Friday, September 14, 2007

Yes, I *am* a fan of Selwyn Sexton (Part 3)

Read Parts 1 and 2 First (Scroll down)

Where does the story end up?

It ends in Wollongong, south of Sydney, later in 2001.

Selwyn Sexton and his wife Christine, met with Laurel and me. They had come back from Zambia for a season and he wanted to meet with us. Or rather, I wanted to meet with him. After all, I was the fan. Not the other way around. And that's what you do if you are a fan, right?

We drove the 2 hours south to visit with them.

Now, I am not the crying sort. But I came close to tears as I opened the door to the little cottage they'd been given for a vacation. Here was a man who 21 years ago, had shared the gospel to a group of fidgety kids. And he spoke Jesus without eloquence or sophistry, without dynamism or reputation. There was no marketing, and no hype. He wasn't bombastic or shocking. There was no warm up, and no music. I don't remember any particular wit or humor, or new insights.

But he spoke of Jesus and his atoning death, and the power of his Resurrection.

When we met him, he had a quiet strength about him. One that is carrying a cross without letting you know that this is what he is doing. He asked us questions, and showed us joy. We walked the beach and he spent several hours telling us how much he loved to teach people who to share Jesus. And then it hit me:
  • His gift was not his gift.
  • His gift was Jesus.
See the difference?

I thought of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
What's the 'upshot' of this?

Well, first, I shall not be joining your Facebook fan group. But that's a relatively trivial 'upshot'.

Here is my thought: Craigs commented on a previous post: 'It's OK to have heroes'. He's is utterly right. We do. We really do. All kinds of heroes. But, with some cheek, and somewhat counter intuitively, I'm choosing Selwyn.

The Apostle Paul:
So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
It's the way of the Cross.



Anonymous said...

Hi, Justin - I wanted to write to you and then remembered that you have this site - Wollongong... that is the name I had not heard in the long, long time. Just ramble on because I realize your rambling helps me ^_^

Justin said...

Thanks Anon. May I ask who you are? You can email me jmoff / hotmail if you like.

Anonymous said...

Hey Justin, Thanks for your post. I found it very refreshing. As someone who desires to serve God yet often feels ineffective in ministry I found your insight very encourages. I've been motivated to continue serving. I've often wandered why there is discouragement (and sometimes even hurt and frustration) in the place where I want to serve God. Sometimes it would be easy just to give up and say, well I've given it a fair go but I'm just not gifted in ministry. Yet, the knowledge that we often don't see results of the seeds that we are planting or plants that we're watering helps to keep ministry in perspective. At the end of the day we are his servants and Jesus has called us to be faithful and trust and rely in him, for his strength is seen in our weakness and inadequacies

Sharon said...

Hey Justin, brought tears to my eyes reading about Selwyn Sexton - such an encouragement! Also nice to hear 'Wollongong' I was born there! and had not thought about it in years up until the last few weeks - where I have had to write it on a trillion forms of one sort or another...outcome is I have a new Australian passport and a residency visa for Britain! May God bless both you and Selwyn Sexton...think i am a fan of his as well now!

Guthers said...

love the story!

Sandy Grant said...

Thanks Justin. This whole story is very encouraging for everyone who's ever taught children's Sunday School or public school Scripture or led a church youth group, or on a Scripture Union family mission.

I often suggest to people involved with ministry to children and youth, not to mention parents involved in family devotions, that you might have the next Timothy on your hands.

Good on you also for your careful approach to being a fan or having heroes!

P.S. I live and serve in Wollongong!

Justin said...

HEy Sandy -- Thanks for your comment. I follow your ministry at the Cathedral there.

Andy said...

Andy here. Mate I should have read on. You connected with Dad and Mum, how cool! Peace Andy