URC Daily Devotion 21st May 2024

Luke 13:18-20 (NIV) 
Then Jesus asked “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.

Again, he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” 

To plant a church requires more than a pinch of mustard seed and madness! My husband Andrew and I have church planted in West Thamesmead, London.  We are thankful for funding, but with no team, church building, manse in the local area, or real community –  as opposed to individuals behind locked doors – it’s been a challenge. 

But, because of a deep sense of call and faith in a mountain-moving God, we started by praying and planting seeds, reaching out into the area, sharing the good news, and creating community. We knocked doors, introducing ourselves,  inviting people to free community events. Intentional about plans from the start, blending spiritual and social. Last year the church, together with the new community association, with a grant from the URC, started a free café that has become a real blessing.

From the beginning, God went before us: Paul, washing his car, responded, ‘Praise God I have been praying and fasting for three days for God to start a church in West Thamesmead!’  He invited his family, his friend Timothy and his family.  Praise God, we had a team!  And ‘The Lord added to our number, those who were being saved’.

Ada, originally from China, had not knowingly met a Christian, before she came to an event. Hearing the Good News, she committed her life to Christ, was baptised, and now is serving Jesus in church and community.   

We are still planting seeds and, praise God, the church continues to grow. The yeast is working throughout the dough, others are planting seeds too. A few weeks ago, during street evangelism, Peace invited Bridgette to church, the next day she came with her children. Last Sunday Bridgette said, ‘I think I have found my spiritual home’.

If we plant mustard seeds in faith and water them and encourage others to as well, God will bring the increase.

Loving God,  
thank you, for your Holy Spirit’s gift of faith to believe
that  if we share the Good News of Jesus, 
people will listen and respond.
Reveal to us the specific ways 
you are calling us and our church, 
to reach out into our communities. 
Mountain moving God, 
break down any obstacles, 
fill us afresh with your Holy Spirit, 
for strength to pray without ceasing 
and in obedience, 
until your will is done, Amen.

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