Sunday Reflections-Epiphany 3

       After starting off grumpily last week and then deciding that YES, I was meant to be learning with the children; this week I prepared and planned for Children @St. Stephen’s and
then no one came! 
Even though I did not get to play at story-telling with the felt board, or to make clothespin disciples, I did get to stay in the Service and listen to Pastor Nick’s sermon, and was able to keep an eye on my lunch soup to save it from boiling over!
    Actually it was kind of neat to let a little “video” of my imagined children’s ministry time play through my mind while listening to an exegesis of the same passage, for an adult audience. The best of both worlds!
        Matthew 4:12-25 continues on last week’s theme of Jesus calling his disciples as He begins His teaching in Galilee. (Matthew points out that Jesus’ relocation at this time is also in fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy). Nick noted that Jesus did not call the disciples to be “other” people but asked them to “come up higher” by using the gifts God had given them (e.g. fishermen) to become “fishers of men”.
      Several people shared stories of their own “callings” and Blair made some really good points from the perspective of a person who grew up in a Christ-centred home but has grown into a fuller understanding of what it means to be a disciple and model Christ in daily life.
     Having, also grown up in a church-focused family I always felt I knew God and was loved by Him, so never had a “conversion experience” but I can recall exactly the time when I knew in my heart that I wanted to be able to serve God in my life and not to hold back or be shy about my witness for Him.Not surprisingly, that revelation took place at the first Day Camps Residential Training.
       The then Director of Day Camps (Vina Sweetman) had asked my Mum to come and be the cook for the weekend (the training only lasted for a weekend, it is now a full week!!) and I went along as kitchen helper.  I clearly remember sitting off in a corner at Evening Worship, listening to Praise Music, watching those young adults sing and pray and witness so openly, honestly, and informally; I knew, in my heart that I wanted to be like them.
     Vina is a very wise woman, she knew me well even then: – painfully shy and introverted. I don’t know if she thought she could actually lure me into the Travelling Teams (no I never was on a Team!) but she knew that these people, this community of believers could change me, and 30 some years later, I can say she was certainly correct in her assumption! Still shy, but only too happily been sucked into the vortex of this crazy world of Day Camps. Passionately committed to the Ministry and knowing that God has called me to use the gifts He gave me (being able to cook has sure come in handy!) …
      “Helping People of All Ages, to Become Strong Disciples of Jesus Christ”
Fast forward to church this morning…  
    At lunch, several people said very nice things about the soup and bagels and there was even a request to put the soup recipe up on the Blog, so here you go, a bonus “Sunday Reflections” recipe!
Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 5 cups water
  • 2Tbsps. margarine       
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 14 oz. can whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
Soak split peas overnight in plenty of cold water. Drain well, place in a large saucepan with the 5 cups of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30minutes, or until just tender. In a separate pan, melt the margarine and sauté the onion until soft but not brown, Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tarragon, coriander, cumin, vegetable stock cube and chilli powder, bring to the boil.
Add the vegetable mixture to the pot of split peas. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serves 4-6.
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