Understanding the times 3

On Sunday we enter week three of our series ‘Understanding the Times’ and we turn to take a look, a long and careful look at the church. Specifically we shall take a look at the beliefs and practices of the church and how they relate to Generation Z.


In God hope ever remains

Sunday morning we will take a further step in our quest to ‘Understand the Times’ as we explore our culture and the lives of the ‘Gen Z’ generation. This is likely to be hard listening as we face the brutal realities of things which we would much rather hide from and ignore. But we never come to an end with God and in Him hope ever remains. So shall we strive to ‘know what to do’ as we reflect on the nature of the Christian message which most effectively engages with contemporary culture.
On Sunday evening at ‘Open To God’ we will open up time and space to listen to God for ourselves and the church. In busy lives which often operate on the edge of being overwhelmed, we make space for reflection and listening to God, through scripture and by His Spirit.


Understanding the times

There is this strange, enigmatic and enticing verse from the Old Testament about the tribe of Issachar.  In 1 Chronicles 12 we read of 200 chiefs of the tribe who ‘understood the times’ and ‘knew what Israel should do’. Wow, that’s some statement. 
I (and I imagine many of us) struggle in this fast-moving age to understand the times, let alone know what we should do in response. What was the right thing to do in the Brexit referendum, how do we engage with the transgender debate, what about A.I. or the continued decline of Christian faith in the West?
Throughout February we will journey some way to a better understanding of the times and setting the template of the Bible against what we see will show us more clearly what it is we should do. 
Sunday evening Sally and Brian will be helping us to understand more about our Christian response to the contemporary issue of migration around the globe.

Care for the orphan

My concordance tells me that there are 55 references to the word ‘orphan’ in the Bible. The overwhelming sense of these verses is that the Bible demands care for the orphan and in fact the very embodiment of care amongst the people of God  is demonstrated in care for the orphan. And, if we were in danger of failing to grasp the point, the Bible repeatedly threatens judgement on any who would fail to care for the orphan. This truly demonstrates something of the heart of God.
We are delighted that this Sunday Phil Green, CEO of ‘Home for Good’ will be sharing their work to find a stable and loving home for every child who needs one. 
Sunday evening we shall be sharing communion and considering the ruthless elimination of hurry from our lives. 

A loving Father

Sunday’s sermon will be based on the parable of a loving father.

God is not just a “loving” God — the scripture says that “God IS love” [1 John 4:6]. When we fully realize that His love cannot be earned but is freely given, then we will serve our Father because of His love for us! With so much work to be done, let’s be sure we’re working in and out of love — and not because we’re trying to earn it!

 


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