Through the Church
Andrew & I are on the same flight back to the UK but we lost each other somewhere in security. I expect he is elsewhere on the concourse writing a blog post.
Opposite me a woman is reading The Economist: headline, “A gamble gone wrong.” Even in America the craziness of the British election has been much discussed this past week, and caused much bemusement. I’ve had numerous conversations trying to explain the British parliamentary system, and why the Prime Minister called an election. I expect she is trying to explain that to herself now (and that George Osborne is kicking himself for having resigned his seat and opportunity to swoop on the premiership). Strange times.
DC is a political city but Andrew and I weren’t here for the politics. With a few hundred others we’ve been at the Advance Global Leadership Week, hosted (with extraordinary generosity and efficiency) by Covenant Life Church, in Montgomery County, Maryland. The conference was titled “Through the Church” and the diversity of expression of local church represented was beautiful and bewildering: from Covenant Life itself, with its 2,800-seater auditorium; to a couple leading a church of 60 in a tough part of Miami where the per capita income is only $11,000 per year; to pastors from Nepal where church members walk four hours each way each Sunday to get to a service; to new churches springing up in Nairobi and Madagascar and Japan; to the church of 1,400 members in a Missouri town with 500 inhabitants (no, I don’t get that math either).
In the UK we live with an increasingly aggressive secularism (hello Tim Farron) but the reality is that Jesus is still making himself known through the church. Prime Ministers and Presidents come and go but the church of Jesus Christ remains, and will prevail. That’s a certainty, not a gamble. I’ve been brought face to face with that certainty again this week and it has been a joy and privilege.
Time for boarding.