Sacrifice and Service
Just before I went on leave our church shared a weekend with Bishop Oscar Muriu and his wife Beatrice, from Nairobi Chapel. What a blessing that weekend was. I’m still processing the input. We had the privilege of being confronted by the godly wisdom of a world renown church leader from a different culture, who perhaps sees what we’re blind to.
On Monday morning Oscar and Beatrice joined us in a combined staff meeting with Thornleigh Community Baptist Church. Towards the end of this meeting I asked Oscar if he had a ‘prophetic’ word for our churches. I asked him to be honest. Prophets don’t always say the things that people want to hear. If they are being faithful, they will speak those things that people need to hear.
Oscar thought for a bit, looked at Beatrice, and then with some reluctance shared his thoughts. He acknowledged that his sample of church life was limited. But he was direct. His word for Penno was that he thought we were at risk of becoming too comfortable. He saw us as a church with many successful people who had accomplished much in their own strength. He foresaw the danger of us becoming trapped in a bubble of comfortable, wealthy people who were risk averse and resistant to moving forward in faith.
It wasn’t easy to hear, and Oscar’s words need to be weighed. However, we would be foolish to discount them. Bottom line: Our Lord does not call us to a life of success and comfort, but to a life of faith marked by sacrifice and service.