“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood” (John 1:14)
Our neighbourhood is not always our own, as many come to visit this pretty seaside town. The parking is crazy and often we can’t get space outside our front door. Visitors are attracted to the beach and the surf or a walk on the pier – the Cleveland Way cuts right through here. Thank goodness for the winter months and a time to recover.
For our young people who do venture out, they find space in the back streets and Valley Gardens; sometimes we wonder where they all are? We cannot presume to know what young people want, our purpose is to wait and to listen – to be available, to be the open door and a welcome for all.
The Tent is a meeting place, it just happens to be in the shelter of a Church. An old gazebo, some cushions, light and heat. Hot chocolate and a Bluetooth sound box – that’s as far as we go with technology. A safe space to just chill and relax, come in with friends or just by yourself. Whatever is happening, it’s all about people – all interested to know whatever you are thinking. Building trust and learning from each other is how we grow – some quick some slow.
So how do we know God has moved in? No judgements, no rebuff, all are accepted right here where they are. Listening to opinions, ideas and desires, all are given space for growth. No real programme, just driven by whoever turns up and their skateboards parked neatly in the Church porch.
This reflection was written by John Pearson from Doorways Project, Saltburn www.door-ways.co.uk for our Advent Series on John 1:14 from the message (‘The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood.’).