Having sat down before church yesterday, to write about our values making us different, I was greatly encouraged by the sermon which was on the theme of the way in which Jesus was an alien and a stranger, and how that meant he spoke, and acted, differently from the people around Him. And the implications of that for us.
As usual, I took notes, because that helps me remember - but it must have been a good sermon, because even without reference to the notes, bits of it have kept coming back to me over the last 24 hours or so.
I am constantly being reminded that if we [as a body] are to be "The Church in Our Community" that means that I, [as an individual] must be "A Christian in My Community" And currently I am struggling with one particular issue. It's the G-word...
Last week, a colleague at school asked why I worked part-time. All the usual comments [You qualified 30 years ago, heaps of experience, if you went full time you could earn loads more, etc] and "What do you do the rest of the week?" So I muttered about the home, and the family, and Bob, and "I do a fair bit of Church-stuff" - and the discussion sort of petered out.
Ever since, I have wondered if I should have said "God-stuff"? Would that have opened up the discussion to a deeper level, or would she have been embarrassed/thought I was even stranger than she does already/what? Do I sometimes use the word "Church" when I ought to be saying "God"?
Furthermore, isn't the stuff I am doing at school, endeavouring to be the best teacher I can, part of my 'God-stuff' too?
And will my attempts to share Jesus with people be seriously hindered if I keep making them feel uncomfortable?
People seem relatively comfortable when I mention 'faith' [it's somehow 'softer' and less threatening than the word 'religion'] No doubt somebody out there in the blogosphere has already posted a treatise on using the F-word though!