As the memories of an exciting Easter week-end fade into the past we could be excused for anticipating some spring weather.
But not a bit of it. Even though it is now officially ‘British Summer Time’ the winds still blow, the temperature has been cold and the skies seem to be liquid. The UK has some wonderful qualities but the weather is not one of them! Good ministry, good worship and good fellowship are, however, qualities which we enjoy continuously and we are grateful to God for that.
On Sunday morning our leader was Major Drew and his theme was ‘What does God think about Work – Lifestyle’.
Drew used scripture from John 21:15-19 and Colossians 3:1-4 & 12-17 to illustrate this theme and supplemented the readings with songs 152, 507, 522 and 734 from The Salvation army Song Book together with 10 and 1013 from Songs of Fellowship. Musical contributions were given by the Singing Company with ‘I will offer up my life’ and the Songsters with ‘Let us go in Peace’.
Mel Scoulding gave us an interesting insight into what it means to be a Christian in the workplace, saying that in her role as a case adviser with the Treasury she often has an input into how an Act of Parliament should be applied to a particular set of circumstances. Mel tries to be an ‘open’ Christian at work, not hiding her faith from her colleagues, and by so doing has discovered many Christians working in government. Upholding her Christian values she feels she has often been able to bring comfort in difficult situations and will continue to say what she believes and why she believes it.
In his Bible message Drew said we all want to enjoy leisure. Work is manic, a stress and often a drag. That can be how we look at work but for some of us our work is our life and when this is so it can get a little ‘heady’. So, how do we each consider our work? Is God interested in the whole of our lives? Do we ever pray about our work? This morning’s scripture passage (in Col. 3:17) tells us that God is most definitely interested in the whole of our lives. He wants to be Lord in all its areas. There is no sacred/secular divide. He will direct both our work and our leisure. So what has Christ called you to do? All work can be a calling however mundane, whether it be preaching or growing carrots. So, if God calls you to do ‘whatever’ then do it with all your heart. What is it he has called you to do? If you are young, with your life before you, follow God’s leadings. If you are older, it is never too late to change. The challenge is, does God see us one way at church and another way at work? Are our standards consistant? Are they what God wants to see in us?
The Band kicked off the evening meeting with the March ‘The Red Shield’ before Major Beverley introduced the theme of ‘Compelled by Love’.
A period of testimony was included during which four people spoke about their reaction to Easter week-end and what it has meant to them this week.
Just before Major Beverley spoke to us the Songsters brought the theme song entitled ‘Compelled by Love’. Earlier they had sung ‘Jesus will still be there’ and the Band brought ‘In Wonder Beholding’. Beverley chose songs 149, 184, and 707 from The Salvation Army Song Book and supplemented these with 782, 496, 165 and 646 from Songs of Fellowship. Her scripture was taken from John 20:26-31 and 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 and she spoke, in her message, about what training we need to be an evangelist. She quoted from scripture ‘for we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord’ and said the focus must be on Jesus! The Gospel is Jesus! What does it mean for Christ to rule over us? We must acknowledge Him as King and Lord in God’s own world. One God and only one. All areas of our lives under Him. We need to recognise Him because He is at work everywhere we go. We will then be true believers and we will be able to resist persecution, growing despite it. If we are to be effective in evangelism then we must ensure that Jesus is Lord of our lives. We must ask the question ‘is He really in control of my life?’. Well, is he?
In conclusion, this past week has been a sad one for the corps with the Promotion to Glory of Robert on Thursday but this did not seem to dampen the spirit of worship on Sunday. But then, why should it? We have the promise of eternal life for those who believe and that is a great encouragement.
In conclusion we say ‘God bless you’ to all our readers. We hope you have a good week and that the sun shines on you, wherever you are. You need to get your vitamin D somehow!