I went to take a service at a farm called Grootdraai this morning. It is 112km from Grahamstown. I struggled with preparing for the service yesterday. I only knew on Friday that I was going. I don't know how to preach to these people out on the farms. Some of them are illiterate. Not many speak English. But sometimes there are one or two who are working in the 'outside world'. I have so little conception as to the nature of their lives that I find it hard to prepare a sermon. I don't know what they know well from the Bible. I don't know what their concerns and worries are. I don't know how to communicate.
I try to console myself that I am going with a message from Jesus - but am brought up short by the those who say that we are arrogant to talk about 'taking Jesus to people' because God has always been there. Well, then, why am I doing this?
I am increasingly going back to the roots of my faith. If I am called and sent by Jesus then there must be a reason for it. I am, in a sense, taking him wherever I go, even if he is already there. And I don't think that it is arrogant of me.
At the end of the day we got lost and took a 50km detour and only one local person actually pitched up to the service. It's not what I would do for fun, but I trust that our faithfulness will have encouraged this one person to greater faithfulness and will have in some way demonstrated the love that Jesus has for him. I don't particularly regret going out there.