Major Karen began with a well known hymn ‘All people that on earth do dwell’ and continued with her now familiar format of a Corporate Declaration from the congregation, this time based on 2 Corinthians 3:18 and Philippians 1:8, ‘I am being changed into His image and He who began this good work in me will bring it to completion’. The song ‘Jesus is Lord followed and scripture chosen was from Matthew 9:35-38.
The children’s part of the meeting would have included the contribution from the Singing Company, had there been enough members present, but the school holiday period took its toll. The Band and Songsters were also heavily depleted.. In her children’s (just three present) talk Major Karen asked the question ‘what do you see?’. Items from her box were quickly identified (the adults helped with some of the fifteen items) and the children were then asked to tell what they had seen from memory (no, there was no cuddly toy!!).
Major Karen then said that really ‘We want to see Jesus lifted high’ and this popular song concluded the children’s part of the meeting.
The ministry of the Songsters was ‘Come to me’ and Major Karen’s message was entitled ‘Seeing through the eyes of Jesus’. Summarised she said:
Last week we looked at the compassion of Jesus and we saw the heart of God in action. This week we look at seeing through the eyes of Jesus. Let me ask how good your eyesight is. God sees everything and we need to see things with his eyes.
Last Friday I went to watch a cricket match for the first time. I was surprised at the sight of the pitch at Canterbury because TV makes pitches look so big. Why, too, does an artist use extravagant colours when painting his pictures. We don’t see life like that and perhaps we wish we did.
In our scripture Jesus saw the crowd and had compassion on them, knowing all their situations, struggles and hurts. All sorts of people would have been there in that crowd but Jesus knew them all and had compassion. Today he knows our failures, our dreams, and our secrets. He teaches us and provides for their condition, seeing beyond any sins in our lives. He hears your cry and knows your troubles, showing you great mercy.
At this point a poem, ‘Mercy Saw Me‘ was read. Note the final lines, ‘Not what I was but what I could be, That’s how mercy saw me!’
There are many instances in scripture where things I would see myself are sen quite differently by Jesus. Here’s one example; I would have seen an unclean woman but Jesus saw her as a woman in need of healing.
Perhaps we, as a church, and maybe you personally, need to break out of our narrow ways and get involved with the people around us. Our faith will help us as we proclaim Jesus. Some times people we think of as sinners are better than us because they seek forgiveness honestly. Jesus will help us not to judge but to care for the lost.
Do you see people as Jesus sees them? Do you have compassion for those around you, your neighbours for example?
I an blessed each week by visiting our Wednesday evening Roma congregation. Their honesty bowls me over, Just this week one of the ladies had tears in her eyes as God gave me the words to speak to her (interpreted, of course – glory to God, not me). It was a humbling experience. I can assure you that God will give you the words you need if you ask him.
As followers of Jesus our prayer should be that our eyes will see as he does, thus changing our vision. There, but for the grace of god goes………………….? How do you see others? Do you have a heart of compassion as Jesus does? It really is a different way to think.
After a short time of reflection the song ‘Great is the darkness’ ended the worship.
From lunchtime onwards a corps picnic took place at Manor Park Country Park, West Malling. The attendance was not great but many were on holiday or otherwise engaged. Those who were there enjoyed a good time in the sunshine (and so did the dogs). Here are a few pictures.
Next week we intend, weather permitting, to enjoy a country walk starting from Capstone Country Park at 2.30pm. Why not join us? We’d love to see you. In the mean time enjoy a great week, especially if you are already on holiday.