What a blessed week I’ve had so far. On Sunday I had a thoroughly enjoyable Baptism service when I returned to Swanwick Chapel on Sunday gone. Not only was I baptising the grandson of two very special friends of mine, but it gave me the opportunity of preaching the Gospel to almost 150+ people (many of whom wouldn’t know the Gospel) took the opportunity to share the Jelly Baby Gospel, which surprisingly not many knew.
Firstly, I gave everyone a jelly baby and then I shared the history that after WW1 they had been known as peace babies, each colour representing a different continent or country, but during WW2 production had ceased because of rationing. After the Second World War Bassetts bought the company and reinterpreted each jelly baby differently they were then produced with individual symbols to tell the Gospel story.
The black jelly baby has a heart on it to remind us that sometimes our hearts are sinful and not how God intended them to be.
The green baby is crying to remind us that God weeps over such a state of heart. I then followed this with the red jelly baby who has the letter B to show that Jesus died for us and shed his blood for us. The fourth baby is the pink one who is crawling like a baby. This shows that when we recognise Jesus and receive Jesus into our hearts then we are a new creation (born again) into a new life and lifestyle.
The yellow baby bears a necklace to remind us that we will receive the riches of Heaven and the Orange carries a bum bag to show that we should be getting prepared to meet Jesus in Heaven and we do this by sorting out our lives here on earth, seeking righteousness and holiness.
I was quite taken aback by how well it was received, but I just pray that it will sit well in someone’s heart.
Monday morning found me in a local Secondary school answering questions (as part of their pre-reformation studies) from their 6th form pupils. A mixed environment of pupils of Catholic persuasion to those of no faith to three smashing girls of the Muslim faith. Boy, were the questions varied? “Why do you wear a dog collar?, “why are you a Protestant, not a Catholic?”, “what’s the difference?” And they were the easy ones!
the tougher questions (from a group of 16/17 heard olds) included “if we are talking about justification by faith, does it not matter what we do?”, “explain the Holy Trinity”, “explain transubstantiation”. I have to say it was one of the more challenging hour and a halfs grilling I’ve had, but it was easily the most enjoyable. It’s what I wish more people in the Church would do, seriously wrestle with the questions of our faith.
last night we went out on a Circuit Leadership meal, where the food was delightful, but the waitress was surly; trouble was, like naughty schoolchildren, we then ‘acted up’ when she wasn’t around ! Added to the fun of the night.
Then I spent lunch today with Alison and a very special friend catching up and sharing news. A blessed time.
All in all a good few days. Praise the Lord.