This weekend Ian Higginbotham started out on a mini-series on the Kingdom of God with our overall What would Jesus say… series.

I must admit that I’ve never really got my head around the meaning of the Kingdom of Heaven. I’m not saying that I don’t understand it at all, but I’ve always felt that my understanding falls a long way short of what it should be.

My suspicion is that Jesus is looking down on me and feeling a bit like He did with the disciples when he realised that they hadn’t quite got what He was talking about:

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

Mark 10

So I was really pleased when I heard the Ian was going to try and explain it a bit for those of us who are a little slow on the uptake. It’s a great talk and well worth a listen:

I particularly liked Ian’s closing thoughts:

  • You are a citizen of a different Kingdom.
  • God’s Kingdom is where His will reigns.
  • Nothing in your life will stop you from being in His Kingdom.
  • It’s deep within God’s character to serve.
  • Kingdom’s have all got boundaries.
  • Live and work for the long-term

Truly words of hope.

There are times when I’m glad I’m not a preacher. That feeling is particularly acute when the subject means that it doesn’t matter what the preacher says someone will hear them wrongly and someone will be offended.

It seems that it doesn’t matter how you tackle certain subjects an adverse reaction is almost guaranteed from someone – and one of those subjects is giving. Giving is where Andrew took us to on Sunday evening.

I’d like to commend Andrew for tackling this tricky subject in a wonderfully gracious and uplifting way. Mention giving and some people will always assume that you are pointing the finger, but I know that nothing could be further from Andrew’s heart. As he explains – giving is about grace, it’s certainly not about law.

I’ll not say any more for fear of walking into my own minefield.

This Sunday was also our annual church picnic. It was really great to see so many people down at the park. Sue did a little round up afterwards and there was definitely over 190 people there and probably a few more.

Church really isn’t about 10:00am on a Sunday morning or 6:30 on a Sunday evening, it’s about being a community together and the picnic is a great example of that. Perhaps we should do more of them? Anyone?