Patterns of Life



I have recently had the experience of shopping in a supermarket. My first big problem was to locate the items on my shopping list. I found the whole experience quite daunting in negotiating through the isles dodging the shopping trolleys parked in the middle of the isle. Then as you get around this obstacle, coming towards me is another trolley loaded with groceries and a child hanging onto the trolley pulling it in another direction towards something it wanted, but not getting any response from the mother.

Now when I look at the shopping list and try to find the isle that stocks what I am looking for, only to find that it is at the other end and the hazard of negotiating around other shopper’s trolleys. I found the area with all the cereals but now more confusion. What size packet do I buy, what added fruit types do I want? A bigger problem is now which box gives me the best value for money per unity of quantity?

Having made all the purchases on my list the next decision is which checkout counter do I go to. A quick count of the articles in the trolley tells me that disqualified me from the quick checkout. Then there are the rows of do it yourself checkout. To my mind was to go to the regular checkout and have the cashier put it through the system and load into the carry away bags.

As I reflected on my experience of shopping in the supermarket and the unfamiliar way it all works, I could not help thinking how it must be for someone who has never been to a church service, or has been a lapsed church goer entering in unfamiliar territory. For many it is the fear of the unknown and the old saying, the roof will collapse if I go to church. The strange thing is I know of no church where the roof fell in when someone new came through the door.

Perhaps part of the problem is you may not feel as though you would be welcome. You wonder would anybody speak with me. You may be surprised. The concept of church is the gathering of the people for giving worth to God for all his goodness, love, forgiveness. It is about people caring for one another, praying for one another. It is a community of people welcoming strangers on the basis that they could well be entertaining angels.

If you have given up the habit of attending church or never been, why not seek out the local church near you and have a new experience.

Robert Arnold

Pastor, Kyabram Baptist Church








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