly wife to debrief my messages.

Well the day is decidedly stormy in stark contrast to yesterday's taste of summer. Its time to hit the week!


No comments: