Call to Pray

The Methodist Church is calling its people to pray as Christmas Day violence is feared in India

Orissa, Karnataka, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh have all been places (along with others) where this year has been full of tension, threat and destruction. Christmas 2007 saw violent attacks on Christians and church services in several parts of India, and there is real fear that it could erupt again.

Please pray for peace.

Midnight Communion

Just waiting around before going off to Midnight Communion at St. James, Codnor, one of our local Anglican Churches. As usual I am the visiting preacher for this service, as they don’t have a Vicar.

it feels strange just sitting waiting, but this is the theme I’m picking up on for the service; how tonight is a Kairos moment for the world and for us. The Scriptures describe the moment when a situation arises (or a set of circumstances) which is full of meaning as a Kairos moment. The Greek language had two words for time, Kairos and Chronos. Kairos is used to highlight extremely significant events in time whilst Chronos refers to a span of time (the word chronology comes from this). 

Tonight, the birth of Jesus, is a Kairos moment when history was changed for ever; when God stepped into his own creation as a small baby and things could never be the same again.

I wonder when your Kairos moment is ? I hope and pray that your life will be changed by the knowledge of the baby who grew to die for you, so that you may begin to understand how much God loves you and me.


HAPPY CHRISTMAS

Requests

Please pray for Ripley Methodists over funding for their new building;

for Crich Methodists as they look at the cost of restoring their building and continue talks with the Anglican Church.

for Alison’s college course (Emmtc) as it faces an uncertain future.

for all people who have, or will soon, lost their jobs because of the current economical climate. This includes our daughter, Vikki.

A Christmas Carol (part 2)

Well, Bob, Malcolm and Angela did the church proud yesterday. Two performances of “A Christmas Carol” in Codnor and Crich Junior schools were well received by the children and the staff, including a prolonged bout of autograph signing afterwards. I was even surprised when some of the children asked for my autograph !!

Gave me a wonderful opportunity to talk about the real meaning of Jesus, as I wandered amongst the children and spoke in the staff rooms. One child even asked me outright “Was Jesus real ?”  Well what a chance ! I took it as best as I could and sat with him and spoke about the Jesus who not only came into the world but into my heart. Who knows what seeds have been sown. Scripture reminds us that Gods Word is not sent out in vain. Please pray for this child.

A Christmas Carol

Splendid evening tonight at Waingroves Chapel, when folk turned out to watch Charles Dickens tale of “A Christmas Carol” performed by Silhouette Theatre company.  

Bob, Angela and Malcolm were excellent and through this timeless tale brought out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We laughed, were moved, sang and even had the contents of a potty thrown over us. For some of the folk it was possibly their first time inside a Church and possibly for them to realise it was possible to enjoy themselves in a Church was wonderful.

Tomorrow the cast take the production to two Junior Schools, Codnor and Crich so please pray for them and for the children who will hear the story. This is important work that they are doing, making the Gospel attractive to young people; it certainly helps me in my schools work. Its amazing that drama began in Church centuries ago (indeed much of worship is a performance in itself) and here we are still being used by God in a powerful way.

If you want to know more about them then follow the link to their website,   http://www.silhouettetheatre.co.uk/

“Can you tell what it is yet?”

Alison finished reading the autobiography of Rolf Harris some time ago. Its title is taken from his favourite catchphrase that he always used when carrying out those fabulous paintings, “Can you tell what it is yet?”

Sometimes I wonder if Advent is a bit like that. Here we are in the waiting season; children (and myself) are opening doors on their advent calendars; already decorations are starting to go up; shops are getting full. Everybody is rushing around in order to get December 25th just right and there is the usual cry of “What’s the point of it all?”

Well, just like one of the paintings of Rolf Harris there is the bare canvas and none of us know what is coming next. I like to think that this is like the creation account in Genesis, when God begins his wonderful universe. Then he adds layer after layer of colour and still the question hangs “Can you tell what it is yet?” Eventually after painting in all the prophets, the disobedience of humankind, the faithfulness of God the picture is almost complete but it still needs one last detail and we’re still asking “Can you tell what it is yet?”

Finally, God paints into his creation the nativity scene of Mary Joseph, the angels, the shepherds and the wise men. His finishing touch to this masterpiece is Jesus Christ himself, and the question remains “Can you tell what it is yet?” and this time the answer is a resounding “YES!!!” There in front of us in that magnificent nativity scene is the picture of salvation.

Gods answer to all the world’s problems is to give a solution and that solution is the child, Jesus, born to take the sin of the world upon his shoulders, to grant forgiveness and offer us the route to Heaven. God has painted salvation for us all in the bright vivid colours of the life of Jesus Christ.

What is our response? For me, it will always be “WOW!” followed by “Thank you Lord”

This Christmas let our response to the picture of salvation in that stable be one of thankfulness and we can express our thankfulness at a carol service or in a church on Christmas Day itself. Surely God deserves that for this gloriously real picture?

One Step Beyond

I’ve just finished reading a book entitled “One Step Beyond” by Gram Seed, a reformed alcoholic criminal from Middlesborough who is now doing great work for Jesus amongst some of the North East youth.

I would recommend it to anyone.