A couple of often heard phrases are ‘doesn’t time fly?’ and where has the year gone?’ We thank God for His faithfulness and mercy during 2014 and of course look forward to this continuing in 2015.
I have chosen Romans 15 v 5 & 6 (see front cover) as our Bible Text for 2015 you may recognise it as we have used it as the Blessing at the end of some Sunday Services.
There’s a very sentence from John Wimber’s book Power Healing that has stuck in me since I read it in the 1980’s. It’s in the context of praying for healing and goes along the lines of, ‘irrespective of results we are to bring people to Jesus the Lord and Life Giver Himself.’ I think this is a very powerful truth and one we should seek to emulate in 2015. Whether we bring people to Jesus in a one to one or at a distance when in a pray meeting, He’s the One who loves the most and knows the Father’s will for each and everyone of us. We should expect the unexpected as His ways are so different to ours. We should expect to see healing (and wholeness) as we pray for people bringing them to Jesus. So pray that we have the courage to share the Good News of Jesus it’s Him they encounter.
Recently there seems to have been an increase in serious illness and death in the Parishes. At the beginning of His public ministry Jesus said, ‘Repent the Kingdom of God is upon you.’ May it be so in our Parishes through God’s people.
A few years ago both congregations did a Mission Action Plan (MAP) at the behest of Bishop Alastair. Both ours have got a bit lost over time so it’s very good that Bishop Alastair is asking all congregations to review their MAP. Please go to this link and listen to Alastair on a short video clip. http://www.derby.anglican.org/en/our-mission/mission-action-plans-map.html. Though this process is set for after Easter we’ll be doing some work in the sermons and hopefully Home Groups in preparation.
I must admit to being as a loss with what to do next with the Church Prayer Meetings and Open Church that we’ve organised over the years. No doubt due to a variety of reasons very few attend, and often I’m on my own. I’m not writing this to induce guilt in anyway at all, rather asking a question so that together we can reach an answer. Should we perhaps have one week a month when there are no Home Groups and we come together to seek the Lord, worship and pray?
Actually I’m often at a loss as to where the Lord is leading us, what we do as church, what familiar stuff we should stop doing and what new courageous stuff we should do. I hope it’s all right for the vicar to admit this, after all it may be the Lord speaking to him and us. Sometimes I’d like to stop all the current Home Groups (but we wouldn’t like that because . . . . .) and call us all to meet together simply to cry out to the Lord to move by His Spirit in whatever way He wants. See Living Daily Light extract after my Notes.
I heard recently, and agree, that it’s in our own hands to reduce our busyness, it’s our own decision to say no to whatever. When this is a struggle ask for (more) grace.
As part of my personal development I have been accepted by the Church Army as a Mission Community member on the Covenanted Pathway. This simply means that I’m joining an organisation with a particular vision and values that will help fulfill my call to ‘do the work of an evangelist’, 2 Timothy 4 v 5. Elsewhere in this News Letter there’s some information about the Church Army.
This News Letter will be sent out before some Christmas events. However both Cromford and Holy Trinity school concerts have been great, the Women’s Institute and the Royal British Legion Carol Service went very well, as did the Fishpond Choir fund raising concert for Matlock Pre-school Playgroup. It’s good that these doors have been opened to us. More Lord, more! Many thanks to those who decorated and made both churches look so lovely for Christmas.
Do continue to pray for both Church Schools. Giving thanks for Cromford’s continuing growth going from strength to strength under Liz Foster’s leadership. For Holy Trinity and Acting Head Julie Dunbar who is very good, and Tony (Jones) who has worked extremely hard and well since landing in the hot seat as Chair. Please pray for Head Teacher interviews taking place in January.
In 2015 let’s all continue with growing and developing the Cultures of Expectation, Evangelism, Fun and Welcome.
1 Thessalonians 5 v 23 -24
‘May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.’
Have a very happy Christmas and New Year,
with love in the Lord
FROM LIVING DAILY LIGHT Friday 5th December
– The light of the world
I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
Today’s reflections are by Michael Cole
‘Michael, may I come into the midst of my church?’ I had been in church praying that Saturday evening for the people coming to worship the next day. Suddenly, the Risen Lord was standing there, asking to be allowed to come into the midst of His Church!
The Lord was clearly speaking to us! He wanted to be invited into His Church as Risen Lord and Head. Shortly afterwards we called the church together and invited Jesus to be Lord of all that we would do.
Many years earlier, the same Risen Lord invited me to open the door of my heart and invite Him into my life as my Saviour and my God. He has done the same for millions around the world.
Holman Hunt’s famous picture of the Risen and Glorified Lord – ‘The Light of the World’ – hangs in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Only visitors to the Cathedral can see the painting. However, the real invitation is to ‘anyone who hears His voice and opens the door’. Here is the most important invitation we can ever receive. Here is the promise of personal fellowship with the Lord.
Have you made Jesus Christ Lord of your life? Has your church invited the same Lord to be Head of your church? It is an invitation that cannot be ignored.
Gracious Lord, your invitation is wonderful.
Help every reader of Living Light to make You their personal Lord and Lord of their church. Lord, I realise that this includes myself.
January Sermon Themes
Using Luke Chapter 2 we are having a short series of “Being like” as below:
- Being like Jesus: consecrated to the Lord
- Being like Simeon: led by the Spirit
- Being like Anna: faithful & prayerful (to old age)
- Being like Jesus: maturing in grace
Come and Explore the Epiphany LABYRINTH
at Holy Trinity Church
anytime between 5pm – 9pm
on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th January
The Alpha follow up Home Group is to meet at Holy Trinity on Tuesday evenings at 7.15pm. We start on Tuesday 13th January and aim to finish each week by 9pm. During that time there will be opportunity for fellowship, prayer and discussion. The group is not limited to those who have just completed Alpha this time but is for anyone who wants to meet in this group.
For further information please contact Mike Pilling on 07702 390230 or firstname.lastname@example.org