7th March 2017
In Scotland they might call it a Gathering, a time when friends and family draw together and renew familial bonds or create new friendships. Edinburgh East church hosted such a gathering on Saturday 25th February at their home in Musselburgh, just outside Edinburgh.
The South East Scotland Day of Fellowship saw members and friends of Edinburgh, Edinburgh East and Dunfermline churches meet at Musselburgh Rugby Club, the home of Edinburgh East church since its recent planting. Clearing skies and sunshine greeted over 130 attendees and it was evident it was to be a blessed Sabbath.
The theme for the day was The Homecoming, a topic that was thoughtfully and personally addressed by invited speaker Pastor Paul Tompkins, President of the Scottish Mission.
Pastor Tompkins’ sermons centred on the familiar parables contains in Luke 15; the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and particularly the lost son.
He pointed out that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has many of its own lost sons and daughters. In some parts of the world there are as many “former” Adventists as those current members.
The rhetorical question. “Do you know someone who used to attend the church but no longer does?” Saw many people nod.
Since recent surveys suggest many of these former members still consider themselves Christian, the question has to be asked. “Why do they no longer attend church?” and “How can we draw them home?”
As a vehicle for this discussion Pastor Tompkins used the famous painting by Rembrandt, “The Return of the Prodigal Son”.
This painting shows the prodigal son being welcomed home by his father, and the clear love and joy of having him home. It also shows a man on the right wearing a more ambiguous expression. Is this the elder son?