An exciting vocation
On the Opening Night of this year’s General Assembly, our new Moderator, Dr. Noble McNeely, said that being a disciple of Jesus Christ was “the most exciting and amazing vocation anyone can be engaged in.” He added, “If not, then we have to question the commitment we have made to Christ.” These are strong words from the Moderator and are challenging to ponder – if we are not enthusiastic followers, we cannot hope to make any impact on those around us.
The General Assembly allows our denomination the chance to look inward at the Church we are, but more importantly to humbly look beyond ourselves and learn from others. As well as hearing from a number of global voices, a PCI delegation to Jordan shared their experiences (the full account of which is in this edition). They told the story of a ministry student who had to leave his city in the middle of the night because of the advancement of ISIS. His response though was surprising. He said he thanked God for them, reasoning, “If it wasn’t for ISIS, I would never have met Jesus.” His new-found faith was so alive and exciting, he counted the sacrifice of losing everything else to be worth it.
This edition will give readers a flavour of the discussions and debates of Assembly, which reflect the issues that our Church is currently grappling with. Whilst we can get consumed with the practicalities of moving forward as a Church and debate the best ways to do this, perhaps the biggest challenge to us as followers is much more personal. Conrad Mbewe in his ‘Life lessons’ says, “The most difficult thing about being a Christian is simply maintaining your walk with God – and yet it is also the most rewarding.”
When Martha was busy with the practical, Mary chose what Jesus said was ‘the one thing’ that actually matters – sitting at the feet of Jesus. It is here that we will learn to be true disciples.
Recently, I have been reading a wonderful book called, The Grace Outpouring. In it, Roy Goodwin tells the story of Ffald-y-Brenin, a Christian retreat centre in Wales that experienced an amazing outpouring of God’s power, love and grace in recent years. In response to those looking for a similar outpouring, Roy’s poignant words show there is no quick fix: “The key is searching for God, learning to listen for His voice, burrowing into His heart, listening to what He says and then doing it.”
The reality of our commitment to Christ is, in essence, our commitment to humbly seek Him. To endeavour to always know Him more is, as Dr. McNeely affirms, the most exciting thing.
The Presbyterian Herald is the official magazine of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. It provides a forum for debate and discussion on a wide range of topics and aims to challenge and encourage Presbyterians, as well as inform them about what the wider Church is involved in. It has a readership in excess of 25,000 and is distributed throughout Ireland.
To find out more go to www.presbyterianireland.org/herald