Friday, May 29, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-29 [Pentecost 2015] Language


4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Acts2:4-8
The account of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost is a lovely reversal of the tower of Babel story in Gen 11. We don't know if it was a miracle of speaking or hearing, but the bottom-line is that the Spirit closed the gaps between people miraculously bridging the language divide between all the language groups gathered in Jerusalem on this major festival day.

God still does this today. Louis Giglio is in his fifties but speaks effectively to the one of the biggest Christian student movements in the world. He is able to cross a generation gap that many would consider unbridgeable.

What about those who are able to help those whose marriages are in trouble? Or those who comfort the grieving? Those who help people who have depression?

I believe the Holy Spirit is still at work in us, helping us to cross over chasms of language, culture, age, pain and trouble. He gives us language, empathy and connection. He guides us, prompts us and gives us wisdom, knowledge, insight and guidance.

The scriptures provide lists of the gifts of the Spirit. In these lists we find things like knowledge, wisdom, healing, faith, leadership, service, generosity, teaching, speaking in other languages, being able to interpret other languages, discernment, apostleship (being a pioneer) and evangelism.

These gifts are not for our own benefit. They play the same role as the language gift on the day of Pentecost: A way to cross the gaps. Especially the gap between people and God.

  • In what ways is God working in you to build bridges to others?
  • In what ways could God work in you to build these bridges?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-28 [Pentecost 2015] Sealed


Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.        (2Corinthians1:21-22)
This idea of being sealed as God's property, with the Spirit as a deposit (down-payment) guaranteeing what is to come (our inheritance) is an incredible and beautiful thought.

Paul takes this thought further:
Because you are sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son or daughter; and since you are a son or daughter, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:6-7)

The Holy Spirit is our guarantee that:

  1. We belong to God – In fact, we are His children and can call Him "Abba" (An Aramaic word which means "Daddy") It is a word of intimacy and affection. It is a term that indicates security and trust. The Spirit helps us to have this intimacy.
  2. Our salvation is assured – we have been saved and forgiven
  3. We have eternal life.

The God of the universe sees fit to live in the junkyard of my heart.
- I was created in His image - to know Him - but I fell away.
- Jesus took my punishment and set me free from my brokenness.
- His Spirit lives in me so that I can know that I am His.

A few years ago Shawn Fouche helped us put this video to the words of a beautiful song by Mark Schultz. It describes the Spirit's work as a seal so well: We belong to God!


I've been hearing voices
Telling me that I could
Never be what I wanna be.
They're binding me with lies,
Haunting me at night,
And saying there's nothing to believe.
Somewhere in the quietness,
When I'm overcome with loneliness,
I hear You call my name.
And like a father You are near
And as I listen I can hear You say

You are a child of Mine
Born of My own design
And you bear the heart of life.
No matter where you go,
Oh, you will always know
You have been made free in Christ.
You are a child of Mine

And so I listen as You tell me who I am
And who it is I'm gonna be.
And I hang on every word,
Knowing I have heard
I am Yours and I am free
But when I am alone at night
That is when I hear the lie
You'll never be enough
And though I'm giving into fear
If I listen I can hear You say


I am calling..
I am calling..
I am calling..

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-27 [Pentecost 2015] Paraclete


O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."                      (Isaiah30:19-21)
The word "paraclete" (parakletos in Greek) literally means "one who is called" (kletos) "alongside" (para).

Jesus spoke extensively about the Spirit as the paraclete in John 14-16. Bible translators have used words like "helper", "companion", "advocate", "comforter" or "counsellor"to translate and explain the Spirit's work. These words are all helpful to colour in this beautiful picture of God's Spirit being with us, in us, helping us, strengthening us and guiding us.

