This coming Tuesday . . .

. . . will see the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation. The years running up to it and the the years soon after saw a seismic shift in the beliefs and practices of the Christians church and we all live in the light of it. This morning we will be re-telling the story of what happened (with a few gags thrown in) and then describe something of its legacy. You may well be surprised at what this story throws up, along with having a few ‘Aha!’ moments as we discover some of the reasons for why we ‘do church’ today in the way we do.

 

Tonight we will be welcoming our friends from The Message who will be sharing faith and news of the upcoming Youth Mission in Manchester of which our young people will be a part.

 


News has now emerged . . .

. . . from the scientific community of the collision of two neutron stars. The thing is, that what was observed back in August actually happened 130 million years ago – its just taken 130 million years for the light to reach us. One scientist said that this is relatively close to us as he is used to dealing with objects 10 or 20 times as distant. And the details get even more amazing. At the point of the collision and collapse the density of matter was hugely increased. In fact the resulting matter was just 15km across, but contained mass equivalent to the whole of the sun, (which is 865,000 miles across) or, if you like, compressing the human population of the world into a sugar cube.

 

The Psalmists were a funny lot, trying to make sense of their world and of God, using the language of poem and song. Sometimes we consider what they wrote as outdated, scientifically naive. But I would still affirm that they were on to something when they wrote, ‘He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.’ Psalm 147:4-5

 


So who are you fighting against?

That person, that company, that situation about which you are completely convinced they are in the wrong. Indeed, their words and actions bring you nothing but harm, heart-ache and sleepless nights. They are against you and they are out to get you.

Or perhaps not.

Gamaliel was a Pharisee, mentioned in Acts 5, who puts Peter and the apostles out of the Council in Jerusalem and turning to the other religious leaders says, ‘…if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!’

Of course your battle, your opponent may well be of human origin, but it might also be God who, knowing you and loving you to the perfect degree, chooses this battle to be the means of great maturing, great fruit, great blessing.