It’s the week before the youth from Holy Trinity West Bromwich, St Luke’s Wolverhampton and Grace Community Church head off to Pathfinder Camp. Tim Ambrose (senior pastor at Grace) and I served on camp together for the past 10 summers (Tim did two before that and about seven or eight as overall leader) and this is the first year in all that time that neither of us will be there. And so it felt right that we join them for church this morning, because it is the time of year when Black Country folk go to camp.
We received a really lovely welcome before we got in, from Jane, Tim’s wife, who also served for many years on camp. Then, once inside, a lovely lady got out of her seat to ask if we were new to church and Tipton. We explained our connection, but still felt very welcome. Grace church had a fantastic singing group which was in full flow as we arrived 10 minutes before the start of the service (three of the singing group had also served on camp!) Tim led the service and preached the second of a two-part sermon series on the good news of hell, from Psalm 73. Following the events this week in Turkey and Nice, the timing could not have been better. In the briefest of summaries, the world is full of injustice, which caused Asaph, the psalmist, to wobble in his trust of God. Yet, we have no need to fret or retaliate but instead must trust all ultimate justice to God whilst we seek the eternal good of our enemies.
It’s been great to spend four Sunday’s in local churches of all sorts. There are many pockets of truth and grace keeping the light of the gospel burning in our nation. When will the fire of revival come?
Our two eldest get back from Scotland in about an hour and I can’t wait to hear their stories of their summer camps (Christians in Sport Sportsplus at Perth and Scripture Union on the Isle of Arran). We’ll be spending most of next Sunday on two planes with 5 hours in Changi airport as the second stage of sabbatical begins.