Today I was invited to talk about my future ministry in Athens by a lovely small SDA church in Bury St. Edmunds. Its humble buildings, its genuine worship, its culturally diverse congregation impressed me immediately. I walked into a place of rest…
I was received with big smiles and open hearts, even though I didn’t know anyone except their pastor who took me there. Although I am not a member of their denomination, the feast on God’s word and their common meal was extended to include me. Marianna asked me: “Do you love Jesus?” I said “Yes!” “Then you are our sister”, she replied. As simple as that!
We sang a few hymns and the morning lesson was on the topic of “meekness”. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5), a very bold statement for a small church to make. But then, a poor young man from Nazareth made it against a Roman empire, which was in fact attempting to inherit the earth. A persecuted poor church documented it and passed it on as their members were being put to death. And it is still in the lips of the “meek” today, in perfect continuity with the past.
The simplicity and genuineness of this church’s worship was striking. It was a privilege to witness the ordination of two deacons, Limbani and Antonio, and see the hands of the church touching them in approval, in trust, in unity. Thank you for sharing your “rest” with me on this Sabbath day!