This was the second week at our new temporary worship venues and things seem to be settling down. It was also good to welcome back Major Andrea as she has now finished her appointment to the International College for Officers.
We must also record our thanks to Major Alec for his ‘extra mile’ ministry during the eight weeks of Andrea’s absence. We certainly do not take this for granted and now look forward to the return to ‘normal’.
Sunday morning worship, led by Major Alec, began with songs 70 (SA Song Book) and 1404 (Songs of Fellowship). Scripture from Matthew 18:2-5 followed and led into a period of ‘toddler focus’, part of a national programme concerning church related toddler groups, in which Major Alec prayed for our own toddler groups and their leaders. The Singing Company brought ‘Blessesd be the name of the Lord’ and song 338 from the Salvation Army Song Book introduced the enrolment of Susan Wallbridge as a ‘soldier‘ and the recognition of Jo Lawrence as an ‘adherent‘.
Major Alec presents Susan with her Soldier’s Covenant and she testifies
Jo signs and is presented by Major Alec
Proceeding to the morning’s teaching scripture from Ephesians 5:8-17 and the musical ministry of the Songsters (Grace alone) led to the sermon, given by Major Alec and entitled ‘Asking in hope’. He said:
Grace is a wonderful gift that God has given us. We need it because of our calling as ‘soldiers’. I enjoy our old warfare songs because they inspire me and underline my motivation in ministry. They get to the heart of my passion.
It is good when we enrol a new soldier because it reminds us all of our calling and what that entails. We are called to go to the very darkest places and minister there. Andrea and I have had many opportunities to do that during our officership but this is God’s calling to all of us. If we are to be people of light we have to go where the light is needed, the dark places. To do this we need to be Christ-like and show our experience to others, telling of our relationship with Jesus as we know it.
Of course, we want Jesus to be acknowledged by all mankind and this can only happen if we tell others about him. We must live as ‘children of light’ so that we can positively influence those around us. We must ask for wisdom so that we can make use of every opportunity, sharing God’s will with those we meet day by day.
Our evening meeting commenced at 6pm, our normal time and the one which will apply throughout our stay at Emmaus. SA song 171, the Songsters (By his hand) and scripture from Romans 12:9-21 opened the meeting which was led again by Major Alec. Songs of Fellowship 780 led into prayers, 244 from the Salvation Army Song Book and scripture from Mark 5:21-43.
The Band brought ‘Deep and wide’ as its musical ministry and Major Alec again gave the sermon entitled ‘His compassionate touch’. He said:
When we look at the love of God we realize it is vast and beyond our comprehension. But humans put limitations on that love. Small actions can have a massive effect in our lives and relationships. We must let people know we love them. So, the simple touching of Jesus by the woman had great effect, even in the vast crowd of people that had come to satisfy their curiosity. Sometimes we are guilty of coming to Jesus not expecting him to do anything for us but only to change the lives of others. But if we come expecting a miracle it will happen if we fully trust. Jesus will journey with us through our own personal situation and will bring transformation indeed. Even if we have been outcast for many years we can be restored and our dignity returned.
So, where are we among the crowd? Are we ready to have our lives transformed, our needs met? When you walked in this evening what were you expecting from Jesus? Was it to see him minister to others or to meet your own personal need? Let’s take time for him to minister to us personally.
We have good family news in our corps this week as Adrian and Carole Horwood and Peter and Sue Willard have become grandparents for the first time. We offer them our congratulations and pray God’s blessing on both families.
Thanks for reading our blog and we hope to see you again soon. God bless and have a good week.