Some reflections on Lausanne
I had the enormous privilege of being able to be at the closing ceremony of the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation at the Cape Town International Convention Centre last Sunday evening. (http://www.lausanne.org/cape-town-2010)
It was one of the most exhilarating, moving and beautiful acts of worship I have ever experienced. This gathering of some 4,500 participants from 198 countries was the most globally representative assembly of evangelicals in history representing a broad spectrum of denominations, organisations, academic institutions, and the worlds of business, government and the arts.
Our Parish choir were part of the mass 150 person choir which along with a full orchestra lead us in the most wonderful worship using music much of which was especially written and composed for the occasion. The service was beautifully choreographed – leading over 5,000 people (participants and volunteer staff serving them) in worship is no easy task. It flowed seamlessly from worship and praise, to prayer and repentance, to Scripture and sermon and to a magnificent celebration of Holy Communion. Having the Scriptures read in Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Arabic and Chinese and using an African liturgy (the Kenyan Liturgy – with which we are familiar at Christ Church) made one aware that we are part of the world wide church. There was wonderful use of colour and graphics with images projected on the large screen behind the Communion Table and Pulpit. The communion elements of bread and wine were carried in huge African baskets and calabashes. I am not one who goes in much for flags in worship but the way they were used added rich colour and gravitas to the occasion. In the middle of it all Trevor Pearce turned to me and said, “Do you think heaven will be better than this?” The answer of course is yes, but this was the closest I have ever experienced.
But perhaps what made it all the more moving was the message given by Lindsay Brown, the international director of the Lausanne Movement. He finished his sermon “Facing the unfinished task” with the most moving illustration out of the life of Adoniram Judson who left the city of Boston for Myanmar (formerly Burma) in 1812. Judson served in Myanmar for 38 years, during which time his wife and seven of his children died. He was also hung upside down, beaten, ridiculed and finally killed by being tossed in the sea. At the time of his death, there was no church and no more than 12 to 25 converts to Christianity in the country. He had, however, accomplished translating the Bible into Burmese. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of believers who all trace their spiritual heritage to Judson. But Judson never saw the fruit of his labour.
Lindsay Brown concluded his sermon saying, “That may be your experience too. Some of us may have the joy in seeing significant fruit, but for others our calling is not to give up, not to lose heart knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” He then reminded the congress that within months of the previous Lausanne Congress some delegates that had shared with them in it had been martyred for their faith. “That may be what awaits some of us”, he said.
Earlier in the week we were reminded of how early missionaries packed their possessions and the essentials they would need into a coffin to be shipped out for the mission field to which God was sending them. They were going to labour and to die for the work of the Lord.
You can imagine that in that context to was difficult to sing “In Christ alone” without a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes…
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand. (Author: Duncan Mclea
Articles in this group
The SA Church Leaders Indaba
SACL Indaba 22-24 Jan 2013 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Sermon Preached at the Consecration of Margaret Vertue Ezek 3:4-11, Psa 23, Acts 4:8-13, Matt 16:13-
19th January 2013 - Stellenbosch (Author: Duncan Mclea)
I believe in the resurrection of the body
Easter Sermon at Christ Church looking at the last line of the Creed - I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come. (Author: Duncan Mclea)
'A year of God's faithfulness'
Duncan's annual report to the Christ Church Annual Meeting and to Parish Vestry (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Andrew Murray - a life God used
Talk given at New Wine on 25th February 2012 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
What does the Bible say about women being in leadership in the church?
A reply to an email from my daughter asking about why women don't keep silent in church. (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Reflections on the two weeks of prayer and fasting
Duncan's Diary 10th Feb 2012 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Two weeks of prayer and fasting
No to respectability and yes to courageous authenticity. Various extracts taken from the two weeks of prayer and fasting. (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Sunday Services - Half Time Team Talk
If being missional is our organizing principle what will Sunday services look like? (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Duncan’s Diary 2011-06-01 “Parish Vestry 2011”
An update on the Parish Vestry Meeting held on 31 May 2011 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Duncan's Diary Archive
An Archive of Duncan's Blog Articles (Author: Stephen Hofmeyr)
Duncan's Diary 2011-05-14
There is no doubt that the six churches of the Parish, along with the Warehouse, have huge potential to impact the communities and the city of which we are part with the good news of Jesus ... (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Duncan's Annual Report 2011
The text of my report to the church meeting on 12th April 2011 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
“… who are growing maturing disciples”
My sermon preached at Christ Church on 30th January 2011
Phil 37-14 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
List of Duncan's Diary Entries (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Growing maturing disciples ...
My sermon preached at Christ Church on 23rd January 2011.
Ephesians 4:11-16, Matthew 28:16-20 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Worship - the best thing we can do in 2011
On Christmas Day I concluded our sermon series on Revelation. (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Looking ahead to 2011
This is an edited version of what I said at the Christ Church church meeting on 23rd November 2010 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Running through Wynberg Boys High
DD blog on 11 Nov 2010 (Author: Duncan Mclea)