- Last Updated on 31 August 2014
Back in April, David Cameron stirred up something of a debate by saying that Britain is 'a Christian country'. Now few would deny the impact Christianity has had on this country over many centuries. Equally, the figures point to a marked decline in professed Christian faith in Britain. It can be easy for Christians to feel we’re an increasingly marginalised minority.
But then we look further afield and realise that whatever frustrations we might face are as nothing compared to what faces so many Christians around the world today. It’s been heartbreaking to watch the appalling events in Iraq and to see the persecution and brutality aimed at the religious minorities there. We must pray for them; especially for our Christian brothers and sisters – for protection, for courage and for immovable faith in our Saviour. And we must consider what else God might be calling us to do in response. The Church of England has created a webpage which you might find helpful (http://bit.ly/1tjuj1Q).
Turning back to ourselves, I hope that our autumn sermon series will be of great help as we work out how God wants us to live in our changing society. In our morning services we’ll be looking at the letter of 1 Peter; written to God’s people, “strangers in the world,” to encourage them to stand fast in “the true grace of God.” Then, in the evening and in small groups we’ll be picking up the book of Acts again, which I’ve been reading in my quiet times recently. I’ve been so encouraged to read of God’s wonderful good news going unstoppably out “to the ends of the earth,” despite the opposition, as God changes hearts and lives by his Spirit. I pray that we all will be similarly helped and encouraged this autumn.
Curate of Cromer
- Last Updated on 31 August 2014
Greetings from Bristol! Firstly, big news from Heather and me is that of the birth of our beautiful boy: Barnaby James Kingdom Land on July 18th, weighing 8lb 10oz. He is such a blessing and is doing great. The summer has been a break from theological studies, so it has meant that I have had the time to be there for much of Barnaby’s early weeks - special times indeed.
I wanted to share with you something God has been speaking to me about. I noticed this building that was looking rather tired. I presumed that they were going to demolish the building and start again. However as I cycled past each day, I noticed a huge skip was placed outside the building and it was into this skip that all the old rubbish and rubble went from the house. Over the next few months came a process of building and adding extensions to the house. Finally the building was whitewashed and a new lawn has been laid. I reflected on how God purchases us through his sacrifice on the cross and wants to make our lives into a beautiful building that reflects his glory. This involves some clearing out of the rubbish in our lives and breaking down walls and white washing us clean. I have a prayer on the wall of my study at college that reads: ‘Father: would you please put the Spirit of Jesus deeply within me, and begin to shape me and refine me. Will you begin to do what I cannot do. Will you begin to produce within me the person you’ve always wanted me to be’.
So as I reflect on an amazing year at college, with all the people I have met and the theological study I have undertaken, I come back to understanding that God is doing a work in me like that building, and he wants to do that in each of us.
Ed and Heather