Last Sunday we had two extraordinary services. In the morning we continued to climb the heights of Romans 8..(we are nearing the summit!)…and Isabel Miles was dedicated.
Songs: Crown him with many Crowns (Tomlin); What a Friend we Have in Jesus; Ps 111; When I Survey; 10,000 Reasons
Readings: Acts 9:32-43; Psalm 111
Sermon: Romans 8:31-34 – Who Will Be Against Us?
“ You do not have a problem too great for the power of Christ, you do not have a problem too complicated for the wisdom of Christ. You do not have a problem too small for the love of Christ. You do not have a sin too deep for the atoning love of Christ”. Donald G Barnhouse.
In the evening Sinclair preached for an hour – and it felt like five minutes! I wish every Christian could hear this teaching from Proverbs…
Songs: I Stand Amazed in the Presence; Only a Holy God; Ps 119:145-152; Guide me O my Great Redeemer
Reading: 2 Kings 23
Sermon: Proverbs 2:1-22 – The Treasure Hunt
After a great day this is the message I wrote to the congregation: (I write a Ministers message every Monday)
Sinclair last night, during his magnificent sermon on Proverbs ch.2, summed up why we love coming to church – we love meeting with the Lord’s people. There is a depth of love and community which nothing but the word of God can create. I was so deeply conscious of that yesterday – as we dedicated Isabel Miles, (the one-year-old daughter of Julian and Rachel), prayed for the sick, comforted the grieving, rejoiced in the new life in the congregation and welcomed the stranger. It was a good day.
Sinclair’s sermon also highlighted another couple of things – we are a truly radical counter-cultural organization. We are not Alt-Right, or Alt-Left – we are Alt-culture! In his introduction, he spoke of how we live in a sound bite culture and contrasted that with the 22 verse one sentence of Proverbs 2. The Bible encourages a culture in which we think clearly and speak well…our culture encourages a culture in which we have opinions. He also spoke of how we need to value our children ‘the only possession I have that will last for all eternity is my children’. That applies even to those of us who do not have children because we do have children…we are all part of the family of God – and it takes a church to bring up a child – especially in today’s culture.
For example, Sinclair added that we are to teach our children that sexual purity and abstinence is the best way. What school will teach that today? Children need strong families, strong families need the church. The Church is a strong family – as long as it sticks with the word of God and does not go its own foolish way.
There were a lot of smiles, nods, amens and even a few murmured hallelujahs! We should forget the murmuring! Let us praise the Lord for his great goodness to us in giving us such a church family warts and all!
Last week Annabel and I had a couple of days off in London – for me the trip would have been worth it alone if we had only seen a Shakespeare play at The Globe. I would travel 500 miles to see that again. But last night as I sat in worship – I thought I would travel more than that to be part of such a fellowship and hear such teaching. We are profoundly blessed.
See you next Lord’s Day – if not before!
We sang this beautiful song from City Alight for the first time –