Last night I was formally welcomed to the BUS at Assembly at Queen's Park. It was a special moment, one where your mouth insists on twitching into a smile even though you are probably meant to be sober and serious. Standing on a platform with a group of other ex-pat BUGB ministers (and a few others) some now fully accredited BUS ministers being (in BUGB parlance) 'handshaked' and some retiring ministers was one of those moments when God's presence pierces the ordinary and allows us to glimpse something more wonderful.
Assembly has had (and will have today when I set off in a few minutes) all the same niggles it has 'down south' and is, for me, the same wonderfully whacky Baptist family that I love so much. So they had 'that song' and David Coffey told 'that parrot joke' but I have also met lots of lovely people, been hugged by total strangers (partly because of what I represent) and made to feel very much at home.
The great cloud of witnesses will be unlike anything we may ever imagine, and way more wonderful, but as an Assembly-phile (albeit a slightly critical one) there are aspects of what I experienced this weekend would make it a great place to be.
More reflections to follow in due course.
In the meantime...
Behold I go, riding on the train,
Off to Queen's Park to join the happy throng
Having fun at Baptist Assembly
With new friends who all love God.
(Now that is a MUCH better version! ;-) )