Isaiah's prophecy reflects the same tender presence. Listen to the intimate words that preface our passage:

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
(Isaiah 30:18)

Although one might argue that this prophecy was partially fulfilled in the teachers of the law who taught the Scriptures to the people, I still have the sense that the coming of the Spirit really fulfills the full and intimate picture offered to us by Isaiah (and Jeremiah promises something similar - see below): to be able to hear God's gentle guidance: "This is the way; walk in it."

JER 31:34 No longer will a man teach his neighbour,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-26 [Pentecost 2015] Burns but doesn't consume

Burns but doesn't consume

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.            (Exodus3:1-2)
While there are various references to the Holy Spirit as fire (see below) and while this passage is not strictly a reference to the Spirit, I do find this a very powerful image of calling and I believe that responding to God's call is to walk in the Spirit.

Moses is called to God's service. The image of this call is a bush that burns without being consumed. There are so many things that we can chase after that will consume us: Materialism, alcohol, drugs, fame and power are just some of the things that will leave us depleted, diminished and destroyed when we give ourselves to them.

When we give ourselves in the service of God we are not consumed but renewed.

Zechariah had a vision about this. It was of a lampstand with seven lamps being fed with oil that flowed along channels from two olive trees. When he asked about the meaning of the vision the angel declared: "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the LORD Almighty.

When we serve God, the Spirit blazes in us like a flame. We burn brightly bringing light and warmth to our world and we are not consumed, we are renewed.

It was Wesley who said: "Every morning I set myself on fire and invite people to come and watch me burn!!!"

Thank You Spirit that you are all the might and power I need and then when I walk in Your ways I can burn and not be consumed.

Acts 2:3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

1Thessalonians5:19 Do not put out the Spirit's fire;

Theo Groeneveld
Emmanuel Presby Church Cell: 082-5510752

Friday, May 22, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-22 [Pentecost 2015] The River

The River

(Ezekiel is seeing a vision of a stream of water flowing from the temple....) As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in--a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, "Son of man, do you see this?" (Ezekiel47:3-6)
This beautiful image is also picked up by Jesus in the New Testament:

To the broken Samaritan woman at the well: "whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John4:14)

Then at the Feast of Tabernacles: On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. (John7:37-39)

  • Thirst quenched.
  • Dry land watered.
  • Paddling in the shallows and then swimming in the deep.
  • Streams flowing and bringing life.

Could this be what our lives look like?
Not by ourselves - but by His Spirit!
"All Who Are Thirsty" (Brenton Brown)

All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Just come to the fountain
Dip your heart in the stream of life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of His mercy
As the deep cries out to deep, we sing...

Come, Lord Jesus come
Come, Lord Jesus come
Come, Lord Jesus come
Come, Lord Jesus come

All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Just come to the fountain
Dip your heart in the stream of life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of His mercy
As the deep cries out to deep, we sing...

Come, Lord Jesus come
Come, Lord Jesus come
Come, Lord Jesus come
Come, Lord Jesus come
Brenton Brown is an international worship leader and song-writer originally from Cape Town.

Theo Groeneveld
Emmanuel Presby Church Cell: 082-5510752

Thursday, May 21, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-21 [Pentecost 2015] The Wind

The Wind

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John3:5-8
Human beings are created in the image of God. Genesis pictures this as God breathing into us. "Breath" and "Spirit" are the same word in Hebrew ("Ruach") and Greek ("Pneuma"). To be in the image of God is not that we physically resemble God, but rather that we are able to have a relationship with Him.

Sin put a wall of separation between us and our holy God. But sin also resulted in us dying spiritually - we, although we had capacity to relate to God (Pascal called it "a God-shaped hole inside us"), could no longer relate to Him.

The Spirit, the "Breath of God", breathes into the collapsed lungs of our Spirituality - He fills the sails of our stationary ship - and we live again, we move again...

The Spirit is the breath of life, the wind that fills the sails. Sometimes it's just cobwebs that must be moved, sometimes it's a sail that needs filling and sometimes it's life that must be restored. Sometimes it's even the mighty power of a gale that is needed, but the Spirit is God's breath, God's wind.

