The excitement is rising, we’re doing a new musical settign of the Kenyan Service of Holy Communion.
Order of service is 31 pages!
Music and prayer was due to start at 6.45pm, it’s 7.08pm and nothing yet.
And we’re started!
A quick update on surveys: 348 organisations have committed to reach out to oral learners!
Everytime we see the words ALL we can all join in. Other letters refer to the ministers Archbishop The Right Rev’d Henry Orombi and assisted by Grace Matthews.
We’ve got 25 communion stations – that’s over 200 people at each communion station.
Trevor Sampson is going to teach us one of the refrains, abely helped by a HUGE choir.
Michael Cassidy thanks us for coming, but reminds us we only came to Cape Town to go out from Cape Town to proclaim the gospel to all creation and every person. The Bible says we can’t go out to be witnesses for Him unless we do so in the power of the Holy Spirit, e.g. Acts 8. The Holy Spirit is a major indispensable fundamental need – we need His person, His fruit, His gifts. D.L. Moody when asked if he’d been filled with the Holy Spirit said “Yes but I leak!”. We all need a fresh filling to go out in His power to be effective witnesses around the world. So we pray come Holy Spirit, come and do a new work and anointing here.
Now the orchestra are playing and we’re seeing scriptures up on the big screens – very majestic, this is going to be a very special evening. It looks like the procession is about to start – this is all very moving.
We’ve sung How Great is the Lord and All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ Name with a huge procession of flags and people.
Now we’ve been greeted by Henry Orombi.
We’re now singing Lord have mercy/Christ have mercy followed by Glory be to God on High – wow I want church to be like this – so powerful!
Grace has read the collect of the day, we’re now in the Old Testament reading – Exodus 12:1-3, 6-11 which is being read in Russian and Portugese. Next up is Psalm 148 sung in response sections praising the Lord with full orchestra, a choir of hundreds and a congregation of over 5,000.
Following that we read the New Testament – 2 Corinthians 4:1-7 in Spanish, French and Arabic.
Now we’re onto the Gospel Acclamation – lots of alleluias – the Gospel reading, read in Chinese, was John 1:29-34!
Now Worthy is the Lamb by Darlene Zschech sung by the choir in an arrangement by Colin Peckham – an amazing arrangement, emotion welling up inside you as you listen to it.
Las Newman with the other Deputy Directors come and pray for Lindsay Brown before he preaches, he’s now shaking hands with them all.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest message in the history of the world, and that’s why we’ve been gathered here together for this week. It’s been memorable, glorious, we’ve heard great testimony and messages. But what will it’s legacy be? What will we say when we go home to our family and friends? In the pre-amble to the Cape Town Commitment list the legacy of the first and second Lausanne Congresses. What will be the legacy, only God knows, but we can say what the four-fold hope of the organisers was?
A ringing affirmation of the uniqueness of Christ, truth of the gospel.
We can’t engage in mission unless we’re clear in what we believe. Without a foundation of truth we have little or maybe nothing to offer. We’ve spoken much about Edinburgh 1910 which set lots of mission in motion. It had one major flaw, no doctrine for fear of division. John Stott: “you can’t speak about Jesus Christ and the mission of Christ with clear doctrine.
There’s no need for us to be ashamed of hte word evangelical as it simply means people of hte gospel. It’s not a 20th, 19th century word, or reofrmation or Western, but is from Scripture and widely useed in the 2nd century by Tertullian etc. We’re using the term to say we’re gospel centred movement.
Bear witness of Jesus Christ in the world and spheres of life
Bring a fresh challenge ot hte global church of Jesus and his teachign in every area of the world geographically and every sphere of society. New Testament word of “bear” means lip and behaviour, as we do it in all that we are. We musrt recommit ourselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ in every area we’re involved. The aim for the whole world to hear the gospel must not be diminished, but we have been weaker in bearing witness to Jesus in the different spheres of life, e.g. business, government and the university. “Change the university and change the world” – Martin Luther, 1523. The exhortation is to penetrate every area of society. We’ve looked at ethnicity and the environment among other things.
“To wash your hands of society is not love but worldliness, to engage in society is not worldliness but love.”
One of our hopes for this congress is that we’d leave here equally committed to sharing the bible truth to the ends of the earth, and in every sphere of life as he is our Lord.
(He’s lost his notes!)
When we do this it enriches our life and strengthens our testimony.
Many fruitful partnerships
Why we’ve done the Congress with the WEA, why we had small groups for fresh partnerships and friendships. In a needy and broken world we can’t afford to be driven by competition but by partnership, joining hands together under Christ looking towards the ends of the earth. These partnerships will need us to move beyond denominational and organisational boundaries. We need a new generation of people who want to see the gospel come forward and don’t care who’s leading the charge.
Many new initiaives out of the Congress
How can we rest vwhen millions of people haven’t heard the gospel. After 1974 huge approach to the translation of scriputre. Who knows from this congress – maybe oral learners, young people, mega cities, the media. Who knows? What new initiatives will you take.
