So we started the new online Bible Study on Tuesday night. To be honest I thought that there might be a handful of us. So it was something of a surprise to find so many of you! We started slowly with this mighty book of Jeremiah, carefully setting the scene & then looked at Jeremiah’s calling. His calling is very similar to that of other prophets & it comes in three stages. They basically run like this:
1. (God) ‘I call you to be a prophet’. 2. (Prophet) ‘I can’t do that, I’m not good/holy/extrovert enough.’ 3. (God) ‘Yes you are, because I will enable you to be,’
It strikes me that on a week when we have all been challenged about the demands that the coming weeks have for us this is a good lesson. We are mindful of our limitations in the face of the journey ahead & may doubt our ability to see it through. But take heart, for this has ever been the story of how God has dealt with us, helping us to be all that we need to be, each day, because he will enable us.
What It’s been quite a week. All of us have been involved in conversations about the virus and health which we never imagined we would ever have. In many ways we are seeing that ‘normal’ life and daily habits we have known are undergoing significant change and life ahead looks more uncertain.
At such times people will be turning to various media and means to find hope and help. Some become news junkies, others… whatever the converse is. Some will be working their way through piles of information in great detail, others I have spoken to seem comparatively unmoved by events.
What do we do as God’s people? We have faith. We will pray and trust and care and act. We will go to the source of a peace that the world cannot know and from that place find renewed strength and restored purpose to be about the work of God.
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not put it out.
What happens when someone in the team turns out to be working against everything that team has stood for. They leave of course and sometimes leave in the most dramatic of ways. A replacement is needed, although fear will exist as to who this will be and whether they too will prove unsuitable and damaging. This and more will be a part of our story on Sunday morning as Jon leads us through Acts 1 and the process by which a new apostle is found.
Sunday evening at Open To God we will take time to consider this time of Lent and respond to God’s invitation to ‘Come back to me with all your heart’.
This Sunday sees us begin a journey which will take us through to the summer; a journey through the Book of Acts. All twenty-eight chapters of this book are an outworking of what we read in the very first chapter – ‘so that you will be my witnesses…’ How will these believers in the early church understand and live out that life as witnesses?
Sunday morning we welcome Andrew back as he deals with the first of two foundational events before the journey begins – the Ascension. (Next week we will discover who replaces Judas as one of the twelve – now apostles).
In Sunday evening’s service we are invited to consider our own mortality as we think through what a Christian death could be like.