He is God, closer than a whisper, the breath in my lungs, the wind in my sails. I can't control Him, I can't predict Him, but I need Him to help me breathe and to move.

I love singing that old chorus:
Wind Wind blow on me, Wind Wind set me free.
Wind Wind the Father sent the blessed Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-20 [Pentecost 2015] Not orphans

Not orphans

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.   (John14:16-18)
If you had to ask me what I think the single most important idea about the Person and work of Holy Spirit is, then I think this verse would consistently come out at the top of the list.

We... are... not... orphans!
We... are... not... alone!
God is with us!

The disciples were appalled at the prospect of Jesus returning to the Father. But Jesus promises them something incredible: God's Spirit - the third member of the God family will come and live in and with them, you and me. I am not alone. I am not forsaken. God is with me.

As invisible as the wind, like the still small voice heard by Elijah, like a stream of living water flowing in my soul, like fire in my bones, like a seal of ownership on my heart - this is who the Holy Spirit is and this is what He does. He is the presence of God in my life and this makes me a temple. And this temple has a torn curtain - the holy of holies is open and I can worship because God has chosen to be with me and Jesus has paid for my sin.

Even as I write these words, the beauty of this truth wrecks me: As I sit here, I am known and loved so much by God that He sends His Spirit into my heart. As I sit here, God is at work in me and in you. Even when we try to hide big parts of our heart from the Spirit, He is patient and perseveres with us. Even when the chaos of life threatens to overwhelm me, I can follow the Psalmist's advice and "be still and know that He is God."

I am not alone - Thank you Holy Spirit!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-19 [Pentecost 2015] Why do we celebrate Pentecost?

Why do we celebrate Pentecost?

From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier 4 and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD.   (Genesis13:3-4)
Abram had previously had a significant encounter with God at Bethel. When he came this way again, Abram took time to build an altar and call on the name of the Lord again.

Our faith is not a faith of incantations, rituals and recipes - our faith is a living relationship. But just as it is healthy in relationships to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, it is helpful in our spiritual journey to celebrate significant days. Although my birthday is not really any different from any other day - it is a helpful moment for me to give thanks to God for the life He has given me and to enjoy the love and attention of my family.

Pentecost is our annual remembrance of the coming of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing magical about this time, but rather an opportunity to remember.

When we worked through the creed, we noted that the early church said very little about the Holy Spirit. There were probably two reasons for this: Firstly, the early church regularly experienced the prompting and moving of the Holy Spirit - they didn't need to write about it - they were living it. The second reason is probably best captured by Jesus words in John 3:8 "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." - The early church were still learning and discovering how God's Spirit would lead them. The whole of the book of Acts was a journey in discovering how the Spirit would work in their midst.

Since the dynamic days of the early church, we're a lot more settled. We have the completed New Testament and the Bible as a whole is finalised. We have Denominational structures and practices and years of church tradition to rely on. Where the early church was dynamic and Spirit-led, we tend to be structured and routinised. (And if we're honest, sometimes stuck.)

Remembering Pentecost is an important reminder to be a dynamic Church: aware of and open to the guidance of the Spirit.

Over the next few days we'll revise some of the most important aspects of who the Holy Spirit is and hopefully this will bring us to a place of building an altar and re-committing ourselves to a personal and intimate God.

Friday, May 15, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-15 [Apostle's Creed] Concluding Thoughts 2

Concluding Thoughts 2

Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Mark9:24
We looked at this passage in November last year when we looked at "I believe"... It's good to end where we began...

We've come to the end of our study on the Apostle's Creed.
The Creed is about the content of our faith.
It describes who God is, it also gives us some idea of the when, where and what of our faith. It says a little less about the why and how.

The answer to why is wrapped up in what Jesus did for us. His enormity of His actions: incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension are all indications of His GREAT LOVE for us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. (John3:16)

But this brings us back to "believe" and back to the final aspect of the creed: how do we believe?

