Normality is gradually being restored at the end of the summer holiday season. With the schools having either restarted or about to restart many have returned from their summer activities including Major Alec Still who was the leader of the only meeting held yesterday, the evening being kept clear for those who wished to go to Croydon for the Divisional Candidates Farewell. Major Alec was assisted by Majors Andrea Still and Karen Ramsay.
A great song of praise, ‘Crown him with many crowns’, began the day and the Singing Company followed immediately with ‘Which way?’ featuring Jessica Boughton as a soloist.
Major Andrea spent some time with the younger members of the congregation in a spot entitled ‘Back to school with God’. She asked how many of the children present were going to a new school this year, how many were in a new class and even how many were starting school for the first time. Many hands were raised and Major Andrea then offered prayer for all those experiencing change including those going to or going back to university. This was a poignant reminder of how blessed we are with so many young people in our church and of our responsibilities to them. This part of the meeting concluded with the song ‘Saviour teach me day by day’.
The Band offered ‘Your grace still amazes me ‘ as a contribution to the worship and scripture chosen was from John 13:34-35. The song chosen by the Songsters was ‘In Jesus’ name’ and Major Alec’s sermon was entitled ‘Love one another’. In summary he said:
A number of people have requested that I share some of my ICO experiences so I want you to watch this short video (Oh dear!!!). Now for the serious stuff. i had a fantastic time giving me opportunity for personal reflection, time for myself, time for teaching and time for fellowship. God has blown my mind! I have learned such a lot about myself.
Returning to our scripture, Jesus was speaking about loving each other. If you want to be good at something you practise, don’t you, often for hours on end? Let me ask you, do you practise holy living and loving relationships? Now I firstly want to acknowledge the loving nature of this corps. However, we must not be complacent and we still need to practise. We often find it easy to share with people of our choice but there are always those with whom it is more difficult and we accept this situation because of our human state.
Jesus commands us to love. It is not optional and we must treat all our relationships as holy covenants. Covenants themselves are serious relationships between people, never entered into lightly and never broken readily. They should be with everyone, not just those special to us.
If we don’t love one another Jesus will not be seen in us. If we are to be missional, changing the world, Jesus must be seen in us and our relationships. If this doesn’t happen it will affect us badly because we are disobeying the command of Jesus. We will become vulnerable. We must continue to love even when we are let down by people.
God forgives us when we fail and sets us up again. He can show us how to love others and himself thus committing us to his calling. Let’s translate his love into terms the world can understand.
The devotional song ‘All that I am’ allowed time for thought and the commitment to ‘Take time to be holy’ brought the worship to a conclusion.
On Saturday the ‘Youff‘ group gave an entertaining ‘Evening at the Musicals’ on which we shall comment during the week ahead but on Friday many parents and children gathered at the hall to view the pictures taken during the ‘retreat’ weekend enjoyed earlier in the year. Drinks and light refreshments made the evening even more enjoyable.