“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'" (Mark 10:42-45, NIV)
The temptation of our society is to try and grasp leadership and status, to seek to have power and authority over others. This should not be the case for Christians: to be great in God's sight is to be a servant; the greatest is the one who serves most. It's not an easy way of living, but it is the right way. On Remembrance Sunday, we particularly remember those who have suffered and died in conflict, to bring about peace. Mark's gospel tells us about Jesus Christ, who came as a servant, and to win our peace with God with his own death. I hope that you'll be able to join us online at 10:45am for our Sunday morning service.
I hope that these emails and prayers are useful, and that you are able to spend a few minutes at noon each day, as we pray together as a church family. Please do keep sending your prayer suggestions to me, so that we can make sure we are praying around the needs, burdens and encouragements of our whole church family.
“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging" (Psalm 46:1-3, NIV)
I suspect you will have seen that news that England will be entering a 'lockdown' period, starting on Thursday this week. We are moving back to a position where we should be staying in our homes as much as we possibly can. This is planned to last until the beginning of December, and the hope appears to be that we can enjoy some relaxing of the restrictions for Christmas.
“‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.’” (Mark 10:29-30, NIV)
The Christian life is one of total devotion to Jesus. Aided by the Holy Spirit, Christians are to get rid of anything that would prevent us from wholeheartedly following Jesus, no matter what it is. We are not left with nothing, however: we are promised that whatever we end up leaving behind will be replaced by God’s abundance and generosity to us. I hope that you’ll be able to join us at 8:30, at 10:30, or online (details below), as we look at this together..