Anyone else notice that there has been a bit of a theme to the Sunday Talks over the last few weeks?

An Evening at the Side (and in)  of ButtermereSometimes we go through seasons when the underlying theme for Sunday talks is planned, at others we leave it open to the Holy Spirit to move the people bringing the talk. This time it’s a bit of both. Ian Higginbotham has planned for a while to do a set of three talks on relationships: making, maintaining and ending. We’ve had two so far:

These are both excellent practical talks about how we interact with people on a day-by-day basis. But beyond Ian’s planned talks we’ve also been asked to think again about our attitude towards relationships in the evening in messages from Mark Sleet and Paul Jackson:

Sometimes I, for one, can get wrapped up in the programme of things, the activity, the doing. These talks remind us of the things that are important to God, and God is a God of relationship.

God is love.

1 John 4:16

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Ephesians 2:4

In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:45

Working on the technical side of things means that I see all sorts of things when we meet on a Sunday morning – I notice problems, things that shouldn’t be the way they are, gremlins. If we were there for a performance this would be a problem, but we aren’t there for a performance we are there as a family to meet our father. I try to imagine our meeting a bit like an old time gathering around the fire, there’s no TV so everyone brings a song, or a poem, or a story. While the event is entertaining, it’s real purpose is to bind everyone together and cement everyone into the family. It’s about the relationships.

We should take note of the themes in the Bible that reoccur, and you can’t read far in the Bible without coming across a section on relationships – people to people, people to God, God to people.

When God repeats a theme to a body of people we should, likewise, sit up and listen.

What is God saying to you about the relationships that you keep?

  • Are you a relationship builder?
  • Are you a relationship bleeder?
  • Are you a relationship maintainer?
  • Are you a relationship destroyer?
  • Are you enthusiastic in your relationships?
  • Are you passive in your relationships?

Taking the challenge from Paul Jackson – what would it mean for you to lead a one-plus-one life?