"Messenger" newsletter DECEMBer

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LEIGH BAPTIST CHURCH   MESSENGER”    DECEMBER  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

 

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” John 14: 27..

 

 As I write this we are approaching Advent when we look forward to Christmas. We think of that as the season of goodwill; a time of love, joy and peace. It is said that during World War 1 fighting in the trenches stopped for soldiers on both sides to celebrate Christmas Day together.

 

 But this year many people throughout the world might say that love, joy, and peace are further away than ever. There has been so much trouble with many people suffering in so many different ways. There has been the continuation of the corona virus with the number of infections continuing to rise in many countries.; continued fighting amongst nations; refugees from all corners of the globe fleeing from persecution and death, or seeking to find a better, safer life for them and their children; natural disasters such as floods, wild fires, and volcanoes erupting, all leading to many homes, villages, even towns, being demolished, so leaving many displaced people with no homes of their own. On top of that, lawlessness seems to be increasing with people trying to take things into their own hands and overthrowing rulers and governments. We all long for there to be PEACE throughout the world, but we need to realise that the prince of darkness, that is Satan, is sowing seeds of evil and discontent because he is against all that is good and that shows the love of God, our Heavenly Father and His everlasting PEACE.

 

 In the Bible there are many verses about PEACE. At the end of a church service we often hear the words, “The PEACE of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” In his letters to the churches Paul’s introduction very often included a greeting, such as “Grace to you and PEACE from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:7)   

              

 In the Old Testament Isaiah called Jesus “The Prince of Peace whose Kingdom would always have PEACE. (Isaiah 9: 6&7) When John the Baptist was born, his father, Zechariah, prophesied about him, that he would “prepare the way of the Lord and that God would “guide our steps into the path of PEACE.” Jesus’ birth was announced to the shepherds on the hillside by an angel and a heavenly host who sang, ”Glory to God in the highest and on earth PEACE, goodwill to all men.” When Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the temple there was a man there named Simeon. Luke 2: 26 says that “it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Verses 28-30 tell us that he took Jesus in his arms and gave thanks to God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in PEACE, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation -------.”

 

 So where is this PEACE? It is not what the world would expect it to be. The Kingdom that Isaiah spoke of is the Kingdom of God, not an earthly kingdom. When Jesus died on the cross, then rose again and ascended into Heaven, He defeated sin and death and opened the way for those who come to Him in repentance to be forgiven and to have the promise of eternal life in God’s Kingdom. We can know something of that Kingdom here on Earth because Jesus told the Disciples, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and make you remember everything that I have told you. PEACE is what I leave with you. It is my own PEACE that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid” (John 14: 26, 27 GNB) There is an old hymn by E. H. Bickersteth which says, ‘PEACE, perfect PEACE in this dark world of sin; The love of Jesus whispers PEACE within.” This tells us that if we really love Jesus we will have His PEACE within us. When we open the door of our heart to Him, trust in Him and put problems into His hands we will know a calmness within us. We can know that His presence is with us because, before He left this earth, Jesus promised, “Lo, I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20) Do we all believe that and know that assurance? If there is anyone who is not sure, then Jesus is waiting for them to ask Him into their heart, put their trust in Him and He will be with them always.

 

Wishing you all God’s love and peace this Christmas and for 2022,      Kathie.

    

Dates for your diary

 

Sundays 5th and 19th December:  Service online on Facebook and YouTube 3:15pm 

Sunday 12th December:  All age worship in church 10:45 am

Sunday 26th December:  No service

Friday 24th December Christmas Eve: Carols by Candlelight  6:30pm (**see note**)

Tuesdays 7th and 14th December 9:30 - 11:30 am: Toddlers.  Places must be booked with Val (07817142192) by 2:00pm the day before. 

Saturday 11th December: Coffee+ 10:30 - 12:30

There will be no Thursday Coffee + in December.

Thursday 16th December 1:00pm:  Deacons' Meeting

** Carols by Candlelight **

We are restricting the number who can attend to 30. If you would like to join us for this service you must book a place by ringing or texting Val on 07817142192 or emailing her at pastoral.leader@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk between Monday 6th December and Sunday 19th December at 2pm. Should we reach 30 places booked before then, anyone asking for a place after that will be placed on a waiting list. You will receive a reply to say whether you have a place, or if you are on the waiting list. We will also be watching how things progress regarding the new Covid variant and will follow any government advice surrounding this. If you have booked a place and restrictions mean that the service has to be cancelled/transferred online, then we will let you know.

 

Prayer Diary

It's a while since we sent out our Prayer Diary, and Val is looking to update it for the New Year. If you are already included in this and wish to remain in it, then you don't need to do anything. If you no longer wish to be included, or are not already on the list but would like to be,  then please contact Val.  (07817142192 or pastoral.leader@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk)

 

Our Pastoral Leader will be on annual leave from Sunday 26th December - Thursday 6th January. Should you need to get in touch during this time, one of the deacons will have the church phone. 

 

NWBA Advent Calendar 

Once again the NWBA have prepared an Advent Calendar of poems/reflections/artwork etc. This can be accessed daily from Wednesday 1st December by following this link,  http://www.nwba.org.uk/advent/

 or by visiting their website, www.nwba.org.uk  and following the instructions there.  

 

Peace,  Health and Season’s Blessings for Christmas and the New Year to everyone      


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