My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, For behold, the winter is past ; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come , And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” Song of Songs 2:12
On Saturday night – to be precise, at 1am on Sunday morning – the clocks in England all moved forward an hour. One moment it was 12:59 a.m. – the next it was 2:01 a.m. British as I ( Peter writing ) might look, this oddity of English life continues to catch me unawares –and had I not, while working late at my computer, been shocked to see an hour of the night suddenly disappear (had I been dreaming?) I would have missed the change from GMT to British Summer Time. And I would also have missed a most important appointment on the Sunday morning – an interview on the breakfast show of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to publicise the release of my first single ! “First single?” you ask. “ Peter ’s first single? Surely it’s Taryn who is the musically gifted one?”
Well, perhaps it is something of an exaggeration to call it my single. But let me explain the whole story. For a while I have had the chance to join together with a few other evangelists in Cambridge, all from different churches, and all with a similar burden to not merely hide within the walls of our separate churches, but to reconcile Christians from across the divisions which too often break up the Body of Christ, and together go out to share the gospel and reconcile the world to God. There are four of us, and as we go out occasionally with an inflatable sofa and the offer to serve people coffee (for Jesus came not to be served but to serve – and to give His life as a ransom for many ) while they come and sit down and listen to us share the story of God working in our lives, we have been called ‘Four Men and a Sofa’.
And in the run-up to Easter, Jason de-Vaux Balbirnie (who is the Methodist Church’s ‘Community Outreach Worker’ and a former smuggler of Bibles into North Korea – and, most importantly!, one of ‘the Sofa’s ‘Four Men’) has hatched a plan to captivate the attention of Cambridge and perhaps even the rest of the country. The plan is this: to release a re-vamped version of the classic hymn Amazing Grace, with all income generated through its sale on iTunes to be donated to four hospitals across the country: one in the East (Addenbrookes in Cambridge), one in the West, one in the North, one in the South – forming across the country the sign of the cross, the sole source of grace.
So what now needs to happen is for all of you – yes, you – to buy the single and tell everyone you know to buy the single, thereby donating to charity and more importantly sending the message of God’s amazing grace up the charts. It has just been released on iTunes, so you can buy it online. Also, if you’re on Facebook please ‘like’ us on by joining our community page at www.facebook.com/4MenAndASofa and invite your friends, family, relatives, colleagues, distant acquaintances… (And use this as an opportunity to share the gospel with them! Tell them what the grace of Jesus Christ means to you, or invite them round to watch the effect the gospel had on William Wilberforce as demonstrated in the film Amazing Grace – we’re much less interested in having a hit single than we are in making the gospel known to as many people as possible!)
So, on the day the clocks changed, signalling the winter is past, it seems the time of singing has come! But this is spoken by a bridegroom to a bride, and while it surely applies to the Church called to sing in response to the amazing grace of Jesus our Bridegroom, I have been praying it for my own musically gifted bride, asking that Taryn would have opportunities to “rise up and sing”. And so we are wondering whether we might be able to record a selection of the songs she has written sometime soon, perhaps releasing a collection of ‘Songs of the Bride’ to coincide with the upcoming Royal Wedding (April 29 th ) and the (providentially!) coinciding next 24:7 Prayer Week (30th April–7th May).
Please pray for all the various arrangements and negotiations which will be necessary to facilitate such a project, as well as for the musical and financial resources to make it work. “God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supply”. Pray that everything we do would be, first and foremost, “God’s”.
(Still rejoicing to be bridegroom and bride), Grace and peace, Peter & Taryn Prescott