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"Mapping the Psalms" in Switzerland

February 2, 2013

tims blogThe International Church of Berne is an English-speaking church located in the heart of Bern, Switzerland. It was founded in October 2005 by Rev. David Mantock and his wife Beatrice. While my personal and ministerial relationship with the Mantocks goes back some time before that, the timing had never been right for me to visit their church. So when David invited me to present my course “Mapping the Psalms” to his congregation I was very excited. Now that it is over I can say it was a pleasant and uplifting experience for me and hopefully, for those who took part. Many thanks to the Mantocks, and to the congregation of ICB as well, for the invitation.

I have talked before about the great challenge it is for me to teach this course. The 150 chapters of Psalms make it the longest book in the Bible, and to attempt an exposition of its contents in six sessions is quite ambitious and borders on foolhardy. It takes more than six hours simply to read the book of Psalms out loud! But taking my seminar for what it is – an INTRODUCTION only – I believe it brings to light themes and patterns in the Book of Psalms that could otherwise easily be overlooked.

Here is what David had to say:

In 1 Corinthians it says that if there is no "distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is played?" In much the same way, although the Psalms are distinctive and clear as individual pieces, it was wonderful to gain an insight into God's plan to make a distinction in the sounds with the Psalms as a whole. Thankfully, through the grace of God and the precise teaching that we received at the International Church of Berne, we have gained a greater understanding of how all the Psalms fit together. It was a whistle-stop tour, but even so we all had a taste of the riches and tapestry that holds the biggest book of the Bible together. This has been a great blessing, and all attendees are very thankful to Rev. Tim Sullivan and Workers Together With Him.

Thanks once again,
Pastor David Mantock
International Church of Berne

This testimony comes from a man who often shares the teaching pulpit at ICB, my friend Alois Eggmann:

May God bless you richly for coming to Switzerland, spending time with us, and teaching us about mapping the Psalms. Though we were running through, this seminar will help everyone to grow who takes the time to go over it again, taking bite for bite. God’s Word is just unbeatable. I think many people are like me and thought this book was written during the lifetime of King David. But when we realize this book was written by many writers over the span of one thousand years, we see the author can only be God. Praise the Lord.

My time in Switzerland was very enriching for me. First of all, the Swiss landscape is amazing, idyllic really. Every vista belongs on a postcard. Better yet was the fellowship with the people. It was a great time to make new friends and revisit people I already know and love.

If a father is known by his children (something I believe to be true), then a pastor is known by his congregation. The people I met at ICB were the best evidence that David and Beatrice are doing a fine job.

2 Corinthians 3:2:
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

I give thanks for the wonderful hospitality shown to me by David and Beatrice, and even by their horse, dog, and cat! It was a time of stirring conversations, delicious food, sightseeing through Bern, and a wintry walk in a nearby forest.

It is tempting to believe that people who live in beautiful surroundings must have peaceful, tranquil lives. But only a peaceful heart can enjoy the glories of nature. Growing up in Hawaii taught me that beautiful surroundings often serve to magnify the turbulence within. In the end, people everywhere need the gospel of peace.

Now the next mission is upon me, and I depart to Kenya on Monday, February 4, for two events. I will teach The Principles of the Doctrine of Christ in a village church in Masai Mara, and If Ye Do These Things, Ye Shall Never Fall in Kitale to the students of Christian Life Teachings International headed by Dr. John Robert Opio. Reverend Jay Pearson will accompany me, along with my sister, Kei Sullivan. This will be our first mission together and I am could not be more pleased.

We will return to the States on Sunday, 17 February. Please make supplication for us in your prayers, for our families at home, and for the people we will meet and minister to.  

I hope you will enjoy the photos I took in Switzerland.

In the service of his Majesty, the King of kings,
Tim Sullivan

 


 

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