Sunday, June 19, 2011

Small church, Big message

This morning in church, we heard from the Pastor of a very small church (20 church participants on a "good" Sunday) from Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic. Our church, International Baptist Church of Stuttgart has partnered with this little Baptist church in the Czech Republic, which only started up in 2001. It seemed that there were about 15 Czech participants there this morning (so about 75% of their congregation!) Our Pastor, Pastor Packer, explained how the Czech Republic has the highest rate on Atheists in all of Europe. There are not many Christians in the Czech Republic. It was very humbling to hear the Pastor of the Czech church speak to us (through Peter, the interpreter!) and to tell us how encouraging it was to see a "big" Christian church at work in Germany. It was humbling because most of us just come to church service on Sunday and try to walk the Christian walk during the week. I am not saying that this is not enough, but compared to the hardships of actually practicing one´s faith in other parts of the world, we really have it relatively "easy" in Germany, or indeed in the USA or Australia. Friends and family who have visited us and our church will know that our church here is not that "big" when compared to churches in the US or Australia. Zev and I had a few words with Peter "the Czech Interpreter" after service. We asked him how long he and the team would stay in Germany. He responded "we have to drive back after lunch. You know, to get back to work and school." I think we were both touched by the love and enthusiasm and humility from the Czech congregation and their hope for the future. Their pastor preached from one small verse in Titus 2:11:
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."

The words after this verse teach us to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives and not to get caught up in the worldy things which are just that: worldy. Life is so short and precious. Being gracious and actually "walking the walk" in every aspect of our lives is what it´s about, isn´t it? Not just on Sundays, but every day. I am going to start with today. And then pray about this tomorrow and the next day....
Have a good week friends! 

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