Dear Church Family,
This Sunday’s Gospel reading from Mark 4: 35-41 gives us an account of Jesus calming the storm. Or rather the account of Jesus sleeping on a boat in a storm while his disciples lose their minds. There are several lessons we might take from this account: have more faith, trust in the Lord, Jesus is all powerful, Jesus is the Word of God able to speak things into being. You get the idea, and if I were preaching this weekend, I would certainly be drawing parallels with the 1st creation account in Genesis where the Word of God speaks and brings order out of chaos. This is certainly what Jesus is doing here – albeit in a localised situation.
However, I’d like to share with you the lesson I taught in All Saints School assembly this week as I shared this story with the children. I reminded everyone that we all draw our energy from somewhere. In the same way a mobile phone needs charging each day to power the battery, we as Christians need to commit to regular prayer and Bible reading. These are two simple ways we can “connect” with God and be recharged. Jesus needed to do this too. In the Gospel reading, Jesus is asleep because he is tired from all the travelling and teaching, he has been doing. He isn’t worried about something as trivial as a storm whilst he sleeps on a boat! In fact, we see Jesus retreating from public ministry regularly to recharge and connect with his Father. Jesus knows who he is because he does this – his relationship with his Father is an eternal one and his identity as the Son is also eternal. Jesus’ identity means he has no problem with his authority over creation – no wonder his disciples were terrified when the witnessed these events!
As I challenged the children, so I challenge all of you…how will you deepen your relationship with the Lord this week? Through prayer, scripture, a walk in the woods or by the sea? Maybe you can marvel at the storms predicted by the Met Office this weekend! However you do this, I pray you will be refreshed and recharged and that your faith in the Lord may grow.
All Saints Church
There has been some interest in my proposal to ask some people to consider making the 11.15am Sunday service at All Saints their “home” in order to refresh and revitalise the congregation and ministry there. I am grateful to those of you who are considering it and ask that we all keep praying to discern where God might be calling us to be.
Some of you have asked about some of the challenges this may present – things like the service time and parking. Firstly, the service time suits some and not others – this is the case with every service time. If 11.15am doesn’t suit you, then perhaps God isn’t calling you to be there and maybe the 9.30am service is for you! That’s fine!
Secondly, we know the parking isn’t easy, but we have still managed to fill All Saints for weddings, funerals, baptisms, and Christmas services for the last 4 years without the carpark. The winter months present a challenge, but we do have some solutions in mind starting with lift sharing and the church minibus. We would be willing to offer lifts to people on a Sunday if transport and parking are an issue. What we need is for some people to volunteer to drive the minibus on a Sunday – please get in touch if this is something you could do.