Don't forget you can watch the service relating to each blog on our YouTube channel
If I had a very large bottle of orange squash (for example) and I was in a very large crowd of thirsty people, it would be good to share it around right?
Now there are several ways of doing this. I could pour out enough very small measures so that each person would get a very small drink. Or I could greatly increase the recommended ratio of water to cordial in order to offer a larger drink to everyone, albeit very watered down. I could choose to single out just those rich enough to pay me for my supply; that would serve a larger, better quality drink but only to the advantaged few.
Finally, I have the option to keep my large bottle tucked in my rucksack to enjoy all by myself!!
Jesus speaks of his Word as being springs of living water flowing out to quench the thirst of the world. This is the Gospel. And the Gospel is for sharing. It is not to be kept tucked away in Church, reserved for Sundays and people who wear hats! It is not to be watered down to make it more palatable or go further. There is no fear that it will ever run out! It is for everyone - no matter your status, wealth, skin colour or religious background. You don’t need to pay for it, work for it or be at the front of the queue. God has no favourites and he has an eternal, limitless supply of his precious love to give YOU - free for the taking!
Join us if you can this Sunday (hat not necessary!), either in person or via our Live Stream on YouTube.
Come and drink and live!
What is it about children that the Bible names those with a faith in Christ, the ‘Children of God’?
They are joyful? Mostly.
They embrace new challenges? Maybe. They are inherently good? Certainly not!
Or perhaps it is that children need to be given to, they can’t make it on their own. Children need to receive, in order to live and they know that. They are expectant and acceptant.
And that must be the same way we enter the kingdom of God. We must be given to. We receive the kingdom of God as a gift, a free gift, not on the basis of merit or achievement or accomplishment.
You see, we don’t come before God waving our spiritual merit badges in front of his face. That doesn’t impress him. Quite the contrary. If we come before God on the basis of scorekeeping and the brownie points we think we have accumulated, we will always fall short of the mark. As the Bible says, “There is none that is righteous, no, not one.”
Rather, we must come before God as a little child, empty-handed, simply to be given to. This is what faith does, it receives God’s gifts and says “Thank you.”
With only a couple of weeks left of the summer holidays, families are beginning to think about a new school year and all that that involves. For some it might be a new school, for most a new class at least and for many, new school uniform. This can be a worrying time for some children, especially if it means leaving behind old friends or a familiar teacher; plus there’s the fear of how they will fit into a new social group. And this is very important because feeling like we belong to something, like we fit in, is vital for our wellbeing as humans, whatever our age.
To be part of something bigger than ourselves makes us feel accepted, supported and safe, and counters all the negative emotions associated with loneliness. Belonging is good for us, physically, emotionally and mentally. This is one of the reasons schools allo- cate ‘buddies’ for new pupils and insist on pupils wearing a uniform which marks each child as belonging to that school.
As Christians, we have been marked as belonging to God when we receive the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. We become a child of God and we ‘put on’ Christ’s right- eousness (our ‘uniform’). We belong to one big worldwide family and with that comes all the benefits: we are welcomed, accepted, supported and we have ‘buddies’ galore!
If you feel you could benefit from that sense of belonging, do join us at All Saints on Sun- days, we would love to welcome you.
If you can’t join us in person, our service will be Live Streamed this week - click here to view.
Back in January, along a path I often walk in the forest, a young tree had blown over in the stormy winds. It was small enough to step over so there it has laid ever since.
But throughout Spring and Summer it has continued to produce first leaves and then ‘fruit’! Because despite it’s fall, it is in fact, still attached at the root and the root is still in the ground providing nourishment!
Isn’t this a bit like being a Christian? We may not
always be quite as ‘upright’ as we were meant to be; we may have suffered turbulence in our lives which has knocked us about a bit; we may feel ‘the fall’ has left us damaged and less than perfect or even that people step over us in life and we are not good for much.
But be encouraged!
We can still produce fruit in our lives if we stay rooted in Jesus. Whatever we may look like and whatever life has done to us, we can still thrive and we can still be of use when we ground ourselves in Him.
Our service at All Saints this Sunday celebrates all the freedom we can enjoy in Jesus. So do come and share with us at 11am if you can, or else join us on the Live Stream - click here to view.