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Discovering God's Kingdom – Growing the Church

Wednesday 12 August

I was watching a video the other day by Chief Rabbi Mirvis. Why? I’m not sure apart from he has a charismatic personality and warming smile. I’m not sure why it appeared on my Facebook page either. However I’m really glad I did watch it. He told the story of a legend from 13th Century Persia.

Legend from 13th Century Persia

The King of Persia summoned to his Royal Palace the creator of the game of Chess and told him, "I’m so impressed with this game. I love playing it, please let me give you a prize. What would you like?" So the creator of Chess thought for a moment and then said, "please ask your servants to create a very large Chess board. On the first square put 1 grain of wheat, on the second square double it up to 2, then the third, 4, then 8, 16, 32, 64. When they get to the sixty-fourth square put all the grain into sacks and that’s what I would like." "Is that it asked the King?" "Yes that will be sufficient," he replied.

The king summoned the Master of his granary and asked him to do just that. After a few hours the Master of the granary returned and said, "Your Royal Highness, I’m sorry to tell you that in your entire Kingdom you don’t have sufficient wheat to give this man.  Indeed mathematicians will tell you by the time you get to the sixty-fourth square, there will be more than 18,000,000,000,000,000,000.  Eighteen quintillion grains of wheat. Estimated to be more than two thousand times the amount of wheat that is produced in the world in any year today. You wouldn’t have thought it but such is the extent of this number."

It really made me think and I hope it has you. I just thought, "Wow. How quickly our Churches could grow and grow. Wouldn’t it be great to see all our Churches full. No need for fundraising and other distractions of Church life, but we could concentrate just on our faith. Wouldn’t that just be something? I feel it’s a dream but when you think of that Chess board, that’s all it takes - 64 squares. Of course, we wouldn’t even need anywhere near that number of squares to fill the Church where we worship. 

Whilst thinking about this as a Thought of the Day I was listening to Radio Cornwall’s Morning Worship when the hymn came on:

We have a gospel to proclaim
Good News for men in all the earth
The Gospel of a Saviour’s name
We sing His Glory, tell his worth
And ending with the verse
Now we rejoice to name him King
Jesus is Lord of all the earth
This Gospel message we proclaim
We sing His glory, tell his worth.

Perhaps we should think of those Chess board squares and challenge ourselves more to proclaim and share the Good News. We all too easy tell of a good result for our team, a nice meal or holiday and of course bad news which spreads like wild fire. We want our numbers to increase, think of how much better our Town, County, Country the World would be with more people turning to Christ and having the Holy Spirit guide them.

Let us pray
Lord give us more confidence to speak openly about you.
Help us share the love we have received from you to others we meet.
Lord give us the courage to tell of the Good news with all we encounter.
Fill us up with the Holy Spirit so that our tongue will speak words of your Glory.
Lord help and guide us to multiply the numbers of our flock one square at a time until all speak of your name.

Steve Hookway