While the answer to this question could be a doctoral thesis numbering hundreds of pages, I would venture to give a simple but profound answer. It's not my answer, but the answer given by the father of the demon possessed boy: "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

The how of faith is trusting relationship. The father, reaches out with all he has and trusts Christ for what he doesn't have. I think that we are often so focussed on what we don't have that we don't even take the first step with what we do have.

What might today look like if we took a few faltering first steps and trusted that God (who settled for nothing less than sending His only Son to die for us) would be there for us?

Faith is a relationship with a God who is good, a God who wants us to pass not fail and a God who has already demonstrated His faithfulness, credibility and trustworthiness. What if faith is about a relationship rather than an exam to be passed???

The creed tells us about God. To believe is to know this God.
I hope you have enjoyed the Creed series.
Next week I'll share a few thoughts about Pentecost and then we'll start our next series.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-13 [Apostle's Creed] Concluding Thoughts 1

Concluding Thoughts 1

(Apologies that this is late - I absentmindedly sent it to the old robot instead of via our new mail system.)

he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians1:6
Our verse talks about the fact that God places His Spirit in our hearts and journeys with us to make us more and more like Jesus.

Rich Mullins, a well-known Christian songwriter, talked about the Creed in a unique way. Please read his song below and think about the bits that I've emphasised.

Rich Mullins

I believe in God the Father almighty
Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth
And in Jesus Christ
His only begotten Son, our Lord
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate
He was crucified and dead and buried

And I believe that what I believe
Is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me

It is the very truth of God and not
The invention of any man

I believe that He who suffered
Was Crucified, buried and dead
He descended into hell and
On the third day he rose again
He ascended into Heaven where
He sits at God's mighty right hand
I believe that He's returning to
Judge the quick and the dead
Of the sons of men

Repeat chorus

I believe in God the Father almighty
Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth
And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord
I believe in the Holy Spirit
One Holy Church, the communion of Saints,
The forgiveness of sins
I believe in the resurrection
I believe in a life that never ends

Repeat chorus

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-12 [Apostle's Creed] The Life Everlasting

The Life Everlasting

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.                           (Revelation22:1-5)

Everlasting life.
Cynics call this "pie in sky" - a useless panacea for the reality of life.
Scripture views it differently.

We're created in God's image (Gen1:27) and He has placed eternity in our hearts (Ecc3:11.) Jesus nailed the definition of eternal life in John 17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

Eternity is not a place or a state. It's not something that only happens in the future. It is a relationship and it starts in the present.

John's vision, rich in symbolism as it is, makes the same point. Although eternity is presented as a city with the river and tree of life, he talks about the city not needing sun or lamp because the glory of the Lord will be our light. Knowing Him is everything we need.

Eternity is a relationship with God.

  • It is what we were created for.
  • It's why Jesus died on the cross.
  • It's what the Holy Spirit's presence in us is all about.
  • It's what gives purpose to the struggles we go through now.

Eternity is being with the God who gave Himself for us!

The 80's band Silverwind put it well:

Heaven is being with You
I've heard stories of heaven
Pavement made of gold
Ageless beauty forever
That never grows old
But if I got there only to find out
Jesus, You were not up there
Goodbye wings, angel things

Heaven is being with You
There's nothing I'd rather do
There is nothing better, knowing You is heaven
There is nothing better
Loving You, forever, Jesus

Heaven holds all my wishes
Making dreams come true
Heaven has to be Jesus
Just being with You
There is no laugther or joy in the music
Jesus, if You are not there
Then the song is all wrong

Friday, May 8, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-08 [Apostle's Creed] the resurrection of the body

the resurrection of the body

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.         (Romans6:5-8)
Having spoken about God (Father, Son and Spirit) and the church, the creed ends with three personal assertions:
  1. The forgiveness of sins (we looked at this yesterday)
  2. The resurrection of the body
  3. Life everlasting

These three personal assertions are crucial for a vibrant spiritual life. The forgiveness of sins is our reminder that our imperfections do not have the final say. As we journey with God, His gift of forgiveness covers the gap between His righteousness and my failures. Without the gift of forgiveness I would become discouraged and demoralised.

