Sometimes I think that we're so scared to take a step because we think that, if we make the wrong decision, or if we don't hear God say, "Thou shalt do this," we will be out of His will and screw everything up. So we don't move at all, and we stay in the same place, which is rarely (I think) what He intends.
So we moved. We dreamed big for how to touch all of London for Jesus' birthday, and we assembled 10,000 gifts of small anchor badges to give out to Londoners, and we passed them out in the council estates and supermarkets around Camden and invited people to Christmas dinner. The Christmas dinner wasn't our original plan, but in the end, through closed doors and rethinking and more closed doors, I think that we made it to what God dreamed for Camden. And the heart was the same - a safe place for the people of Camden to come spend Christmas together. A place where the material pressures of the season were set aside, where class and social divides were torn down, where we could all be together.
In the middle of the busyness (I would say chaos, but it wasn't. Everybody did their different roles diligently and with love), I stood in the back corner by the kitchen and looked across the room. Our neighbours were engaged in conversation with each other and with our church family. Some of them listened to the worship music with uncharacteristic stillness. Hymn, a chalk graffiti artist whose poems decorate the pavements and buildings of Camden, tried to leave to finish his shopping, but came back and sat completely silently through the worship and carols. I've never seen him so quiet before. There was a woman spilling her heart to Carrie, a mum and daughter sat talking to Ina, several homeless men that have become our mates talking with the guys, and more, and more.
"Was this Your dream all along?" I asked God.
And I knew that it was. To have us all together, worshipping Him, loving each other in a practical way. While God is complex, I don't think that He is complicated. To me, it sounds like the type of birthday party He wanted all along.
And that's all we wanted, isn't it? To give Him glory and praise and honour, on His birthday, but also today. He's worth it. Christmas for Camden was for Camden, yes. But it was also for more of Him.
The boys barbecuing the meat outside
The tables set and ready for friends!
The choir practising carols
Some of our mates (Hymn is on the left) enjoying the worship