There are some days in the many years of my Christian life when I have felt overwhelmed by the love and faithfulness of God.
When it seems to me that what has happened is a direct answer to the prayers of many people, over many years, and that His grace has been poured out on undeserving people
Yesterday was one of those days!
The verse that came to mind again and again was from the psalms
"The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."
Yesterday was handover day for the new building.
That means it was the day when Central building was formally completed and passsed into the ownership of Shrewsbury Baptist Church.
It is the day when the electrics people and the alarm people and the developer explain how everything works.I was glad that Rob and Rob and Steve and Jude were there, because ,as those who know me well will testify, -I dont understand these things easily!
This process took a couple of hours until those who needed to understand everything did so.
I busied myself in that time taking photos and really just feeling a deep sense of gratitude to God and reflecting on the journey of the last few years, from the point where we had to leave the old building, because we were advised it was no longer safe ,through the warm welcome we received from the church at Crowmoor,to the uniting of the 2 churches for mission and becoming Shrewsbury Baptist Church ,until the reopening of our almost completely rebuilt town centre building "Central" yesterday (although the formal openings are in March)
It has been a painful,difficult and challenging journey but God is always faithful, even when we were weak and feeble. I certainly learned again the value of persevering
Anyway, once everyone was happy we shared a glass with Steve and John from the developers who have been amazingly helpful.
By a strange conincidence although Steve is not a church goer himself one of his ancestors helped carry Spurgeon's coffin at his funeral!
They then left us in the building and we were joined by some of our leadership team (sadly not all were able to come) and we prayed and gave thanks to God for His generosity and faithfulness
As I looked around the faces present I felt grateful for them all. Some have been with us just a short time and some for many years but the experience of not building a building, but building a new church, has birthed in us what Hirsch call a sense of communitas "Community born through struggle "
I am especially grateful for the encouragement, the love and the support they have given to Steve and I- They are a gift from God
Now we move into a new phase in the life of our new church as we seek to go where God calls, to bless people, and to share the gospel in word and deed
I am looking forward to it!