Celebrations!

 

Dear Friends

On March 20thour Queen addressed both Houses of Parliament at Westminster Hall celebrating the British virtues of resilience, ingenuity and tolerance and vowed to rededicate herself to the service of her country:

"We are reminded here of our past, of the continuity of our national story and the virtues of resilience, ingenuity and tolerance which created it," she told the gathering. "I have been privileged to witness some of that history and, with the support of my family, rededicate myself to the service of our great country and its people now and in the years to come." 

It is right and fitting that we should be immensely proud of our Queen and the wholesale respect in which she is held throughout the world. This weekend reflects a national celebration of her life and service and it witnesses to her faith, about which she has spoken quite naturally and without hesitation. She has served her Lord and she has served us well. Who can measure the extent of the influence for good that she has been able to exert at every level within our society? Consider how impoverished we would be as a nation without this unrelenting force for good at the heart of our national life.

This weekend we are all invited to join in celebrating her 60 years of service and what a wonderful occasion it will be! Throughout the country thousands of roads will be closed to traffic as street parties get underway bringing people together, building friendships, greeting neighbours, celebrating all that is good about our common life. 

We might not be royalty in a national sense but we are in a spiritual sense, because we are all sons and daughters of the King of Kings and that means we are princes and princesses. We too therefore carry influence and are to be a force for good within our communities, reflecting the light and life of Jesus.

 

As we live up to our identity as children of God in our daily lives, we become intentional about being God’s man or God’s woman wherever we find ourselves to be. Whether it is in the workplace, at the shops, in school ortalking with a neighbour, we live as those who serve the King and are available to speak for him at any given moment.

 

The other day as I was walking down the street, I was greeted by a chap within our community that some of us know well. He told me some of his health problems and so I offered to pray for him right there on the street. I didn’t want him to be embarrassed so I kept my eyes open and with his permission laid a hand on his back and prayed for God’s healing presence to impact his body and set him free as a sign of His coming Kingdom. Whether or not God chooses to answer my prayer as I asked is up to Him. My responsibility and ours is to pray for those in need and keep bringing our requests to his throne of Grace. 

In this way and in many others, we can be a blessing and a force for good within our own sphere of influence as God brings opportunities to us just as our Queen does in her way and with the opportunities with which she is presented. 

Many of us are already doing this and that is fantastic, keep up the good work as Paul writes in his letter to the Galatian church: 

‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers’ Gal 6:9,10 

Let us pray that we may all take our place as sons and daughters of the King, to renew our commitment to serve Him and be a force for good within our community. 

Comings and Goings

It is with mixed feelings that we will be saying goodbye to Emma Ash as our Youth Pastor at the end of June. Emma has served the young people of our church and in the community faithfully for the last 3 years and has accepted an appointment of Assistant Youth Director of St Andrews Church, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Whilst we are sorry to see Emma go and will miss her irrepressible sense of humour, we are delighted for her and for this wonderful and exciting opportunity that has opened up to her. Keep an eye on the newsletter for details of the fitting send off for Emma!! 

With every blessing in Christ

Stephen