Prayer and Prejudice

10712-bacon-sandwich

It was the wonderful Adrian Plass who once wrote “God’s two greatest inventions are bacon sandwiches and salvation”.  I know what he means, I love a bacon sandwich (salvation’s great too!).  But, it was the humble bacon sandwich that has challenged me recently.

Some of the men that form part of our fellowship have wanted to set up a men’s prayer breakfast and, if I am honest, I was not too keen.  Why?  A couple of reasons.  Firstly, I have never been happy with ministries that exclude a proportion of a fellowship.  I suppose I have seen the damage that christian’s have done to each other by excluding women from fulfilling their God given calling.  Secondly, I had an image in my mind of what “men’s ministry” looked like and it wasn’t something that appealed.

Prejudice simply means that we have “pre-judged” something, whether that is a person, race, gender or even a ministry.  I believe that throughout His life and ministry Jesus challenged prejudices and through His Holy Spirit, He continues to do so.

So, I gave the men’s prayer breakfast a go.  I enjoyed the bacon sandwich, I enjoyed the fellowship, I enjoyed meeting and chatting with a really great bunch of friends.  I have, since then been to a curry night and, later this year, will be going to The Gathering (organized by Christian Vision For Men).

What also thrills me is that some of the ladies in our fellowship are now exploring the possibilities of their own gathering (although I understand no bacon will be involved!).

What I have learnt is that when we confront our prejudices, we can discover something that becomes really valuable to us.  So, go ahead, why not give something new a go, who knows what you may discover as you do.

 

 

 

Best laid plans…

mouse-on-cheese

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley,

(Robert Burns To a Mouse 1786)

As Burns night is almost upon us, I thought I would begin by quoting the great Rabbie Burns!   But, strangely enough, these words seem to reflect my week.

I began my week with ideas and plans all in place and everyday, something went wrong and nothing I planned got done.  How do you manage when things don’t go as planned?  I have a tendency to get frustrated and i can find it very stressful.

I found myself reflecting that most of the most inspiring moments of Jesus ministry came from interruptions, His “best laid plans” were interrupted on many occasions and it’s from these His ministry flowed.

Perhaps, instead of getting upset at the interruptions, we need to learn to look for the opportunities in the interruption.