Dates for your diary
Sunday 4th June: 10:45 am Val Hulme
Sunday 11th June: 10:45 am Open service - bring along a Bible reading/reflection/hymn to share
Sunday 18th June: 10:45 am To be confirmed
Sunday 25th June: 10:45 am Communion Service Miriam Simon/Val Hulme
Wednesdays 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th June: Prayer Meeting, 10:00 – 11:00 am. Meet at 9:45 am for tea/coffee/chat.
Thursday 22nd June: 1:00 pm Deacons' Meeting
Saturdays 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th June: 10:00am - 12 noon English Conversation Group
Advanced date for your diary Community choir, All Singers Great and Small, will be performing their latest concert, ‘The Street 2023’, in church on Saturday 9th September. Tickets will be on sale nearer to the time.
Our Pastoral Leader will be attending the Baptist Assembly in Telford from Friday June 16th - Sunday June 18th
The Guidance of the Holy Spirit .
In the May Messenger I mentioned what happened to the Disciples on the Day of Pentecost and the difference that the anointing of the Holy Spirit made to them.
In John 14 and 16 we read how Jesus told the Disciples that when He left the Earth He would send them the Holy Spirit to help them. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever, the Spirit of Truth.” (14:16,17) and in v26, “---- the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” In John 16:7 Jesus says, “Unless I go away the Counsellor will not come to you.” and in verse 13, “--- when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.”
We saw the difference that what happened in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost had made to the Disciples. It had taken them a long time to understand who Jesus really was. He had said, If you really know Me, you would know My Father also,” It was Philip who had said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” To this Jesus had replied, “Don’t you know me, Philip?” (John 14:6-9) Then, after the coming of the Holy Spirit, we see in Acts 6-8 how he had changed. He was said to be full of the Spirit and wisdom and then that he proclaimed Christ and did miraculous things in Samaria. So he had gone away from Jerusalem to the country of Samaria, amongst a people who needed to hear the gospel. Many of them believed in Jesus and were baptised. While there he was then told to go south to the desert road between Jerusalem and Gaza. As he went he saw a chariot with an Ethiopian Eunuch in it. This man, who was in charge of the Treasury for Queen Candace was returning home from worshipping in Jerusalem and was reading from the book of Isaiah. His answer to Philip’s question asking if he understood it was that he needed someone to tell him. Philip explained that the man who was ‘led like a sheep to the slaughter’ was Jesus. After he had explained the Good News of the Gospel they came to some water and the Ethiopian said he believed, so, at his request, Philip baptised him. The Spirit of God then took Philip away and he was found to be in Azotus, preaching the Gospel there, and in all the towns on his way to Caesarea. The Ethiopian saw him no more and continued on his way rejoicing, the first African to become a Christian. What a change had occurred in Philip because of the power of the Holy Spirit in his life.
It was not just the first Disciples who were led by the Holy Spirit. Since then, through many centuries, we have the examples of men and women serving the Lord tirelessly at home and abroad, having been equipped by the Holy Spirit’s power to spread the Gospel. What has made many of them give up home comforts and venture into the unknown to show God’s love and care to people who needed help in countries far away? Surely it is their willingness to obey the call of God in their hearts.
Albert Schweitzer was one of these. He was born in 1875 in Alsace, Bavaria. His father was the pastor of a protestant church where Albert often heard about the work of missionaries. He decided that he wanted to help the poor, but he had a brilliant mind and soon became known as a talented organist and a university professor. It was at the age of thirty that he studied to be a doctor so that he could achieve his longing to help those in the poorer countries. He then set sail with his wife, a nurse, on the long voyage to Equatorial Africa. He is well known for having founded and built a hospital at Lambarene in the jungle. He designed the buildings and did much of the manual work himself with many frustrations. At the same time he was treating all kinds of medical conditions and telling people about Jesus when appropriate. When the 1914 – 18 war broke out he had to return home as the Mission was French and he was German. He returned in 1924 to find the hospital buildings all overgrown and damaged, so had to start repairing them. Eventually other people joined him in the work of the mission and he was able to return home after three years to his wife and children for a very necessary rest. This true pioneer missionary used the time, until he returned to continue his work at the mission, to give organ concerts and talks about the work at Lambarene in order to raise money for it.
These two examples show how God puts into the hearts and minds of people the desire and willingness to go wherever the Lord leads them by the power of the Holy Spirit. At the same time He gives them the necessary gifts and expertise to fulfil their calling. But let us not forget that God also calls people to work for Him in the town or village where they are living and very often in their local Church, whether in a leadership role, or simply helping out with different jobs. We all need to be ready to answer the call of God knowing that the Holy Spirit is our Helper. May the Lord bless each one in the Church as we seek to do His will.
Kathie. Quotations from NIV.