LEIGH BAPTIST CHURCH “MESSENGER” JANUARY 2023
VERNON ST / CHURCH ST . LEIGH. WN7 1BH
Website : www.leighbaptistchurch.org.uk Contact: email@example.com
Pastoral Leader – Val Hulme ( Day Off Fridays)
email : firstname.lastname@example.org TEL 07817142192
Check LBC website for updates and info also LBC FACEBOOK page
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Sunday 1st January No service
Sunday 8th January 10:45 am Miriam Simon
Sunday 15th January 10:45 am Sunday Bible Study Val Hulme, followed by Church and Congregation Meeting 12:30 (approx)
Sunday 22nd January 10:45 am Communion Service Val Hulme
Sunday 29th January 10:45 am Open Worship
*Wednesdays 11th, 18th and 25th January Prayer Meeting 10:00 - 11:00. Meet for tea/coffee/chat 9:45 am
*Thursday 12th January 12:45 - 3:00 pm. Pensioners' Link
*Thursday 12th January 6:00 pm onwards Aglow
Deacons' Meeting to be confirmed.
*All the above are dependent on the Meeting Room repairs having been completed/made safe.
We were disappointed that the Christmas services had to be cancelled due to a burst pipe. Thank you for your understanding.
The next Church and Congregation Meeting follows the service on Sunday 15th January at approximately 12:30 pm. Bring your own lunch.
The service on the 29th January is the first of our Open services. Bring and share your favourite hymns/worship songs, Bible readings or reflections/thoughts. It's over to you for this service.
When we come to a New Year our minds are often on new beginnings. I remember, as a child, staying at my Grandparents’ house on New Year’s Eve. Everything had to be cleaned and tidied up ready to welcome in the New Year. I watched my Auntie clean out the fire grate ready for a new start on January 1st. Many of us make New Year resolutions, either to determine to do something to benefit ourselves or someone else, or to stop doing something that is detrimental in any way.
At Christmas we have just celebrated again the birth of Jesus. That was surely a new happening – God coming into this world in the form of a baby conceived by the Holy Spirit and born to a human Mother. Mary was told by the angel, “You will -- give birth to a son -- and you are to give Him the name Jesus.” (St Luke 1:31). In a dream an angel appeared to Joseph to explain to him who Mary’s baby was and to call Him Jesus, “because He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21). His birth had been prophesied many years earlier. We read in Isaiah 7:14, “The virgin – will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.” This is quoted in Matthew 1:23 where it says that it is translated, “God with us.” This and other prophecies show that God had planned all this. The last reading in many Carol Services is St. John 1:1-12, starting with “In the beginning was the Word.” And in verse 3, “All things were made through Him.” Verse 14 tells us that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.”
Another beginning is found in the account of the wise men journeying to Bethlehem. They did not arrive until about 1 or 2 years later and are not likely to have gone to the stable, but to a house. The star they followed was new to them. It appeared in the sky and they believed that it was a sign of an important event, the birth of a King. St Matthew 2:1 tells us that they were from the East. That was probably in the area of Babylon and the Persian Empire. The star had risen in the east and they were able to follow it all the way to Judea. They first of all went to the palace of King Herod in Jerusalem where they found out from the chief priests and teachers of the law that Bethlehem was the birthplace of the baby born to be King of the Jews. The prophet Micah had written, “But you Bethlehem in the land of Judah are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.” (Micah 5:2). The wise men continued on to Bethlehem and the star led them to the place where Jesus was. We think about their visit at the end of the Christmas Season which is Epiphany on January 6th.
Although Jesus’ Kingdom would be a Heavenly one, not an earthly one, Herod did not know this and felt that a baby born to be King of the Jews was a threat to him and his throne. He therefore ordered the killing of all boys of up to two years old. Joseph was warned about this in a dream and told to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt, so they had another new beginning, becoming refugees in a strange land where they all stayed until the death of Herod, then they returned to Israel and were again guided in a dream to Joseph to go to live in Nazareth in the northern province of Galilee, ruled by a different king from the one in Judea.
Today there are many people who have had to flee from their homes and their countries and are having to make new beginnings in other places. This has led to a great movement in providing the help they need. Although there have always been those who have given this type of help, the enormity of the present task makes it seem like something new and it is much more widespread throughout the world. Because of wars and extreme weather conditions causing destruction in different parts of the world there is a great movement of people wanting to find refuge in other countries. They are having to start afresh. It is difficult to imagine what they are going through. How do they cope? Those who are Christians will know that they have a God who is their Saviour and who has promised to be with them at all times and to help them. Many are finding help from Christian Radio programmes and from organisations who provide for them, as well as from individuals. Jesus told His followers, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b) They were the ones of whom it could be said, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV) That is the New Beginning we experience when we become Christians and trust our lives to Jesus who will see us through the difficult times as well as the good ones and who will “supply all our need”. Philippians 4:19. We only have to believe that and be prepared to do His will, being guided by the Holy Spirit. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.
May 2023 be a year when we do just that, knowing that our God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20.
Best Wishes for the New Year, Kathie. Bible Quotes from NIV & NKJV
It was a sad shock to hear about the frozen/ burst water pipe and subsequent damage at church and especially the meeting room. Our appreciation is sent to the Leadership Team for stepping up and dealing with all the extra work, hassle and arrangements that inevitably follow.
OFFERTORY ENVELOPES. It was decided at an earlier Church Meeting that we would discontinue buying the printed offertory envelopes as an economy measure. Regular giving is still vital to the Church and we would invite all those who can to set up a Direct Debit with their bank to make monthly collection offerings. It is really not that difficult. Ask Val or a Deacon for the Church’s bank details. It also helps with evidence for Gift Aid.