Sunday Morning – 30th December 2018
Our morning meeting this Sunday was led by Major Ian Payne, and was entitled; ‘Jesus, not just for Christmas’.
Pre-meeting music was provided by Lisa Davis on the Piano.
The announcements by the Corps Sergeant-Major included; – The COs will be on furlough for the next 3 weeks, – There will only be a morning meeting next week (6th January), but there will be 2 meetings the following week (10am and 6pm). – The week after that, the 20th January, the International Staff Songsters will be leading the meetings at Sittingbourne Corps. There will be no evening meeting at Chatham Citadel that day to allow for people to attend. – There will be a free Quiz Night at Chatham Citadel on the 26th January, at 7.30pm. Tickets can be reserved at eventbrite.co.uk. Please feel free to bring your own snacks, but hot drinks will be provided.
Major Ian opened the meeting by asking whether we could see what was missing from our hall. Baby Jesus had been removed from the nativity scene that resides at the front of the hall during the Christmas season. Major Ian made the point that for many people Jesus is only relevant at Christmas, and that we need to make Jesus the focus of all that we do, not only at Christmas.
Hebrews 13:8 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Two congregational songs were sung – Song 528 – A Light Came out of Darkness sung to Tune 216 (Festive carol).
and Song 378 – Lord I come before your throne sung to Tune 923 (What a Faithful God).
Prayers were said, thanking God for all that happened in the past year, and praying for those who are unwell from our congregation.
Video – A reflective picture presentation of the song ‘His Strength is Perfect’ was played.
Bible reading Jeremiah 29:7-14
Song 922 – Go Forth and tell was sung to Tune 469 (Woodlands).
Collection – The prayer over today’s collection included thanking God that ‘The best is yet to come’, and asking God to make us fit for His service.
At this point in the meeting Major Ian shared a few stories and bits of feedback from the Christmas period. Many people enjoyed Christmas day together at the hall, and through this ministry some Christmas day guests and volunteers have renewed old links with The Salvation Army.
Message – ‘Jesus, not just for Christmas’. Major Ian urged us to communicate Jesus to others throughout the year, not just at Christmas. We should be asking God for, and seeking, peace and spiritual prosperity for the community of Chatham. Jeremiah 29 v7-14 says that God knows the plans He has for us, and by extension He knows the plans He has for Chatham too. We need to engage with God to bring those plans to fruition. God’s promise to us, and everyone, is that when we call upon God and seek Him with all our heart, He will listen.
2019 holds many new opportunities to reach out to our community. People need to know that our God is a God of love, but before we can bring others to Christ we need to know God for ourselves first.
Following the message, we sang Song 355 – Beautiful Lord to Tune 867 (Potters hand).
The closing song was Song 361 – Fill thou my life to Tune 134 (Land of pure delight), and verses 1,2&4 were sung before Major Ian brought the meeting to a close with a benediction.
My thanks to Rachel and Rebecca Abbott for the report and photographs.