Many of us watched The Debt Saviours

Many of us watched The Debt Saviours on BBC2 last week; an hour-long programme following the work and life of Christians Against Poverty founder John Kirkby.

Although some of us may have been disappointed by aspects of the programme, what was clear were CAP’s Christian credentials and the fact that they are able, with much love and support, to lead some of the most vulnerable people in our society out of debt and into liberty and hope.

On Sunday we celebrate the work of CAP, sharing stories and updates of how our Centre is responding to local needs. This will be backed up by the remarkable story of 1 Samuel 30, David and the Brook Besor.

Sunday evening we gather to be Open To God in a worship, prayer and testimony service based on The Peace of God in John 14:27

 


‘You were incapable of responding to God.’

‘You were incapable of responding to God.’ That’s how the Bible puts it when it describes our lives before we were saved. Its a phrase that may well grate with us, but no matter what our objection, its the truth. But here’s the thing; the passage goes on to say ‘God brought you alive—right along with Christ’. It’s all his work, we did nothing and he did it because of his indescribable love for us.

The change is complete, total, complete, utter. You are no longer the person you once were.

We celebrate this today with a baptism and will hear about the transformation which has occurred in one person’s life. Listen to the story, hear of the change, see the new life and wonder at the God who would do such a thing as this.

This evening we will hear about how we use our time, and challenging us to use it well.


The Debt Saviours

Don’t miss ‘The Debt Saviours’ on BBC 2 at 9pm tonight!
Across Britain more than four million people have debts considered unsustainable. Responsibility for advising and helping these vulnerable people is increasingly falling to charities. One of the biggest is Christians Against Poverty (CAP), led by its charismatic founder, Dr John Kirkby CBE, pictured below.

In this access all areas documentary, director Phillip Wood (Chasing Dad, Rehab), follows Dr Kirkby and some of the charity’s debt coaches. CAP has more than 6,000 staff and volunteers around the country providing help to people who often face losing their homes. The film shows how the home visits often include an offer to pray with clients and asks whether the real motivation is debt relief or bringing people to Jesus, or both.

Dr John Kirkby


Formality and familiarity

Formality and familiarity are opposites. At one end of the spectrum formality requires rules, rituals and convention, whereas familiarity affords a lack of reserve, ease and casualness. Today’s passage contains both of these elements, but not necessarily appropriately applied in the right situation – and with catastrophic results.
Whilst contemporary Christian culture has benefited greatly from a deeper understanding of intimacy and engagement with God, we will be challenged in today’s story by the danger of over familiarity with a holy God.
This evening is a Fifth Sunday, which means that we will be hosting an informal – cafe style – gathering. It’s called Telling Tales, in which we shall hear several stories of how groups and communities have taught us, influenced our faith and grown us.

What happens when you reach the top of the tree?

It was the American Christian leader, Thomas Merton who came up with that well-known phrase,  “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”

On Sunday morning we will look at how David has climbed the ladder – the shepherd boy made good – and now enjoys the influence and riches as King of all Israel. It’s not so much that David’s ladder is leaning against the wrong wall, but a question of where will David go now?

This is a story which profoundly connects with the lives of many of us and begs deep questions about the nature and direction of our lives now. On Sunday evening, Sally Hickson  will be leading us into communion, reflecting on the gravity of our sin, the grace of God and the joy of forgiveness.

 


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