This Sunday evening, Jane and I are helping with a special youth service being put on at Dartford Baptist Church. That should be fun but it will also be a challenge – I’m quite used to standing up in front of people and talking but it’s a long time since I’ve done it for a congregation of young people.
We’ve had a couple of rehearsals for the music and that’s starting to come together well. What I’ve got to do now is write up some notes that will help me unpack the life of the Biblical character, Gideon (Judges 6-8), and what lessons we might learn for today.
I think the most important lesson is probably one I’ve learnt through my preparation – check things out! When we first started planning the evening I though I remembered what Gideon’s story was all about; when I actually sat down and read it through, I discovered that I didn’t have all my facts as straight as I’d assumed (for example, I’d conveniently blanked out chapter eight, where he pursues his enemies and then comes back to take revenge on the towns that didn’t help him in the chase).
Actually, it happens that one of Gideon’s main characteristics was that he seemed to take nothing at face value to but made sure he checked it out first (for example, the famous story about “laying a fleece” is all about checking and double checking that he really is hearing from God before he goes into action). Therefore, my mistake conveniently meets the content of the story and gives me my main point – Check it Out!