The morning meeting at Chatham yesterday featured a Thanksgiving for the life of Lola-Rae Page and was led by former Commanding Officer Major Malcolm Westwood.
‘Immortal, invisible, God only wise’ was the song chosen to begin the worship which continued with the Band introducing prayer time with the arrangement ‘In perfect peace’. Following the song ‘Our Father, who in heaven art’, a paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer, Major Karen Smith offered prayer on behalf of the whole congregation.
Another worship song, ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee’ prepared the way for the contribution from the Singing Company (He knows my name) following which Major Malcolm spent some time the children. He spoke about how, with God, all things are possible. As an illustration he asked one of the children if it was possible to get through a hole cut in an A4 sheet of paper. Impossible? See pictures!!
The Songsters brought ‘Answer Me’ before scripture was read by the whole congregation (1 Corinthians 13) and the time of thanksgiving began with the song ‘Father, I place into your hands….’.
Major Malcolm delivered his message, saying (summarised):
It would be insensitive of us not to feel the outpouring of love here this morning.As parents we remember this from birth and through the years of development to school, university and adulthood.
It is natural and easy to love Lola-Rae now but we must make sure we continue to do so in the future. Children can be very vocal about what they feel and we understand that.
God loves everyone and gave his son to die for the sins of the world. There is no greater love than this. It is sometimes hard for us to be caring and to share the love of Jesus. We ask ‘do I have to love those who annoy me so much?’. Yes you do. Jesus commanded us to ‘love one another’ and ‘love as I have loved you’. This means everyone, even those who we don’t like.
Love without forgiveness cannot be love.
The meeting closed with a song written by Major Malcolm, ‘Come, Holy Spirit’
The late afternoon meeting was led by Major Karen Smith, taking as its theme ‘It’s OK if you mess up’. and it began wit the the upbeat song ‘I’v been changed’. Following a familar pattern Major Karen invited the congregation to join in a corporate declaration based on 2 Corinthians 5:17 (….anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new – Message translation)
Following prayer the Band brought a ‘jazz’ version of the favourite hymn ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ (soloist Steve Lenton)
Staying with the idea of the changed life the song ‘What a wonderful change in my life….’ was sung and scripture was read from Luke 19:1-10. The Songsters added their own contribution with ‘God is love’.
Murray Smith spoke briefly about an experience on a recent holiday in which he and Major Karen had helped an acclaimed artist demonstrate how a confused ‘mess’ of lines, painted in oils on a canvas. could be turned into something beautiful when placed in the hands of the master. Here is a sequence of pictures showing the transformation achieved in just ten minutes.
The Singing Company brought ‘Do something beautiful’ and the song ‘God is our light…..’ led the way to the contribution of the Young People’s Band (Somebody prayed for me) before Major Karen spoke to her theme giving examples in scripture of how people who had messed up their lives became beautiful people when taken over by God (Zacchaeus. the woman at the well and Peter)
A prayer song, ‘Change my heart, O God’ gave time for reflection and the meeting closed with a song of truth, ‘I have no cl;aim on grace’
Thanks once again for taking the time to read what we have to say. Its good to know that you are interested. Have a great week and come back again soon. God bless you all.