|Christ Church Free Church of England|
Our new series to lead us up to Easter began on Sunday 2nd April. Again I have edited and will put them up on our media page for you to listen to and keep up with so you can join us in this. Do let us have your response and comments. The topic is the puzzling things to do with Easter. Our first session was taking the Passover as a type of Holy Communion to show that both are more than just memorials of past events. On Palm Sunday we will look at the religious leaders in Jerusalem rebuking the children for heralding Jesus as their Messiah (Mth 21:16) & finally on Easter Sunday we will look at why the just resurrected Jesus tells Mary not to touch him when he meets her in the garden.
Our Passover meal with the CWI new director, Richard Gibson was a great occassion. We were joined by several folk from the community which was great. Sad that so few people responded to the many invitations that went out in the community. We really need to pray that God will create a spiritual hunger in the hearts of families once again. So many in our area have no sense of spiritual need and are content to raise their children that same way. One dreads to think what their reaction will be when Jesus returns if it is in their lifetime or they go to stand before him before that. The regret of missing all these opportunities to respond to his gracious invitation to come will only really be appreciated then and that will be too late to remedy the neglect. How can you awaken folk to that? Their lives are too filled up with all the so shortlived endeavours and blessings of this life, talk of the after life just doesn't compute. Sadly often, as with Israel of old, the Lord has to suspend the temporary blessings to give people space to consider the eternal matters. It is a fact that the less we have going for us in this life, the more we are likely to be open to what the life to come is all about. I hope it doesn't come to that for us here in the U.K. or the West generally, most of which is rapidly forsaking and forgetting its Christian heritage. In the name of democracy and freedom of this, that and the other the media drive this inclusive agenda that ranks Christianity as just another religion with nothing more to offer than any other religion. Jesus begs to differ presenting himself as God in the flesh who has through his death made it possible for all who believe to escape death. To prove it he rose form the dead. Mohammed is dead! Buddah is dead! Confucious is dead! But Jesus is alive!! Surely that ranks him way above any other religious leader? He doesn't just offer escape from death he accomplished it!
Many churches have recently observed Lent. I attended an induction service for a new minister of a nearby church where the leader shared his Lent goal. It was to be more aware of the presence of the Lord in his everday activities. I was impressed by that. So often we think of such trivial observances for Lent. We give up chocolate. We commit to not eating puddings. Whatever! But none of these things really does anyone any good. Who cares if I have given up chocolate for a few weeks. But being more aware of Jesus in my life, in the midst of all the pressures and busyness of life, is much more meanigful. It is impossible to just carry on life as normal when conciously thinking how does Jesus want me to tackle this or that. What would Jesus want me to say to that remark? How would Jesus want me to react to that situation? I think if we made this sort of thing more a Lent goal we would really want to know God's will for our daily lives. Our prayer meetings would be much better attended. Our services would take on a new dimension. Everyday chores would be revolutionised. Conversations would be transformed! Let's think of ways of observing Lent more constructively than some minor self imposed deprivation that really does nobody much good least of all ourselves.
Our annual combined service for Good Friday (14th April) is 7:30pm at Garforth Evangelical Church and will as usual include the Lord's Supper/Holy Communion. It would be great for as many of us as possible to join in that service from other churches. What an encouragement it would be if everyone sought to bring along one other person with them. Hope to see you and your friends along.
Yours in His service,