12 September 2021
We seem to be moving through September very fast. In just a couple of weeks we will be celebrating Harvest together on Sunday 26th September 10.30am. This year we are asking for food offerings as usual for Padley. If you can remember, a few months ago, I talked about a charity called Tools with a Mission in one of our online services. If you have had a clearout during lockdown and you have unwanted tools, sewing machines, IT equipment etc, please bring these along for Harvest. You can find a full list of what they need on their website: or please ask me for more details. The church will be open on Saturday 25th September for you to drop off your offerings and a chance to have a tea or coffee and a chat from 10am until 12.
The songs in our church service were:
- Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty
- Be still, for the presence of the Lord
- Breathe on me, breath of God
- Shine Jesus shine
Reading: Genesis 28: 10 – 22
This Sunday was our second week of Frontline Sundays. This week our theme was ‘Wherever we are’ the bible passage we followed was Genesis 28: 10 – 22. You may be familiar with this passage and know the story as ‘Jacobs Ladder’. Our focus is on finding God everywhere. Jacob in verse 16 says, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it”. What can we learn from Jacob’s experience to the Lord being in the places we find ourselves? When Jacob meets with God he is in fact on the run because he has deceived his family, so this might be the last place you might imagine he would meet God under the circumstances. As Jacob settles down for the night, this place is just an ordinary place to rest, so that he can carry on his journey the next morning. As Jacob sleeps this ordinary place turns into a place which is extraordinary; a place that becomes a touching point between heaven and earth. (Verse 12 – 13) We may never experience what Jacob saw in his dream, but that doesn’t mean that we, in our ordinary places that we go to each week, cannot become a place where heaven and earth meets. God can transform our ordinary places into Holy Places because he is with us wherever we are. In verse 15 God promises Jacob this, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go”. This promise is for us today; God is with us and will watch over us. This brings us back to Jacob saying as he wakes up, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” When we think about it, how often are we aware of God being in the places that we find ourselves, the places we are calling our Frontlines, the ordinary places which can be describe as Holy places. I wonder whether we need to be more aware of God with us wherever we are, more expectant that he is actually with us and watching over us? This Sunday we sang the hymn ‘Breathe on me Breath of God’. As we sing this hymn we ask God to fill us with life anew, that I may love what God loves and do what he would do. To make a difference wherever we are, we do need the breath of God filling us and making our ordinary frontline places into Holy Places where heaven comes to earth.
Here is a prayer we prayed together in this week’s service: Lord of all creation, thank you that our everyday, ordinary places matter to you and we make a difference there. We offer to you the places where we live, work, study, play. May we serve you and bear witness to you wherever we are this week. And may we know your presence with us in these places. Amen.
5 September 2021
As I mentioned last week, this Sunday we began a new series called Frontline Sundays. This first week of Frontline Sundays is called, All the Difference in the World. This Thursday we will be back for bible study at 7.30pm on zoom. If you do not normally join us and would like to, please let me know and I will send you the Zoom link. Our bible study each Thursday will follow the Frontline Series.
The songs in our church service were:
- To God be the Glory
- I am a New Creation
- Take my Life and Let it Be
- The Church’s One Foundation
Reading: 1 Peter 1: 3 – 9
The bible reading for this Sunday was taken from 1 Peter 1: 3 – 9. I am sure you have heard people saying, “It made all the difference” this might be a good deed, a smile, a welcome, a helping hand in a time of need, someone rings you at a time when you needed it, these sort of things make all the difference. As Christians we need to remember that our faith and who we believe in can make all the difference, and there are times when it is easy to feel downhearted when we know we are just a few and we might ask, how can I make a difference?
As a church Sunday by Sunday we gather together – after each service we then scatter for the rest of the week doing the things we do until the next Sunday when we gather together again.
Jesus says in Matthew 5: 13, “You are the salt of the earth.” As we know salt in our food makes a difference. What Jesus is saying when he says we are salt is we too should make a difference in the places we find ourselves in the week, this might be at home, at the shops, the places we socialise, work or school. From our passage Peter wants to inspire hope for everyday living in a complex world. I think we can relate to this, as Peter writes he is confident in what God can and will do through the believers he is writing to, even though they like us are few. If you feel like you have nothing to offer for whatever reason that might be, let me encourage you by saying God does not see you this way he has chosen you and me to have a special place in his eternal plan. Peter says in verse 3, “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus christ from the dead.” So what is our frontline? I was thinking that the term frontline over the last year or so has become something we have heard of a lot. Frontline workers came in many categories during the lockdown and they still do. Many of us will have stood on our front door steps to clap for the frontline workers every Thursday evening. It is interesting because these are people who have made a difference during and after lockdown. This Sunday we thought about how as Christians we can make a difference, so where will we find our frontline? We will find it in our everyday places with the people we connect with, I believe that the hope we have alongside our experiences can have more of an impact on our frontlines than we might think. Peter was an eye witness to the ministry of Jesus. He writes to encourage the believers; he says, “ Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end results of your faith, the salvation that has saved our souls.”