Wordsmiths throughout the last 5 decades have had to live uncomfortably with this split infinitive, but even though it breaks the rules of syntax, it has stuck.
Sometimes it is the off key that makes the difference. The thing out of the ordinary. God rarely does ordinary. When you are extraordinary you kind of have to go with it!
But, he does use the ordinary. To do extraordinary things.
That’s you. And its me. And its them. If we are willing.
He never forces or cajoles. He invites.
And he also equips.
It has been said that God uses the available. If we make ourselves available he can use us by equipping us for acts of service that we don’t think possible.
But we don’t have to.
If we do, it’s a journey like no other. The choice is ours.
Last week Paul led us into a different way of looking at worship to that which the institutional church has made it.
Its about what we bring, not what we consume.
Intimacy, obedience and trust in the Lord opens up all manner of possibilities. The Corinthian Church had skewed priorities and values based on show and hierarchy rather than genuine love of the Lord and seeking first the kingdom and seeking to serve others before themselves.

This Saturday we meet as Churches Together under the title Transforming Purley and Kenley.
After breakfast we will be praying about three questions:

  1. What does a transformed Purley and Kenley look like? (Outcome)

  2. What needs to happen for this transformation to take place? (Response)

  3. How can churches contribute and which parts can the churches do together? (Action)

These three questions are quite different to the usual one – what should we do?
These three questions are less about action (“do”) and more about incarnation (“be”).
What is it about the body of Christ that will make a difference in the world? What is the difference – how does God want to change the lives of the people of our community. What is our part, if any, in this?
The scary, risky, get out of the boat and start walking, extraordinary answer to this question is to become part of that community. Not just to lay stuff on and hope people will come (although that is part of the answer) but to move into the community and become part of it.
“Hello, my name is Doug. What is yours? What are you doing? Can I join you? What are your hopes and fears, challenges and frustrations, dreams and visions for the future? Let me walk with you as you walk these paths. Oh, and by the way, if I come, my friend here will come too. His name is Jesus. If you would like to get to know him too he would be delighted. But just for now, let me walk with you. Lets talk. I will listen. I will share a little of my story. And as we share stories together, we become part of the same community. And I will know if there is anything I can help you with. And you will know me. And him, in time.”
But the funny thing is, that is the same conversation the Holy Spirit has with us, if we would only listen.
And it’s the Holy Spirit who guides us and gives us the words and courage to have that same conversation with our community neighbours, aquaintances and colleagues.
Th route to intimacy, obedience and trust?
They are many and varied but a key one is prayer and patience (yes I know that’s two, but it is a singularly powerful mix).
That’s why Saturday is not a planning meeting but a prayer meeting – patiently looking for the cloud or the fire, looking to see where they are, waiting for it to move but resolving to stay while it stays so that we know that whatever the answer, it is of God.
And that is the ancient path that Christ Church must tread too…..
Many and varied blessings

Rev Doug McHardie
Vicar, Christ Church Purley
Office 0208 763 8291