BCB IN SWITZERLAND - DAY 1, 28TH MAY: ZURICH
For every member of BCB it was an early start with us meeting at Birmingham International Airport at 6.30am. There seemed to be literally tens of thousands attempting to leave the UK's 2nd city at the same time, but true British values came to the fore and everybody queued very correctly and without too much complaint.
Our flight left just about 25 minutes late but made up the time and arrived in a much less chaotic Zurich airport at 11.00am local time.
We then took a train and a couple of trams to reach the Zurich Central Hall. A fine SA building and we were treated to an excellent lunch prepared by local corps folk.
In the afternoon we conducted three impromptu bandstands in the heart of the city's retail area. Swiss law does not allow an open recital by right so special permission must be gained
BCB at Zurich Central
and then the local high street shops will pay the local corps for the music provided. This has assisted the Central corps with their expenses for our visit.
Again were treated to an excellent meal at the corps before our evening festival. The close to capacity congregation were very responsive to our playing and everything that was said. Our soloists, Andrew Dickinson, Mark Sharman, David Taylor, Rob Hayward, Neil Blessett were all on top form. Our programme was varied and appealed to all. The prolonged applause to many items was testament to this.
We have enjoyed a fantastic first day with our new friends in this wonderful country. They have made us feel very welcome and we look forward to the next few days.
Martyn L Pearce
The Body of Christ
READ: Colossians 2:6-10
Living in Christ
You will be familiar in Formula One racing with the tradition that if you are the reigning champion you can elect to use your allocated number on your car the following year or the number 1. Presently there is a bit of a furore in the industry because Lewis Hamilton made the decision to keep his original number 44 for this season, even though he is the reigning champion.
Number 1 is significant and in popular culture it means; the best, above all, the champion.
In our life of discipleship Jesus is number 1, the pivot of our very existence; the best, above all, in all and through all. Being united to Christ unlocks so many possibilities as members of the body of Christ.
The central thought in our reading is simply not to let anyone or anything come between us and our experience with Jesus Christ, that we do everything we can to protect that ‘in Christ’ relationship ensuring that He has first place and first priority.
‘In Christ’ is the most frequently used description in the Scriptures for those who are followers of Jesus. The words ‘in Christ’ ‘in the Lord’ ‘in him’ ‘with Christ’ occur 164 times in the New Testament and refer to the new nature, the new identity we have when we enter into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christian teacher and evangelist John Stott writes:
“To be “in Christ” does not mean to be inside Christ, as tools are in a box or our clothes in a closet, but to be organically united to Christ, as a limb is in the body or a branch is in the tree. It is this personal relationship with Christ that is the distinctive mark of his authentic followers.”
It may be comforting to know that our relationship with Christ not only gives us a new identity it unites us with him so there is no sense of ‘going it alone’ or feeling isolated. Our relationship with Christ is our present reality which enables us to live lives of value.
The Christians at Colossae found themselves subject to ideas which challenged the new relationship they had in Christ. Paul uses the word capture to warn his readers not to be led astray by hollow deceptive theology and thinking that is contrary to being a disciple of Christ. In chapter 1 he speaks about the Supremacy of Christ, that Christ is before all things and in him, all things hold together 1:17
Simply stated, Paul is saying that Christ is enough, so don’t let anything come between you and your relationship with him. Do whatever it takes to ensure he has first place in your life, that he is number 1.
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 are you going to live differently because of what God is saying to you?
Thank God for your salvation and for your relationship with Jesus.
What are the things that capture and draw you away from maintaining your relationship ‘in Christ.’?