Andrew Wilson wonders what resonances there might be for brothers and sisters in this caricature of ecclesial life in the twenty-first century?
We, the keen, gradually learned that, despite our best efforts, our fellow citizens were uninterested in the Gospel. We learned to expect ‘nothing’ from our efforts, and ceased to be surprised by it.
Slowly, battering our heads against a brick wall came to
be replaced by a tacit acceptance, by some of us, of how things were. By others, it was replaced by a zeal redirected, via CBM, to areas of the world where interest in the Gospel still persisted. Then we arrived at 2017!
God brought to us tens, then scores, finally hundreds of young men and women, originating in Iran. These folk were riveted, fascinated, mesmerised by the Gospel, and by our non  trinitarianism. Interest turned into action as the ‘CBM@Home’ movement got underway, and baptisms began to follow, echoing the results of our forefathers’ experiences in 1880-1885.
We were all naturally delighted by this sudden show of enthusiasm within our own shores … weren’t we? Well actually, sadly, no, not all of us. Some had settled back, become used to quietude, ceremoniousness replaced celerity. Also, newspapers informed us that “these people” came here only to “better themselves”, and we allowed a healthy pinch of scepticism to justify our reluctance to act. Others in the local ecclesia might “bust a gut”: ‘well’ we reasoned, ‘it’s their cup of tea’, ‘they are retired teachers’, ‘they have time on their hands’, and ‘as for me, I don’t speak Farsi’. In any case, why couldn’t they have come thirty years ago when I was young and full of energy? Nowadays I just want to relax and take life easy.
What one wonders are our new enthusiastic brothers and sisters going to make of this hodgepodge of frenetic enthusiasm from some and indifference from others? What will UK-born young people conclude? And our Heavenly Father? As I said, this is a caricature – I hope.
Andrew Wilson (Crewe, UK)