Every now and again an individual, or a group in the church, does something that just makes me sit back and go "that is fantastic, that so embodies what the kingdom of God is all about, and why I'm so proud to be a part of it".
Today it was our group for the retired, There's More to Life, or TMTL as they're affectionately known.
Hopefully one day I'll be able to tell you the whole story, as it's quite remarkable to see the way God has worked, but for now all I'll say is that a week last Sunday I was introduced to someone on the fringes of our community who had recently suffered a bereavement, and I offered to take the funeral if they wanted me to. They also asked whether we could help with the refreshments afterwards, and I said we'd see what we could do. Well the funeral ended up being this afternoon, which meant that TMTL would be meeting in K2 at the same time, which was a problem as we don't really have another venue. However, knowing the hearts of the TMTL leaders I phoned one of them and asked whether they'd be up for serving this family, and was overwhelmed by their willingness to drop all their existing plans and offer to prepare the hall, put out all the food, serve all the teas and coffees, make all the guests feel at home and then clear up at the end.
Well we had the funeral today. The crematorium was as full as I've ever seen it with people stood all around the edges of the room and a crowd stood outside in the entrance hall - amazing scenes. And then well over 100 of those people came back to K2 and were just served magnificently by the TMTL team. It's now 5.30 (3 hours after the first guests turned up at K2) and I've just seen the final team members leaving after the clear up. They've served a grieving family and grieving friends in the most amazing way, and I'm so proud of them all.
As Bill Hybels says - "This is church".
ps I was hoping to write the next part of the feeding of the five thousand today, but it's been a long day and I'm shattered so hopefully I'll get round to it tomorrow!