Key Word:- BECOME
Title:- Learning The Lute
Matthew 22:9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.'
To be a poet in earlier centuries, one had also to be a musician. The Parish church of St Aldhelms, Walmington on Sea, may have been fictitious, but the saint was not. Aldhelm was a ‘pop idol’ of his own time, writing poetry in metrical Latin and in Anglo-Saxon as well, setting many of his own compositions to music. Despite the fact that none of his songs, which were apparently popular in the time of King Alfred the Great, have been preserved, never the less, his legend lives on!
Aldhem’s songs must have been good, for he used them as bait. History records that because he found the people of his care slow to come to church, he stood at the end of a bridge singing songs to collect a crowd and once he had them, then he would lay down the lute and take up exhorting them in eternal and sacred matters! I like this ‘whatever it takes’ approach. I suppose St Aldhelm was, dare I say it, a ‘Seeker Sensitive Saint’.
One of my dear friends and ancient mentors, has been a missionary and open air preacher for years. John Howarth, however, if he started singing, would scare a crowd away before he had a chance to speak on the sacred and divine. No, his method and the method of the ‘Open Air Campaigners’ is to use a large ‘sketch-board’. Taking this and some paint, they set up in a shopping centre or on a crowded street and begin to paint. They don’t say a word. Believe it or not, such activity does gather a crowd and so when sufficient people have gathered, they turn from the painting to preaching and with swift brush strokes, the listeners hear the gospel and see it live before them on the canvas. Whatever it takes!
I know another man who used an amazing combination of miracles and story telling to preach the good news. Incontestable miracle after miracle and story after story. It got him into trouble with all kinds of people, especially the religious folk but it worked. Whatever it takes!
Friends, we must gather a crowd before we can tell them about the eternal, the sacred and the Divine. This is our mission after all, to tell people about Jesus, for He will have His heaven FULL TO OVERFLOWING. Maybe today then, without watering down the Gospel one iota, we should take ourselves to prayer and then go and learn the lute?
Listen:-So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. Matthew 22:10
Pray: -Lord, break me out of my box, squeeze me out of small thinking, coax me from my corners and send me fishing on the other side of my boat that my nights of fruitless labour would turn to mornings of abundance and fullness. For Your glory Lord, Amen.