BCB IN SWITZERLAND - DAY 4, 31ST MAY: SHAFFHAUSEN
What could be more continental? Swiss Cheese, ham and Croissants served for breakfast.
This started our final full day in Switzerland. An air of optimism lingered over the group as we prepared for our longest coach journey form the French speaking town of Fribourg to the modern urban metropolis of Zurich. The coach journey was approximately 2 hours, starting with stunning views of the mighty alpine range as a backdrop; unfortunately I cannot recall much more of the journey as I seized this opportunity for a short nap, waking up at the suburbs of Zurich.
We arrived in Zurich City Centre and were dropped off by 'Lake Zurich' at 11:30am, with the option of a guided tour or un-accompanied shopping available. I chose the latter, with most of the younger members of the band. Our time was
BCB at Shaffhausen
spent exploring the backstreets of Zurich, unintentionally whilst trying to find the Bahnhofstrasse, renowned for being the 3rd most expensive street in the world, after Times Square. After a while of trial and error navigation we stumbled across the street to find it awash with Rolex and other luxurious Swiss brands, unsurprisingly none of us students made any purchases!!
After we had perused thoroughly, we were whisked off to a Salvation Army Hostel for lunch, one of two Salvation Army Hostels in Zurich. Apart from nourishing food, we also learned something of the work the Salvation Army are doing in Zurich at the hostels and we were treated to an impromptu vocal solo from Peggy, one of the Hostel's residents. Originally from the deep south of the USA, she sang to the group her original composition, 'Get off the boat' (Telling the story of Peter and the water) which proved a popular and catchy tune for the band for the rest of the day.
After the breathtaking alpine views of yesterday we were treated to another natural beauty. The Rhine Falls, near to the German border, is the largest waterfall in Europe (note: by mass of water, not height). Personally I think this was one of the most stunning sights I have ever experienced, being able to stand right by 1000's of gallons of rushing white water, literally metres away. It was a multi-sense experience, not only witnessing the sheer volume of water rushing past, but also feeling the fresh mist and hearing the waters roar.
Only too soon were we on the road again, on our whistle stop tour of Switzerland, this time to the old German speaking town of Shaffhausen, where tonight's concert was being held at St. Johans Kirsche. Today's Bible Study was focussed on Romans 12:9-21, and the message was encouraging us to Be Christ's Body in the world, using our influences for good, and to be disciples of Jesus, after the tour is over. After a short rehearsal, tea was served in the crypt. Once all the uniforms were found...we donned our red jackets once again, and took to the stage.
The concert repertoire was once again varied and showed off all of the brass bands styles and repertoire, ranging from the classic 'In Quiet Pastures' (Steadman-Allen) to the modern 'Jubilo Jubilo' (Martin Cordner). The Major works of the evening were 'Corpus Christi (Redhead) and 'Triumph of Peace (Ball). The soloists featured were Nicola Redhead (Cornet), Mark (announced as Paul, in a slip of the tongue by our translator!) Sharman (Trombone), David Taylor (Euphonium) and Neil Blessett (Tenor Horn). The audience (of over 400 people!) were very appreciative of the band's message and music, requesting two encores, of the rousing 'William Tell Overture' (Rossini). After a quick and efficient pack down (we've learnt something from the Swiss!) we travelled back to our hotel, by Zurich airport, to get a short before tomorrow mornings flight.
The Body of Christ
READ: Romans 12: 9-21
Being His body in the World
In the past few days we have looked at what it means to be ‘in Christ’, how we can maintain unity in the body, celebrate diversity, use our spiritual gifts to glorify God and build up the body of Christ.
Today we look at how the body of Christ can impact the world.
Commissioner Harry Read wrote:
‘Christ calls each one of us to follow, to be his body in the world.’
As disciples we are called to be his body in the world to make a difference, to live out our Christian values every day, to connect our ‘in Christ’ experience wherever we go and with whoever we meet – quite a tall order.
In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul reminds the Romans to genuinely live a life of love. To the church at Corinth he called this the most excellent way (1 Corinthians 13) which if applied would have far reaching consequences beyond the confines of the body of Christ. The simple message ‘All you need is love’ is a strap line that speaks to every age, every situation and has the potential to transform the world!
This influence of love should affect our behaviour and the way we interact with each other. Phrases like love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honouring each other are difficult things to apply. They require that we affirm one another, encourage one another and so build up the body of Christ.
Paul encourages us to enjoy the company of ordinary people, to be eager to practice hospitality connecting with our friends and neighbours and in so doing show the love of Christ in action.
As we think through what it means to be his body in the world let us pray for opportunities to connect our ‘in Christ’ experience with those with whom we spend the majority of our time whether they be in or outside of the church community. By so doing, we will build and strengthen the body of Christ.
Love is the most excellent way to be anything and to do anything for building up the body of Christ
What part of today’s reading challenged you?
(It can be a verse, a phrase or just a word)
What is God saying to you through this passage?
How will you live differently because of what God is saying to you?
What will you do to affirm someone and build them up?
Who are you trying to influence for the Kingdom?
How are you going to build up the body of Christ?