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!

 


A first for ABC?

A first for ABC? A second consecutive Sunday morning where the message is based on the same text. In this case it is Isaiah 48.

Is the preacher being a bit lazy? Did they get it wrong the first time? Well, I would hope not. It’s just that the passage contains so much; so much preachable material and so much which appears to be relevant to ABC at this point in time.

Sunday evening is Open to God (O2G), where through worship, prayer and attentiveness to God’s Spirit in all his richness and diversity, we will reflect on loss and also on the fact that God has nothing whatsoever to do with death.

 


Christmas 2019

All Is Calm, All Is Bright

And so, Advent moves into Christmas. The waiting is over and the time of the coming of Jesus, becomes his arrival and we draw from the Bible’s narrative and select the words and phrases of the Prophets, the Angels and Mary to describe and define this time; framing this and every Christmas with transcendent words, themes and realities:

‘…you have increased their joy, they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest’ 

‘Glory to God in the highest’

‘He has… lifted up the lowly, he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.’

So may you know this joy – a joy which eclipses happiness, May you wonder in your worship and give glory to God. And may you act in step with God as you welcome and fill the lives of the lowly, hungry and lonely.

 


Come on church, there is still much to do

Thursday’s General Election produced a stunning result for Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party. On Friday morning the breakfast news channels were ‘a-buzz’ with analysis and prediction of what this means for the country over the next five years. As much as political commentators can over-egg and get over-excited in what they say, there does seem to have been some fundamental shifts which have taken place with a bold new vision and agenda for the country. In the church however, it is business as normal.

As the US theologian, Stanley Hauerwas, likes to point out, ‘The first job of the church is to be the church’, so it’s carry on with what we were and always have been doing. What is that exactly? Well as another Christian leader, Alan Hirsch, puts it, ‘Unless the church is equipping believers to embrace the values and vision of the kingdom of God and turn away from the materialism, consumerism, greed, and power of the present age, it not only abandons its biblical mandate, it is rendered missionally ineffective.’  Come on church, there is still much to do.


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