I was preaching in Bourgneuf yesterday. It is a tiny French village at the foot of the mountains. There are no other church in that vast valley that covers the area between Chambéry and Albertville.
A few months ago, I filmed a short series of meditations on the book of Habakuk for the Brussels Bible Institute. They were posted on their website at the beginning of the summer. I am now feeling like a celebrity. I have come across 2 people who recognised me after watching them.
I am in Brussels for my first marathon weekend of three. I will be teaching church history all morning today and ecclesiology all afternoon tomorrow. I still have a lot of work to do for tomorrow but it should be fun.
Teaching in Brussels Bible Institute has been a new experience to me. I have enjoyed it thanks to a motivated and interested group of students. But I have hated the preparation work. As I am writing, I must teach a class on church history on Friday morning and one on Ecclesiology Saturday. I still feel I don’t master the subjects. But one of my friends reassured me today.
When his daughter was asked to teach history of art to college students, he told her she had never studied the subject. She replied that it was true but that she was only one step ahead of the students.
I feel better now.
I am on my way back from the second session of lectures on Church History in Brussels Bible Institute. It has gone well so far. The first session was a fortnight ago. I gave an Introduction on why study church History and the New Testament World, followed by a Survey of the first church in Jerusalem in the Book of Acts. Today, we finished looking at the first church and talked about Persecution in the early church.
I had asked the students to read Ignatius of Antioch’s letter to the Romans and Polycarp’s Martyr. We had a lively discussion on Ignatius’ understanding of his martyrdom. It led to a lively discussion on self-denial and what Jesus meant when he said we should take up our cross. It was great and it seems that everyone enjoyed taking part and reflecting on Ignatius’s thoughts and understanding of his own martyrdom.
I wassn’t able to cover all the ground I wanted. I had planned to look at the Apologetes and the letter to Diognete but it will have to wait until next time, in a fortnight.
The “Eglise Evangélique de la combe de Savoie” in Bourgneuf is about 40 minutes drive from us, on the way to Albertville. I’ve preached there twice. They have been through a hard time over the last year. The pastor’s wife has had a cancer treatment. Several people have left…
In the summer, the church granted a 6 months sabbatical to their pastor so that he and his wife can have a break and rest. They’ll come back at the end of January. That’s good.
A retired pastor from Albertville will be preaching there regularly and they’ve asked me also if I can help out with the preaching. I have given them my availabilities and am waiting for some dates now.