This Sunday was a particularly busy one for our Corps members involved with the Band or our Scouting Sections, with todays St Georges day parade in Rochester.. more of this later
Our Morning Meeting was Led today by Paul & Wendy Scoulding
and began with the singing of two congregational songs
Song 378/923 (B) “What a Faithful God”
Song 353/566 (P) “Be Still. for the Presence of the Lord”
The Singing Company Brought us the song “Praise to the One”
followed by the 1st Bible Reading from 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, read by Wendy
Praise to the God of All Comfort
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ
Paul brought us the 1st part of his mornings message with an account of his and Wendy’s life following retirement , when having been looking forward to some freedom to enjoy some of the good things in life , they both found themselves facing some serious health issues. ( Both are now fit and well ) . Paul told us that at the time it caused them to question their faith sometimes , but neither of them ever felt abandoned by God.It was in fact their faith that got them through what Paul described as one of life’s ” Storms ”
Paul quoted Psalm 14
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord
A congregational song followed –
Song 909/183 (B) “Count Your Blessings” which was followed by the message from the songsters – “I am the Resurrection ” ( Gowans & Larsson -arr Stephen Bulla )
The 2nd Bible Reading brought to us by Wendy was
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
4 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips
In the 2nd part of Paul’s Message , he spoke of those that may find themselves in the middle of one of life’s Storms , they should know that their is hope. All is not lost and it will pass , and we were encouraged to remain strong in our faith and although life’s storm may be around you, you don’t have to let it be inside you .
The Congregation sang the mornings final two songs which were
Song 613/213 (P) “O Jesus I Have Promised”
Song 522/840 (B) “Standing on the Promises”
Thanks go to Helen Page for the photographs this morning
Our Band and Scout sections attended the annual St Georges day parade Service in Rochester Cathedral at 3pm today , providing Musical support for the congregational singing . The Cathedral was full and the event was well supported by the community as always .
Our evening meeting was led by Andy Smith
Theme: Are you thirsty?
The Band began the meeting with the Band Piece “Great things” followed three congregational songs :-
Song 357/583 (P) Come on and celebrate
Song 816/492 (B) Lord for the years
Prayer song 114/653 (P) Here I am to Worship
Heather Scott led us in Prayer and this was followed by the 1st of 3 upcoming musical items
Musical item 1 was a Solo from Sharon Smith “Do you know why I love Jesus ( songster arrangement)
Andy gave us the Bible Reading Isaiah 55 v 1-11
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
The Songsters contribution was – Sing love and Live
The congregation then sang – Song 451/945 (B) Would you be free
The next Band item was a march – The Pioneers by James Anderson
The 2nd Musical item due to be a Horn Solo by Katelyn, however a recent Scooter mis-hap that prevented horn playing, the item was changed to a Song recently learnt by Katelyn at the Easter SA camp .
The Song was called “Burn like a Star” and involved actions !
The following Song 389/807 (P) Rejoice, Rejoice, was sung by the congregation and we then had our 3rd Musical item from Martin & Emma Davis , the song was called “I Will Praise You”
Andy delivered his thought around the theme of “are you thirsty”
When we are physically thirsty, our bodies only really need one thing – water.
All our drinks, our tea, coffee, cans of coke or Pepsi, orange juice, or whatever are basically just coloured, flavoured and maybe carbonated water. It is the water that our bodies need. Over half of our body is made of it. When our water levels start getting low and we need a drink.
However, our thirst cannot just be restricted to something physical, it can occur whenever we have a deep desire or need for something. It can be a thirst for riches, for fame, success in a given field, attention, love. It can be a spiritual thirst when we know that there is a desire and need deep within our souls for something that we know cannot be provided by our physical and material world. It might even be a spiritual craving – when our whole being seems to be screaming out for something and it occupies all our thoughts and energy, when all that we are and all that we can be seems to be focussed on getting that which we thirst for
Andy said that he hoped we were all at the meeting because we were thirsty & quoted John’s gospel chapter 7 v37-39
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
If you are thirsty this evening, you are in luck because Jesus has something to offer to us – the Holy Spirit.
Andy posed a question what should be our Primary thirst ? and answered it with the following …
What is it that we need above all else? Psalm 42 v1-2 gives us a clue. It is not wonderful, powerful gifts but something quite simple:
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
It is simply God himself. He made us for himself. For fellowship with him through his Spirit. That is what we were designed for. That is a need as basic to us human beings as water or food. That is why humans throughout all continents and centuries have invented religions, in an instinctive drive to find that fellowship with the Holy Spirit that comes from the only true God and his Son. The devil has taken advantage of this instinct and led many astray in false religions.
Yes, it is wonderful when we see God’s power, when his Holy Spirit gives us His gifts. But our basic need is fellowship and friendship with him. It is the Holy Spirit that satisfies our thirst. It is the Spirit himself that we should be thirsting and craving for.
Andy continued his theme , bringing in personal reflections and also encouraging us to remember that:-
“We need to understand that the living
water that Jesus freely gives us is never failing, it is like a bottomless spring
from within and not just a bucketful that will run out very quickly……”
Lack of Journalistic ability , time and with any eye to the increasing length of this article means I need to draw this to a close, I will leave you with the closing comment
“I would ask you tonight, how is your relationship with Jesus? Have you asked
Him to give you the Living Water and to come into your life to quench your
spiritual thirst or do you still just keep taking a sip when you feel you need it?
Have you asked for His forgiveness and His salvation or are you still limiting
Him in your life because you do not fully trust him?
We may all be at different stages in our journey of faith but the one thing we
have in common is that we all need to grow in our knowledge of Him.”
The Last Congregational song of the evening was -Song 261/822 (B)Lord, the light of your love is shining
Thank you to all who took part in our meetings today , hope to see you next week