We've got a soft spot for Jeff Millington at the Triangle. Jeff officiated at our very first service just over three years ago, making a little bit of Methodist history. Today he presided over a gentle, reflective hour-and-a-bit's worth on the theme, 'Come and See', drawn from the story of God's calling to Samuel in the Temple, (1 Samuel 3: 1-10.)
This account came from the dramatised Bible, our small cast including a very convincing God in the shape of our Worship Leader, Brian Smith.
In his talk to our young church, clustered at his feet, Geoff emphasised the significance of knowing and remembering names, and the surprise and confusion Samuel felt at hearing his name called by God that night in the dark, hushed building. He still calls boys and girls, as well as adults, to follow Him today in our busy, noisy world.
John 1: 43-51, the New Testament reading, recounted how Jesus called Philip to join his disciples. Philip, in turn, found Nathanael and persuaded him to join Jesus of Nazareth. "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and See", said Philip. And, as we know he, too, joined that brave little band.
Jeff enlarged on this theme in his Sermon, telling the story of a young car salesman who bombarded potential customers with a torrent of information about the glittering vehicles in the showroom, but sold not one! Meanwhile his colleague, the Senior Salesman, sold three during the day. The secret, he told his crestfallen junior, lay in two words - "Test Drive?" "Take them for a drive", he said, "and the car will sell itself!" As Christians we are like that young man, Jeff told us, and John's gospel calls us to reveal and promote Jesus Christ to those around us. "We are all salesman for the Gospel message. Come and see what the Lord has done for you!"
The Prayers of intercession beat out a rhythmic call to 'Seldom Silent God', and contained our promise, "Never can we be silent until Your love is known throughout creation".
And the hymns? They included such favourites as 'Be Still' (20), 'God's spirit is in my heart' (404), the great traditional, 'Dear Lord and Father of Mankind' (495), 'I, the Lord of Sea and Sky' (chorus: Here am I Lord, I have heard you calling in the night) and 548, 'Blessed Assurance'. This lovely hymn by Frances Jane van Alstyne (Fanny Crosby) includes the lines:
'This is my story, this is my song,Praising my Saviour all the day long'.
Message received and understood, Jeff!
Kindly written by Astley Jones