The meetings yesterday were led by Major Andrea Still in the morning and Major Karen Ramsay in the evening.
Chatham Corps is a training corps for cadets of William Booth College and this week was the first time the four first year cadets had visited the Corps. On various Sundays during the next few months they will take an active part in leading, speaking and arranging meetings. We hope they enjoy their time with us. They are Cadets Amy-Jo Battersby, Pierre-Alain Cesar, Lizzy Dean and David Jones.
During the month of January the theme of our meetings is ‘Sufficient Grace’ being part of the theme for the year ‘Amazing Grace’. The Sunday morning meeting commenced with scripture from Psalm 36: 5-10 and SA Song 16 ‘O worship the King.’ Prayers followed the singing of Song 644 ‘Weaver divine’ before the Singing Company brought their contribution ‘And can it be’. The scripture chosen was Titus 2:11-15. Major Andrea was pleased to commission Gill Wylie as Corps Treasurer (she has been fulfilling the role for some time).
SoF 675 ‘Blessing and honour, glory and power’ preceded testimonies from Cadets Pierre-Alain Cesar and Lizzy Dean who gave a snapshot of what had brought them to William Booth College and their hopes for the future.
The Songsters sang ‘Raise up a glorious song’ (Emma Davis) before Major Andrea’s sermon ‘Sufficient Grace’.
In her message Andrea said it was exactly 100 one hundred years ago that her grandmother was born who lived for 96 years. She was a woman of great faith and invested in her family, always there at special occasions even though it involved a long coach trip, witnessing to her fellow passengers on the way. She went into ‘service’ at the age of 14 and all her life worked for a family who, when she retired, gave her a large picture of a text ‘My grace is sufficient for you’. This has been in the family for many years and, Andrea said, no-one demonstrated these words more than her grandmother. She was a great prayer warrior. God provides grace for us to live in the knowledge of his loving care. The verses from Titus tell us that God’s grace brings salvation, teaches us how to live and brings us hope. We are forgiven of our sins in order to become righteous people and this is demonstrated in our Salvation Army doctrines. God is interested in each one of us although some people can’t seem to believe this is so. In Paul’s writings we read of people who were deliberately sinning so they could experience forgiveness and grace. This is not the way to live. We need to promote wholesome living. The call of grace is to respond in love, be salt and light so that your life glorifies God. We as His people are not meant to work alone but in a community. We have hope that His grace will be sufficient to help us in every aspect of our lives, even when things go wrong. Part of having sufficient grace is waiting – not a passive waiting but an active wait in hope. It has been interesting to note recently, while the night shelter has been in operation, that the people who come to the night shelter are sober but if they had been on the streets they would have been drunk. Hopefully the cycle of being on the streets and getting drunk is being broken as they are being told of the love of Jesus and being told of the hope that we have that God’s grace is sufficient for all circumstances.
SoF 441 ‘Only by grace can we enter’ gave opportunity for response before the final song SA Song 283 ‘And can it be’. Following the meeting the band and other Corps folk took part in an open air outreach in the High Street. As one cadet said ‘There were some very interesting conversations held’. We pray for the effectiveness of this ministry.
The evening meeting was conducted by Major Karen Ramsay and commenced with a song of praise SA Song 506 ‘Lord of creation’ before the corporate declaration from 2 Cor. 3: 18 ‘I am being changed into His image and He who began this good work in me will bring it to completion‘. This was confirmed in Magnify song 60 ‘This is my desire, to honour You’ and prayertime. The Band contributed Chorus arrangement ‘Deep and wide’ and there was a time of testimony from Cadets David Jones and Amy-Jo Battersby. David told how his calling had been one which developed over years during which time he had learned a lot. Romans 12 meant a lot to him. Amy-Jo told how through all her experiences of life God’s grace was enough for her. SA Song 545 ‘Loved with everlasting love’ continued followed by the Bible reading from Mark 12:28-34. A song to celebrate SoF 3 ‘Come on and celebrate’ was sung and ‘Rock Eternal’ was the Songsters musical offering.
Major Karen’s message was entitled ‘How deep is your love this week?’ and she said that following her message last week which was asking the question ‘How deep is your love?’, this week ‘Is it deeper this week than it was last week?’. The Old Testament commandment says ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength’. This scripture can be the rock on which to live your life. Scripture often repeats words so that we really hear what God is saying. The Shema, ‘Hear O Israel’ was recited by the Jews as they went into the gas chambers, so God must also be number one in our lives. In the New Testament scripture passage the question to Jesus was a trap. There are 613 laws in the Torah, the majority were negative but all equally binding. The lawyer was asking Jesus to commit heresy by quoting one more than another. Jesus explained that the spirit of the law was the most important thing. He also added to the Shema ‘and love your neighbour as yourself’, the law of Leviticus. The love for God and love for others go hand in hand. The whole of the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments. God wants us to be better as He works towards completion in our lives.
Songs ‘All for Thee’ and ‘Love divine, all loves excelling’ concluded the meeting with the Benediction from 2 Thessalonians 2:15-16.
We hope you have a blessed week and thank you for logging onto our website.