One day before we came to Denmark Kris asked me how much Danish I thought we might be able to understand. My comment was that we didn’t need to worry because my understanding was that most Danish knew English – which has proven once again to show just how international the Danish can be. Yes, they can speak English very well. But here at the Oase national conference they worship in Danish — of course.
But there is a sense one gets, a sense of belonging though we knew we were foreigners, of knowing though we couldn’t understand the words, of worshiping though one only entered into worship by faith. They didn’t worship in English but we entered into their Danish worship by faith and came away refreshed. Some of you know this experience. Last night was special participating-by-proxy in the worship led by a young Christian worship team from Copenhagen.
Yesterday we boarded a morning train from Copenhagen, crossed Zealand and then over the island called Funen, and then onto Central Jutland. Don’t ask me how to pronounce these terms because the Danish have a knack of spelling things one way and pronouncing it another way. And it is made worse because my instinct is to give these German-looking words a German accent. That doesn’t work. Well, anyway, we got to Skandenborg and Karsten Holm picked us up and drove us down to the wondrous facilities here at Oase.
I began my series of talks for the week last night with a sermon rooted in Embracing Grace by looking at forgiveness. And I chose to dip into the Jesus Creed chapter on forgiveness to remind us that not only does God forgive us, but he sends us on a mission of extending that forgiveness to others. The grace that God extends to us to forgive can become a cycle of forgiving grace on our part as we extend that to others. To be sure, I know forgiveness is momentous for many of us. It’s both an important and sensitive topic to address. I am speaking in English and a young man, Nicolai, is translating very quickly. From what I am hearing, he’s doing an admirable job. (By the way, they have asked me to speak about the various dimensions of grace.)
Today I will be addressing the grace that restores us – and I will be urging us to be patient with those around us. It takes a lifetime to transform someone from a cracked Eikon into a glowing, Christ-like Eikon.