Reading Hebrews 11 this morning, reminds me of those two kids at First Alliance in Toronto, reciting the whole chapter. They did such an excellent job of it, but Pastor Tim was ever conscious of things not just being a “performance”, in the church service. He would always ask the children questions; for example, he would get these two young fellows to tell what their favourite part of Hebrews 11 was, and why. You could see how that would put more meaning into it, not only for those “performing”, but for those listening as well.
The church we’ve been going to here in Ottawa, has some impressive positive points too. Last week we noticed how excited the whole congregation seems to be about missions, and about evangelizing. The pastor always mentions those things in his sermon, and when he talked about expanding (even more!) or church planting, the people would burst into applause. Also, they put up birthday balloons each Sunday–representing those who have come to new birth in Christ, not only here, but on the mission field. Although I think they can also represent actual, new babies (in the congregation or perhaps just the staff). Last week they had a “4” balloon, for 400 people who made decisions in a particular mission field.
Hebrews 11 also reminds me of how long many of those ancient saints had to wait, to see their promise from God fulfilled. Not that God has particularly promised me that I’ll someday be finished unpacking…
We’re up to the settled-in point where you don’t (or can’t) work at it as feverishly, and therefore it seems like it’s going to take forever to get done! I’d so love to get at all those boxes of ornaments & decorations (where there are also a few kitchen plates and towells hidden), but now there’s Other Stuff to get done.