A Change of Plan
I preached at the New Ship on Sunday morning. This is the name given to Barnoldswick’s Independent Methodist Church. This chapel is no stranger to this blog, having described its incredibly restored Victorian interior. I arrived at 10.20am, and was informed that a Christening was taking place that morning. Having calmly gained assurance that I wasn’t expected to preside over that particular rite, I ascended the stairs of their huge pulpit, and found perhaps 60-70 people staring up at me. This is rather more than the chapel normally has on a Sunday morning. I had planned to speak on Deuteronomy chapter 33 which I hastily calculated was not appropriate, assuming most on my congregation were visitors and probably unconverted. During the notices, I quickly flicked through the New Testament looking for an evangelistic message. I alighted on the Rich Young Ruler in Luke chapter 18, who came to Jesus asking how he might inherit eternal life.
Beholding the well dressed, good looking, young couples and families in the church, I explained how this young man had everything- youth, money and power. He even had goodness, by human standards. But he knew he didn’t have eternal life. And Jesus knew he loved his wealth more than he was letting on. Wealth, however, is a temporary blessing, but the life that Jesus offers is eternal.
I trust the visitors heard the good news of Jesus, and that some will respond to it. I also pray that the little child who was ‘christened’ might indeed one day call on Christ.