Whatever he does, the passage from Corinthians gives us three emphases that have been consistent in this Congress:
1. We have a ministry
To present the deity, incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ (verses 1-6). It is not mission when it doesn’t have Christ at the centre. Our message according to this passage is Christ. It is only through Jesus Christ I know my sins are forgiven, it is only through Jesus Christ I can have hope. He is not a saviour, he is The Saviour, he is incomprehendible.
Later as we gather around the communion table we gather around the ecstatic statement of John the Baptist “Behold the Lamb”. Wesley (same uni as Lindsey) wrote a general each evening – time and time again he wrote – “I offered Christ to the people today” or “I offered grace in Christ to the people today” – that is our calling.
2. Watch your walk
Similar to Calisto and Chris Wright we’re challenged to watch our walk. We should be careful about over-focussing on techinque or clever method – verse 2 – out of our weakness so no over confidence or over-triumphalism. We can’t do mission because of money or technology – only becasue of the power of God, the uniqueness of the message, the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s word. The word of truth is to be backed up by authentic, transformed lives. John Stott said: “The greatest hindrance in the mission of God is God’s people.” Adolf Harnock once wrote hte two main reasons that the early church grew was they out-argued the pagans and they outlived them. We’re called to do both. The whole of scirpture says we’re to live godly lives not because of piety but compassion and care. Jesus was very simple – he spoke to the 5,000 and fed them – so should we. We need to be balanced between verbal communication and empathy and care.
Four days ago Antoine shared his testimony of genocide in Rwanda but he shared very little of his testimony – his father dying, watching friends murdered, being taken to a refugee camp, and so on – none of that was shared. Lindsey offered to give him a year sabbatical from IFES whilst in the camp, Antoine replied turning it down, saying he needed to share the peoples pain to also share hte peoples joy at the gospel.
3. Don’t lose heart
In verse 1 and 1 Corinthians 15. Some of us will return to stupendous growth like in Nepal or Mongolia. Many of us return to difficult sitiations. Luis Palua sayign at a conference in 10 years time many will be martyred. Temptation will be to be discouraged – we need to not lose heart. Samuel Escobar said the only thing 20th century man has disocvered is speed, but the work of God commonly happens slowly – we’re to take a long view and not give up.
Dr Jerry Garner, Chief Communication Officer in 5 Nigerian governments, known by people of all faith to be free of corruption. Managed it as: 1. Keep short accounts with God as a teenager 2. I choose colleagues and partners slowly – as even some Christian politicians make stupid mistakes 3. Realised the importance of legacy – the situation can’t be changed in 5, 10 years – done it for 30 years – praying for another 30 years to teach the next generation.
A man went out in 1812 from Boston to Myamar, dying in 1850 – about 12-20 converts after 38 years of ministry – lost his wife and 7 children, was tortured and just thrown over a boat when he died. A friend preached at a large gathering of Burmese believers 150 years later, sees translation says translated by the man, translator when asked about him weeped at what this man had done – today we’re 600,000 believers, and everyone of us traces ourself to Rev Judson – but he never saw that.
Some of us will see significant fruit, some won’t but don’t give up. Listen to John Wesley: with God’s help do all the good you can, by all means, in all ways, in all places, to all people, until Christ takes you home.
Now Facing a Task Unfinished by Frank Houghton.
There’s real power in singing and proclaiming the Nicene Creed. Now an anthem by the choir: Stay with Us by Egil Hovland.
Together we’re going to pray for the Church.
Now prayers of pentience and commitment followed by the pardon and sharing the peace with those from around the world.
The gifts are ready for procession.
(Running low on battery – now at 22% so may not make it all the way through – it should have finished now – apologies if that happens)
The gifts are led in by two fantastic dancers, and then carried high above the heads of those processing them – we have bread, wine and grape juice. Leaders from around the world are by the communion table ready to help lead us. The orchestra are playing and the choir soaring. It is building as we rise to the holy moment of communion.
Archbishop Orombi seems to be struggling to speak so Doug Birdsall is speaking on his behalf while he still breaks bread and prays over the gifts. We’ve sung Holy, Holy, Holy, read the Eucharistic Prayer, and just now shared the Lord’s Prayer in our own language. Now we’re singing the Lamb of God as those leading communion move to their stations with the gifts.
All are invited to the table, all who know Jesus and love the Lord are welcome. For those who didn’t wish to participate come and receive a blessing.
Dona nobis pacem is sung in a round.
Chaos as loads of people get up for communion – very quickly order is restored.
My battery is about to die, still to come though:
We’ll be singing Behold the Lamb, The Power of the Cross, and In Christ Alone during 5,000 people receiving bread and wine.
Following that we’ll share in a post-communion prayer, the sending – based around The Cape Town Commitment, a Benediction and a final hymn of Crown Him with Many Crowns.