I’m pretty exhausted, so here are some quick summaries of the action today:
- George Curry spoke on J C Ryle – how he was transformed by grace and how he learned the sufficiency of God’s grace. I know virtually nothing about JC Ryle except the contents of his “Expository Thoughts”. I was surprised to learn, however, that though a Christian he was more or less forced into the ministry out of necessity to obtain some form of income after the family’s financial ruin. Yet he turned out to be so useful and remains so to this day.
- David Vaughn, an American church planter in France, spoke on the kingdom’s spread in a fallen world, from 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10. It was an impassioned exhortation for the work of mission. I can’t remember the last time I heard a talk like it. Powerful challenge to step out in faith in mission.
- Iain Murray spoke on John Elias of Wales in the early 19th century. Again I knew nothing about him, but glad to find out something. Interesting study in how Word, Spirit and the man can come wonderfully together in preaching.
- David Campbell on the last two sayings of Jesus on the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30) and “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). He took us through a number of ways that the finished work of Christ’s suffering has a bearing – on the gospel we preach, on the enemy we fight, on the church, on our future and on Jesus himself. A wonderful meditation.
One other nice happening today was to do with the staff who serve us at mealtimes. They have been great. (It is a pity that the venue will change next year because we will lose that rapport.) We gave our customary sign of appreciation after a brief vote of thanks. It was nice because some of the staff were clearly moved by the lengthy applause.