In a nearby café, it appeared the drenching hadn’t doused the group’s love of the Lord.  Stalwart they declared Christians were called to suffer for the Gospel, but inwardly, you question was that for the people singing, or those listening!  With the rain stopping the decision was to continue by singing a hymn, and that George, a tall, thin, elderly man would then preach the Gospel.  At that point you made an excuse to leave because this surely wasn’t the kind of witness God wanted His people to be.

Friendship ten years ago with Derek, a man of similar age and stature to George, had begun sitting in a carriage on your daily train.  It had started with a smile each morning which progressed to ‘hello’, a brief conversation, sitting together and you reading your book and he, his newspaper.  One morning his friend Peter joined him and drew you into their conversation about their lives, work, church and relationship with God and that led to a daily chat with Derek often about his faith and your life. When he retired you began a foray of the different churches in your area. In some no-one spoke, others were over friendly by asking if you enjoyed the service, where you spoke as you found. At times, that led to a shocked expression and you making a hasty exit.

Chris, a colleague of similar age, made friends and then surprised you by subsequently declaring, “I am praying for you.”   Several weeks later, Chris nervously asked you to a Youth Weekend at their church.  With nothing better to do you agreed.  In discovering that the church on the opposite side of the city would involve several changes and a ninety-minute journey, it didn’t seem feasible until Chris’ mother invited you to stay.  That was the first of many weekends with them and over the next two years you enjoyed their hospitality and genuine interest in you. You still found mainstream Christianity boring, but the youth nights were fun, and you enjoyed the bands playing more modern worship music called ‘choruses’.  When applying for a local job you were accepted and began a career at an Estate Agents, and Chris faded away out of your life. Despite your faults, unwittingly you had imbibed that the Lord loved you.  Perhaps that had unlocked and prepared you for that first dream.

Word:  “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”  1 Thessalonians 3:12 (NIV)

 Worship:  “Revival’s in the air”   Bethel Music & Melissa Helser    7 mins

Key 3 – Friendship