Update from the Vicar
6th January 2022
Here's the link for the update
Happy new year! We are all praying for a good 2022 and I’ve been reminded recently that in the Christian life there are always battles running alongside the joys, it’s not so much that we expect to enter a battle-free season and we’re waiting for that, instead we need to acknowledge there’s an ongoing combination of joys and sufferings, there’s always battles but we have God with us. So I’m praying we’ll truly find our hope and joy in Jesus, in him, keep rooted in him.
John 1:17 says ‘For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ’. Though there are still many changing situations for us to deal with, the unchanging grace and truth of our God, through Jesus, is always there for us. The Good News, the Gospel, will always be Good! There is always hope and joy, even in the midst of our challenges (Psalm 23). Let’s keep turning our eyes to him, prayerful and worshipful. I find I need to keep reminding myself when I get grumpy that I’m called to prayer and praise including in that very moment, again and again, called to connection with our loving God. Let’s wear our garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Is 61:3), instead of the spirit of heaviness.
I think the Lord would like us to know just how much he knows and understands our situation and how he loves us and wants to lift us with refreshing. I received a word from someone which I think is right to share with our church and which I feel was also confirmed recently in a prayer meeting this week, when there was a picture of the gentle yet bold people of God coming out from behind a beautiful curtain where they felt safe and drinking from the waterfalls of God’s living waters. We know the strong roar of the lion of Judah and he is beautifully gentle and lowly. When we humble ourselves before him we find our deepest refreshing and strengthening. Gentleness and boldness. As ever with words from the Lord, we weigh them for discerning what is good or bad, so that we can hold onto what is good for building our faith. We discern the Lord’s voice together based on our knowledge of Scripture. So here’s a word which I hope will encourage us:
'My church (indicates this was Jesus speaking), you are walking with a limp. You are not functioning to your fullest capacity. You are feeling tired and weary. You have just about got through this season of COVID. You are My church and I know how you are feeling, I know all of your moans, groans and hardships. I know it all because you are mine, you belong to me and I love you. I'm not going to leave you as you are. I'm coming with a fresh wind of fire. I'm going to breathe on you anew and afresh. I'm going to restore you, I'm going to lift you up and raise you up above your circumstances. To receive My refreshing that is to come all I ask you to do is to position yourself prostrate before Me. Find a place where you can come, get low before me, daily surrender all that you are to me so that I can give you all that I have for you. My Church you are precious to Me, you are My Beloved and I love My Beloved and I want My Beloved to experience My love, to live in My love and to become My love. All you have to do is find a quiet place, learn to rest in Me and to receive My love. In that place all you have to do is open up your heart to Me and I'll do the rest. The more you come and drink and receive from Me the more you'll become like Me. That's what I created you for, to become the beloved, My beloved, The Fathers Beloved. You are The Father's Son's and Daughters and He has so much more for you. All you have to do is come, sit, wait, remain and let me teach you how to abide with Me. It's so simple. I'm here ready and waiting for you, to take you on an adventure, a journey where you will discover just how much more I am for you in this season. Love your Big Brother Jesus.'
Let’s be praying into this. It strikes me that there’s both a literal way of prostrating ourselves before God, lying face down in his presence and a spiritual way in our attitudes and availability before him our King. So if you can’t physically lie prostrate don’t worry, this is a humble approach, letting God be God, to receive his love and grow in the likeness of Jesus. Our relationship with our living God is of first importance, as ever, this year.
John 8:36 - So if the Son makes you free you shall be free indeed
Galatians 5:1 - Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Isaiah 61:3- - Through this scripture Jesus is encouraging us to put on the garment of praise (to praise Him every day) so we lay aside the spirit of heaviness (the oppression of the enemy).
This Sunday we’re starting a new preaching series looking at the book of Colossians. On Sunday we’ll be setting the scene of the book and looking at thankfulness for our faith in the word of truth of the gospel.
Look out for all the things coming up this week and please be daily praying for our youth, over these 40 days before the youth alpha course begins on the 9th February. Thank you for joining in with this 40 days of prayer.
On Saturday there’s a cuddly toy storytime on zoom at 10am for 25mins for 2-7 year olds, contact Lizzy for the link at email@example.com, and you should have received an email with the link too. Children are encouraged to bring a favourite cuddly toy to help take part, and they MUST have an adult with them throughout.
Also this Saturday there’s a CAP taster day so you can find out more about being a befriender or debt coach, it’s in the church from 10am til 11:30am, do come along.
The men’s curry has moved to the 23rd January – so a reminder, it’s not on this Sunday.
The Sparklers Sunday group (age 2 to year 2) restarts this Sunday and Rockets restarts on the 16th running every 3rd and 4th Sunday at the moment.
Finally save the date for the next Sparklers/Flames children's social which is the Big Family Playdate on Thursday 27th January, 3.30 - 4.45pm in the Lower Hall. A stay-and-play social with toys, crafts and refreshments for children aged 2 up to Year 2, with their parents. And please pray for the PCC as we meet next week.
Please keep in touch, our office number is 01926 778505, know that you’re in my heart and prayers.