I was leading worship at church this morning and decided to do something quite radical.  Today is Trinity Sunday, and the first Sunday after Pentecost, so bearing in mind that after the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, many from different countries could hear them speaking in “other tongues” in their own language, I thought it might be a good idea to ask three different people to read the Bible reading in their own language.

It was interesting that Stephen, Christine’s husband, who was preaching this morning, asked rather tentatively when he first arrived, whether we would all be reading at the same time.  I boldly went “where no man (or woman) has gone before” and told him that yes, we would be reading it just like that.  I wasn’t quite sure how it would work, and I think there were one or two raised eyebrows, but it actually worked.  Amy read from her Cantonese Bible, Christine used her French Bible and I read the passage in English from the New International Version.  Several people told me afterwards that because they didn’t speak French or Cantonese, they could easily tune in to me reading it in English, although three of us were speaking at the same time and I didn’t read any louder than either Amy or Christine.

After the reading, I asked people how it had been for them, and in particular, Gary, who is Amy’s husband.  He said that he had been able to understand it in both Cantonese and English, as he speaks both languages.  Interestingly, I found it quite difficult reading in English with French being spoken on my left and Cantonese on my right!

Stephen preached on the Trinity and this was his visual aid - the green watering can depicted God, our Father, who was “giving” love - by pouring it into the red watering can, which depicted Jesus, God’s son, who was “receiving” it, with the bucket depicting the Holy Spirit, who was completing the circle by pouring it back into the green watering can and “refilling” it so that the love could be shared again and again.  I’m sure you get the drift and as Stephen said, if we remember nothing else, at least we will hopefully remember his visual aid and what it represents.

Having got my Blip photograph, and not having to go out and find any dereliction today, we still went out after church to one of our favourite places and had our picnic.  We saw several red kites circling around and as we turned on to the narrow road to Eastridge, we saw a hare sitting in the middle of the road - the only trouble was that a Tesco delivery van was coming up fast behind us, so we had to move and the hare hopped off into a nearby field.  Mr. HCB pulled over to let the Tesco van pass and the driver kindly stopped to ask if we were lost - we told him we weren’t but were just looking for a place to have our lunch, so he wished us a good afternoon and went on his way.

It was very windy, so we didn’t see many other birds, but when we were eventually making our way home, we passed our favourite cottage - see the photograph I’ve put in as an extra.  We were here in early Spring, but what a difference it makes when there are leaves on the trees and they don’t look so stark.  

May the God of hope 
     fill you with all joy and peace 
          as you trust in him, 
               so that you may overflow with hope 
                    by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 NIV

If you would like to hear this verse as a song, you can listen to it here.  Enjoy!

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