LEIGH BAPTIST CHURCH “MESSENGER” SEPTEMBER 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
Sunday 3rd September 10:45 am: Open Service (bring along a Bible reading/reflection/hymn to share)
Sunday 10th September 10:45am: Worship Service with Church and Congregation Meeting
Sunday 17th September 10:45am: Sunday Bible Study
Sunday 24th September10:45am: Communion Service Val Hulme
Wednesdays 13th, 20th and 27th September Prayer Meeting 10:00 - 11:00 am Meet at 9:45am for tea/coffee/chat (Please note that there is no prayer Meeting on 6th September)
Saturdays 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd September Walking With You Mutual Support Network 10:00 am - 12:00 noon (Please note the new name for the group) No meeting on September 30th.
Deacons' Meeting: To be confirmed
Strategy Group Meeting: To be confirmed
Saturday 9th September All Singers Great and Small will be performing their latest concert, "The Street 2023" in church at 7:30pm. Tickets - £5.00, (see Jean) or pay on the door.
Saturday 30th September 6:30 - 9:00pm: Harvest Supper and Social. Tickets £5.00. We will start at 6:00pm with a hotpot supper, followed by a quiz and games. (Our Harvest Service will be on Sunday 1st October)
Other groups using our building:
Tuesday 5th September 11:30 - 2:30 Leigh Ladies' Luncheon Club
Wednesdays 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th September All Singers Great and Small Community Choir 7:30pm
Thursdays in August 10:00 - 12:00 Atherton and Leigh Foodbank
Tuesday 12th September All Singers Great and Small Committee Meeting 7:30pm
Thursday 14th September 7:30 - 9:30 pm Aglow
Friday 15th September Churches Working Together in Leigh Leaders' Meeting 1:00pm
Our next Church and Congregation Meeting will be on Sunday September 10th. It will be a Worship Service with Church and Congregation Meeting, all starting at 10:45 am.
Rev'd Neil Brighton will be joining us as our part-time Transitional Minister on September 1st for 12/14 months. He will be working alongside the Leadership Team and the church as we explore new ways of being church.
Our Pastoral Leader will be on annual leave from Saturday 2nd September - Friday 8th September inclusive.
JOY IN THE LORD : As I looked out of the window one day I was fascinated by the tall trees on the far side of the field behind my house. They were swaying from side to side in the strong wind and made me think of many people joyfully praising God with their arms raised in the air, and moving from side to side. Psalm 5:11 says, Let all who take refuge in you be glad, let them ever sing for joy.” Psalm 43:4 says, “Then I will go --- to God, my exceeding joy.” Psalm 30:4-5 tells us that when things are difficult for all who are His, we should “Sing to the Lord” and “praise His holy name.”--- “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” There are many other references in the Bible to being joyful in praising the Lord and many hymns and choruses are about us being filled with joy.
‘Word for Today’ for August 13th mentioned Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” I remember singing a chorus which is based on those words, so I decided to look up the reference to find its context which was after the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt and the Israelites had returned from their seventy years of exile in Babylon. It was on the first day of the seventh month that they all assembled together and asked Ezra the priest to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses. As he read it to them they were in tears for they had not heard it for such a long time and probably never before. Others helped them to understand it, then Nehemiah, the governor, Ezra and the Levites declared a holiday and Nehemiah told the people to eat, feast, and send portions to those who have nothing prepared: “for this day is sacred to the Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The people were full of rejoicing because they now understood the words that had been read to them. They then started to put into practice that which God, through Moses, had first commanded the Children of Israel to do from the time of their Wilderness journey to their life in the Promised Land. It is when we are doing the will of God that we know that the “joy of the Lord is our strength” and we can rejoice and know the ‘peace of God which passes all understanding.’
The prophet Isaiah spoke of joy many times. Chapter 35 has the title in the NIV Bible translation, ‘Joy of the Redeemed’ and is a wonderful, inspiring chapter to read. It seems to look forward to the coming of Jesus, for verse 4 says, “Be strong, do not fear! --- your God will come ---- and save you.” It mentions that the eyes of the blind will be opened, and is one of the passages Jesus quoted about himself. It goes on to tell about the ‘Highway of Holiness’ and the journey which will only be for those who walk in the truth of God’s way on His Highway which leads to Eternal Life, not allowing anything to turn them away. It says, “Only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return, and enter Zion with singing. With everlasting joy on their heads they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Revelation 21:4 has the same meaning when it says, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; --- for the former things have passed away.” What a wonderful time to look forward to, but we need to beware that we keep travelling through life on earth on the road that leads to it. There are so many things in this world to trip us up; so many distractions. We need to keep our focus on our loving Heavenly Father and on Jesus our Lord and Saviour, letting them lead and guide us through the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. It is when we worship in spirit and in truth that we will be filled with the joy that comes from above.
Jesus spoke about joy in John 15 when he talked about Himself being the vine and said that we are the branches, but we need to be joined to the main part of the vine at all times. He said, “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” (v4) In verses 10-11 we read Jesus words, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. ---- I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” How wonderful to live that life that Jesus speaks of and to have ‘fullness of joy’!
So I finish with a blessing given by Paul to the Christians in Rome found in Romans 15:13 NIV:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Amen.
Kathie Quotations are from NIV and NKJV.