It’s heart warming to read these words from my friend Alwyn in his post Amazing Birthday, BLC!. Thanks .. brother – the “another” whom has shown us love in these kind words.
“This is a Thank-You note to Sivin and everyone else in BLC.
Thank you for the sweet Saturday worship service in celebration of your 5th Anniversary. I told a friend that I’ve always found worship in BLC much more – what’s the right word here? – ‘conducive’ to spirituality, to ‘hearing God’ than in most other places. This friend half-teased that maybe it was the tinted lights(!). I found that to be incisively true. The environment does matter. The lights, the multi-media, the colour, the carpeting, the proximity between altar and worshipper, what you ‘notice’ and ‘feel’ first when you walk in, and all that – it matters! We are, after all, sensual creatures and we worship as sense-agents. Kudos to BLC for exploiting this fully for the glory of God…(but hey I’m drifting…)
Thank you, the videoed interviewees, for the innovative and surprising(!) thoughts on Confession (Kia Meng confided that his entire comment was, “If worship is like breathing, then confession is like yoga!”), Worship (I particularly resonated with Messy Christian’s suggestion that silence is integral to worship…) and Why God Put You Here (someone said, to much laughter, that perhaps the church could, “use some of my skills!” – that sounds naturally amusing but I can’t imagine how this makes it any less true!). Thank you, John, for those hilarious
Thank you, Selah, for that groovy rumba(?)-styled performance on the violin (and if you can lemme know the name of that piece I’ll get on Kazaar right away!). Thank you, Paul and Soo-Inn, for those timely words of encouragement. Paul reminded us (via some cute balloons) that God can use even the most unlikely of persons, events, ‘items’ to lead us to the cross of Jesus (I’m unsure as to why he characterized Sivin as ‘weird’, there’s gotta be a hidden story there somewhere!). Soo-Inn, in his characteristic in-depth fashion, recounted Sivin’s painful past and his love of questions and how perhaps BLC’s growth in both numbers and warmth is proof that ‘unless a seed dies, it cannot bear fruit’. Death to a former way begets life in a revolutionary new one. I was touched by Soo-Inn’s remark that BLC’s creation of a special place for children reflects a rare sensitivity to the ‘least’ involved (and possibly most disruptive!) members of the church! I’m also writing this not two hours after chasing Nicky round my own church’s sanctuary during sermon time!
(As an aside, during dinner I overheard Soo-Inn mentioned that, “Emergent is always asking questions!” Right on. Questions open up possibilities, suggest new perspectives, point us to fresh thinking areas. Answers – especially ‘non-negotiable’ ones – tend to close-up thinking, draw greater and deeper battle-lines and stop conversation.)
Thank you, Sivin, for reminding us (via the ‘Jesus walks on water’ passage from Matt 14) that God isn’t a circus-performer, longing to impress us with His feats. He is amazing not only because He encourages us to move forward but He also pulls us up whenever we fall. This causes unrestrained joy and should also inspire unqualified compassion and action for those who have fallen into rough waters.
(The title of Sivin’s message was ‘Amazing’, phrased in three different ways! This fits VERY NICELY with at least two choruses sung, and his defining quotable quote, “Jesus is amazing”. Hence, too, the title of this post.)
BLC is a place which encourages you to come and stay and belong as the person you are, but it also challenges you to go out into the world as the person God can make you. Sivin has taught his church to become authentic, caring children of God. There is much passion and inspiration here. Most of all, there is much love.
I also resonate completely with
What else can I say? Amazing.