What a refreshing change to be in Bangalore again. There is of course the weather, which is perfect, 25-30 degrees C (70-80 F) during the day and a lovely 20 (70 F) at night. Then there is the vibrancy of India where life is lived close to the ground amidst a strange mix of earthiness and technology. But it is the incredible diversity of spiritual expression is most striking. There is the mournful morning call to prayer broadcast from the mosques, the array of brightly colored flower petals made into lays sold to Hindu worshippers, and on Sundays the sounds of Christian worship flowing through open windows in the various languages of India. This all testifies that human beings are truly spiritually driven creatures. The deep seated hunger in the human soul for spiritual expression is more acutely displayed in India. I spent my first weekend in Bangalore in an apartment just above the Christalya worship facility on the second floor of this building. Every time I have come to India, I have had the opportunity to speak at the English worship service. This church has grown over the years and is now packed out every Sunday. In addition, they have shared their facility with other Christian groups so that on the weekends there are now five worship services held in this facility. What a blessing to spend Sunday afternoon listening to the sounds of the worship of Jesus Christ in so many languages. Each has its own expression and unique passion. But they all share the commonality of a public witness to the God of all Grace. Last Sunday was also Republic Day in India, which is a celebration of the establishment of the Indian constitution marking India’s move from a colonial monarchy to and independent republic. It is the equivalent of the American fourth of July and Canada’s Canada Day. It was so good to just be out in the streets watching people enjoying the holiday, sitting in café’s and public places.
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This has been a very full the ACTS Academy, where 53 pastors and Christian leaders gathered for a residential ThM/M. Div. seminar. I was privileged to be invited to take all 5 chapel services . My sermon series focussed on Martin Luther’s theology of the cross and has been summarized in the previous three blog posts. The messages were well received, as God used this as an occasion to remind us all of the bedrock of our faith. We were also able to show 2009 movie “Luther”, on Thursday evening as a fitting last night together. In addition, I was able to deliver three integrated lectures on the topic : “Missio Dei – Rethinking Church”, which I used to stimulate the participants to think outside the box in their concept of ministry. Allan Hirsch’ s work was a source of much of our inspiration.
This, week I will be back at ACTS working with the undergrad students. I am praying that we will be mutually encouraged and uplifted through our interaction around the topic of discipleship.
Stay tuned from more….