"Messenger" newsletter FEBRUARY

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LEIGH BAPTIST CHURCH   MESSENGER” FEBRUARY  2021     

VERNON ST / CHURCH ST . LEIGH. WN7 1BH        

 

Website :  www.leighbaptistchurch.org.uk            Contact:  admin@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk

Pastoral Leader – Val Hulme ( Days Off Wed and Fridays)

email :   pastoral.leader@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk          TEL  07817142192

Check LBC website for updates and info also LBC FACEBOOK page

 

PSALMS

 

I have always loved the Psalms. In the church I attended in my youth we sang a Metrical Psalm in each Sunday morning service. The order of the words had been slightly altered to fit into the form of mostly four-lined hymn verses and I soon learnt the words as well as the tunes and can still sing parts of some of them from memory. I was recently reading Psalm 40, and was reminded of singing “I waited for the Lord my God.” Psalm 23, “The Lord’s my Shepherd”, is a well known example, as is a favourite of mine, Psalm 121, “I to the hills will lift mine eyes.”

 

At College we had prayers every morning in the Chapel when we sang a psalm to a chant, beginning on the first day with Psalm 1 and working through them as the year went on to the last one, number 150. The College Psalm, which we later sung at every Reunion, was number 122, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.” This would be the Temple in Jerusalem, but we can also sing it as meaning our CHURCH, which we also think of as the house of the Lord. It also reminds us to pray for the ‘PEACE of Jerusalem’, something which also is desperately needed in these days.

 

In the Good News Bible the Psalms are said to be the ‘Hymn Book and Prayer Book of the Bible’. It was used by the People of Israel for their worship and was eventually included in the Old Testament Scriptures.

 

 There are so many wonderful verses in the Psalms and each of us will have our favourites. There are those that speak of praising God and worshipping Him, the only true God. Psalm 92 says that it is good to give thanks to the Lord and to praise Him on stringed instruments. Psalms 95 & 96 tells us to sing to the Lord. Isn’t this what we long to do together in Church? But in our own homes we can sing hymns we can remember, and we can always praise the Lord in our hearts using some of the psalms. Psalm 100 is another psalm encouraging praise and thankfulness to the Lord, “for He is good; His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations.” (v5). Psalm 103 urges us to bless the Lord and not to forget all that He does for us, for his love for those who fear Him is as high as the heavens above and He has removed our sin from us as far as the East is from the West. David says that the Lord forgives his sins, heals him and saves him from death. He is a God of compassion, righteousness and goodness and so much more. His throne and kingdom are established, so we are to PRAISE HIM. Do we feel like that? It is a psalm worth reading slowly and taking in the wonderful attributes of our God and applying them to our own lives. God never changes, but is the same ‘yesterday, today and for ever.’ (Hebrews 13:8).

A number of psalms speak of God being the CREATOR of the earth and the heavens, such as the 24th which reminds us that everything belongs to Him. Psalm 104 is wonderfully descriptive of how God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them.

Most people know Psalm 23 and love the thought of God being our SHEPHERD. Psalm 100 says that we are the SHEEP OF His PASTURE. We are reminded of Jesus words in John 10, “I am the GOOD SHEPHERD who gives his life for the sheep”; that is, for those who belong to Him. This is what Jesus did when He died on the cross to save us from sin and death.

Many psalms reveal the psalmist turning to God in anguish, calling for HELP and DELIVERANCE in times of trouble, or when everyone around him or in the nation, has turned away from their Heavenly Father to worship other gods which are manmade idols. In Psalm 43 he asks God to send His LIGHT and his TRUTH to guide Him. As is mentioned in other psalms, he longs to go to the Temple in Jerusalem where he can play his harp and sing praises to his God who fills him with JOY. In the words of the GNB he asks himself why he is so sad and so troubled. He tells himself to put his HOPE IN GOD, for he knows that he will come to a time when he ‘WILL PRAISE Him, his SAVIOUR and his GOD.’ That is what we pray for all those who are troubled by the present circumstances of the pandemic.  

There are wonderfully descriptive verses, such as in Psalm 1 where we read that those who delight in God’s law are like “trees by a stream that yield their fruit in due season” and do not wither. In Psalm 92 the righteous are said to “flourish like a palm tree” and grow like a cedar of Lebanon.

Verses from the psalms are referred to a lot in the New Testament. Jesus quoted from it in such utterances as, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing.” (Mark 12:10-11, and Psalm 118:22-23). In Acts 1:20 Peter quoted Psalms 69:25 & 109:8 when he said that the prediction in those psalms concerning the fate of Judas, given to David by the Holy Spirit, had to be fulfilled. In Matthew 22:44 we read what Jesus quoted in Psalm 110:1 when He said, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool”, and Paul referred to it in Ephesians 1:20. 

 

These are some of my thoughts on a few of the Psalms. Do try to read as many of them as you can. I find them very helpful, great for prayer, praise, and encouragement. Very often, when they speak of problems, they end with assurance and hope.

 

“Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalms 42 and 43).

Wishing you God’s blessing,

Kathie.                                    Bible quotations are from the GNB, NIV and the NKJV

 

 

PASTORAL LEADER’S NOTE: 
Although the government have said that churches can be open for worship, the Leadership Team agree with the Baptist Union that in this current lockdown, we should remain closed.  Just because we can do something, doesn't mean that we should. With the numbers in hospital currently so high, we feel that we should do what we can to avoid spreading the virus. Therefore we will be continuing to offer online and Zoom services. On Sundays February 7th and 21st, a service will be available at 3:15 on our You Tube channel and Facebook page, whilst on Sunday 28th February there will be a communion service on Zoom at 3:00pm.  Do join with us for these. If you don't get the link for the service on Zoom, but would like to join us, please email me pastoral.leade@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk  and I will send it to you. For those who do not have internet access, we will continue to post the Scattered Church Musings and a printed copy of the services. 

 

Wigan and Leyland Baptist Churches have invited us to join their Bookclub via Zoom, on Tuesdays. The video will be at 7:15 pm followed by discussion at 7:30pm. Although the course is based on the book  How to Pray by Pete Greig, there is no need to purchase this as all the discussions will be about the videos.  The course is over 8 sessions, and we have already looked at the first two.

 

During Lent, we will be meeting for prayer on Mondays at 7:30 - 8:00pm, on Zoom, starting on 22nd February.  Do join us if you are able.  If this is not possible, then please set aside some time to pray around the topics that we will be focusing on - the NHS and all frontline staff; the current circumstances; the Leadership of Leigh Baptist Church; how to move forward once restrictions are lifted. 

 

Deacons' Meeting, on Zoom, Tuesday 16th February 10:10am. 

 

Val

 

 

 

 

 


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