Church Plant Update
DENNISTOUN BAPTIST CHURCH (APRIL 2016)
Something that Dennistoun has in abundance is an excellent choice of restaurants and coffee shops. I'm particularly fond of Celino's restaurant and deli on Alexandra Parade.
Celino's is great. It takes you beyond Dennistoun and into a little part of Italy. Whether it's the array of fresh produce in the deli, the members of staff who serve, many of the customers who visit regularly, or the background noise of the radio, you cannot miss the strong Italian character around this place. If you want a fresh dose of Il Bel Paese you now know where to go!
And as much as I love Celino's I know it's not Italy. Leaving the restaurant I very quickly realise that I'm still in Glasgow (normally because the wind and rain is battering off my face!). Visits there serve the purpose of giving me a flavour (often literally) of this favourite Mediterranean country. More than ever I want to visit Italy, which I can easily attribute to this wee Italian principality in the East End of Glasgow.
Celino's is so popular because it is pointing towards something bigger, something other than the nice restaurant that it is - the enjoyment of all things Italy! As Christians we do something similar - we are pointing others towards Someone more significant than ourselves and our nice little lives. We are directing others towards the Good News of Jesus Christ and the reality of the Kingdom of God.
As we have been journeying through our series in Mark's Gospel at DBC we've been looking at the Kingdom of God as described by Jesus through a number of different parables. We've defined the Kingdom of God as the place where God rules and reigns, we've been reflecting upon the fact that it is a Kingdom that is here, but not here in all of its entirety (yet!). We've been focussing on how our role in the world is to be a flavour and a foretaste of what a living relationship with Jesus looks like, one that is centred on God's Kingdom and one that is for His glory.
As we think about the different ways in which we serve Dennistoun - whether it's through our community charity shop, our weekly lunch, our clothes distribution for asylum seekers and refugees, the different English classes that we provide, the times of prayer that we have together, the opportunities to come under God's Word and the moments of fellowship and pastoral ministry, our hope and prayer is that others might get something of a flavour and a foretaste of Kingdom life. Our desire is that they might 'taste and see that the Lord is good' (Psalm 34:8) and be transformed by God's love and grace through His Son Jesus.
We're excited to see what God has in store as we continue to minister, serve and love one another.
Mark and Pauline
13th April 2016