The resurrection of the body is also important. It confirms our forgiveness and our faith in a physical resurrection infuses this life with value and importance. What we do in this life really matters. There were a group of false teachers in New Testament times, the Gnostics, who said that you could do what you liked with your body and with the world because heaven was purely spiritual and so the physical didn't matter.

But resurrection means that our lives here matter and it makes working for justice, humanitarian causes and environmental issues important and significant.

But more than that, resurrection is the hope that counters the fear of death. Death is the ultimate roadblock. All of us reach it, and without the hope of resurrection, life seems pointless and futile and cynicism and hopelessness threatens.

This was even more significant in New Testament times where Christians were being persecuted and martyred for their faith. Yet the church grew and prospered - why? Because they believed in resurrection and faced death with faith, hope and courage.

Having heard of the recent terrorist attacks at a university in Kenya (just a little up the map from us) where Christian students were executed, the hope of resurrection has become very real to me again.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-07 [Apostle's Creed] The forgiveness of sins

The forgiveness of sins

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all...
10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. Isaiah53:6-10


How does this word and its buddies (shame, regret, self-hate, failure and bitter remorse) make you feel? Guilt drove Adam and Eve to hide in the garden and it drives you and me into avoidance, neuroses, denial, isolation, distraction and many other failures.

The creed offers us the simple and permanent solution: forgiveness.

Not a self-help tool.
Not a pep-talk.
Not a technique.
But a gift.

A gift that is credible and reliable in what it promises because it came at a formidable cost. God's Son, Jesus the Saviour, the Rescuer, the Deliverer (This is what "Yeshua" means) came and gave His life to offer us this amazing gift. We can't earn it or deserve it, but oh my goodness we can receive it!!!

"My chains are gone, I've been set free
My God, my Saviour has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace"
(Chris Tomlin)

Take a moment and bow your head and give thanks.
You are forgiven.
You are free!
You can listen to Chris Tomlin's song at

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-05 [Apostle's Creed] The communion of saints

The communion of saints

...[t]herefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles...    (Hebrews12:1)
This phrase, "the communion of the saints", is one that very few people fully understand.

The writer to the Hebrews has been talking about all the heroes of the faith that had gone before the church. In chapters 11 and 12 he builds a picture of a stadium filled with spectators (those who have already run their race) and participants (those who are busy running now.)

This is the church, past and present. There are those who have gone before and those who are our brothers and sisters now. Church tradition has often talked about the church militant (those of us on the field) and the church triumphant (those have gone ahead and are the great cloud of witnesses.)

This means that the "communion of saints" has two important facets.

  1. We are one church, although we are spread out geographically and form part of different traditions, congregations and denominations, we are one church. We are part of this amazing community because we have the same Heavenly Father, the same Saviour and the same Spirit who lives in our hearts. We are one because of Him.
  2. Death doesn't terminate our connection with this one church. The writer to the Hebrews seems to hint that when we die we enter a space that is outside the limitations of time and history and that the full picture is clear for those who have passed into His presence.

    I don't fully understand how eternity works (my brain can barely cope with this week!) and I don't believe we should make saints of or pray to those who have already passed on, but I am grateful that we are part of something big and permanent!

The power of the communion of saints is not in the individuals, but in the Lord whose love makes us all one.

PS: Nearly twenty years ago we went overseas with Brenda's folks. The sense of privilege and cost of the trip had us rushing around squeezing every last drop out of every moment. Sunday found us quite tired, but we decided to go to church. I stood in worship with tears of joy streaming down my face. What an incredible joy to be in a church on the other side of the world and feel like I'm home!!! This is the communion of saints.