Well what a fantastic year we have had in Messy Church 2018 to 2019. We have seen lots and I mean lots of new faces every session this year. That's made for some lively and exciting sessions. Sometimes the building has been packed.
We have worshipped God every time in all kinds of ways and that's one of the reasons we, the church are here. We have also spent time alongside our community, letting them know they are loved and that we are here. That's another portion of our mission. Of course we have also shared the good news of the gospel with lots of new people. That's another essential part of our mission. Finally we have had fun and that makes it even better.
So, why am I writing, well none of the fun, crafts, worship and food happen without the work effort and dedication of so many people within the church. This is true testament to a people obedient to God's call and loving the community just as we are commanded.
We now have a little respite as we enjoy a summer holiday from messy church and a chance to recharge those batteries, physical and spiritual.
So a massive thank you to you all and I am looking forward to 2019-2020. Thank you messy churchers! With love !
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‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Today's lectionary reading is from John chapter 17 v20 to 26. The passage is a prayer from Jesus to the father. It is a heart felt plea.
We see Jesus acting here in the role he promised to fulfil as the mediator between us and God the father. Jesus prays "...on behalf of these ...". He is praying for us. Not just the disciples there near him but those who hear what they, the disciples have to say.
In the previous verses of Chapter 17, Jesus begins his prayer for the disciples. Knowing that he will soon be leaving them he is clearly concerned for what might happen to them without his protection. Jesus has given them the word and as he phrases it the world hates them for it. Jesus knows that one of the tools, you may say weapons they have to enable them to succeed is sticking together. Following Jesus gives us, as Christians real unity as we have one master, and one word at our head.
The disciples are in the world but called not to be of it. To bring a message that will not always be well received. Jesus is clearly anxious what they will do next. We are charged with the same responsibility and we make mistakes along the way. Some of those bring us disunity.
There is a story I love of a camp at Schlos castle. The camp was operated by the Germans and on the penultimate day of the war in Europe the guards fled. This left the French prisoners of war with a problem. An SS grenaders unit was planning to attack the camp and kill the prisoners. The French sent two of their number to find help. They found a German officer Gangl. Gangl, although German was no Nazi and had been helping the local resistance.
He and his 20 loyal men could not hold off the SS so in an act of bravery a handful of Germans and a handful of Americans took up position on the castle walls. On the morning of May 5th 1945, and at the closing hours of the war this bizarre group fought the only joint German American action of the war and a successful one.
Even the most bitter of enemies are able to work together and when they do great success can be had.
How much, how very much more can we the Church succeed when we work together. Jesus desperately wants us to work side by side to achieve the mission and call he has given us. That's not always easy but we don't have to strive alone. We have the spirit ever with us and Jesus mediating prayers to the throne on our behalf!
We don't have to look far into the new testament to see disagreements, splits and divisions. Our Christian history is full of breaks, disagreements and falling out. However, unity for us comes from having one head, one God, one clear leader to follow. He stands in front and if we all look to him; we will find we are all in unity. Our own opinions and views become the lesser when Jesus is at the fore.
To quote my favourite poet ... `Now this is the Law of the Jungle—as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk, the Law runneth forward and back— For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack
Cover image clipart-library.com
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Design Not Accident
Deoxyribonucleic acid (also known as DNA) is known as the building blocks of life. Humans have 46 chromosomes that contain all the genetic information required to make a person. There are over 25,000 genes in the human genome and one gene is composed of over 3 billion base pairs (linking branches seen in picture above) in the human genome. All this information is stored in one cell…. Just think about that for a moment. And in every cell we have this condensed, highly complex and detailed book of information. Furthermore, the human body has approximately 10 trillion cells or “books”. Wow!
DNA is responsible for deciding what job or function a cell performs, whether a cell goes off to be a heart cell, kidney cell, white blood cell or an eye cell. Today’s scientific community remains in its infancy in understanding this complex and significantly important molecule, a molecule found in every cell in your body. Yet some scientists believe this information is our own discovery and contribution to mankind.
Many peers praise the American molecular biologist James Watson and English physicist Francis Crick for the discovery of DNA in the 1950s. Johann Gregor Mendel was a Christian monk at Augustinian Monastery; it is there where he performed genetic experiments using pea plants. He has been acclaimed as the first to link genetic variations producing different genetic hereditary compositions, awarding him the title “Father of Genetics”. However, equally many would argue in 1860 Swiss chemist Friedrich Miescher was the first to identify DNA.
The Book of Leviticus was written in the Persian period (538- 332BC) a long time before science was even thought of as a discipline and expression of human knowledge. Yet in this ancient text we have a knowledgeable statement (Leviticus 17:11) not quoting direct focus on science but referring to it as if it was common knowledge. The author is referring to it as to remind readers of how we can repent (change our direction of thought and attitudes) and enforce our spiritual belief in God and obey his commandments.
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul”. (Leviticus 17:11)
It is as if Moses knew the connection between blood, life and how important it was, to which, they used animal blood in spiritual rituals.
The genome is the biggest and most accurate instruction manual known to man to construct a human. And from this complexity and highly logical system of base pairs, molecules and condensed structure of articulate information we can only start to appreciate the spark of the supreme power of the author, which is of course God. Also DNA has been found to be a robust molecule to which can be buried for thousands of years and still remain intact, enough for scientists to be able to replicate and analyse. Such as the DNA from Egyptian mummies, in 2009 Helen Donoghue from University College London lead a team, supported by colleagues from Birmingham University. They were able to diagnose how an Egyptian died from TB (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) purely from DNA extracted from the mummified body. Wow!
“Helen Donoghue and colleagues from the University of Birmingham, UK, combined DNA amplification with a recently developed technique to search for a short repetitive section of DNA from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, they identified the organism in tissue from the lungs, bone and gall bladder. They also found biomarkers specific to the cell wall of the bacterium in the lungs and bones”. (New Scientist, 2009)
Today scientists are using the same mechanisms bacteria and viruses use to invade cells to edit the human genome, a technique known as CRISPA Cas9. This is said to be the future of Healthcare, editing and/ or deleting defective genes responsible chronic and hereditary diseases such as Sickle Cell Anaemia, Cystic Fibrosis, Huntington’s disease and more. We must remember in this time of scientific discovery and excitement that the ideas and innovations humans develop are observed and inspired by nature.
God is the ultimate creator of all things on earth and that we are to give thanks to God for providing all of what we use and create (Psalm 95:4-5).
Peace be with you all.
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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
These are words spoken by Jesus to his disciples. It isn’t long at this point in the gospel until he is crucified and he is preparing his disciples for that event. The verses around this one are full of things he wants to impart before he goes. Really important things like the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Here Jesus says he will be leaving “my peace”, his peace with them. Not “Peace” stop but Jesus own peace. This is something different from the peace you find in the bath for 10 minutes, or in the car, or on a walk. This is a special kind of peace. It is not a peace as the world gives.
There is a story of a young girl traveling on a train in 1940. The train should be taking her, her mum and sisters from Calais to relative safety near Paris. It’s 1940 and the Luftwaffe are dropping bombs trying to destroy railway links, they are bombing Calais where the BEF is held up desperately trying to reach England. However, the train is not heading for Paris, it’s been turned back to Calais to carry urgent orders to the British and French troops trapped there. The people on the train are afraid, there is crying and screaming the train is being buffeted by explosions that seem dreadfully near. And yet, the girl and her sister are calm, relaxed, at peace! One of the other passengers asks her Pourquoi êtes-vous si détendu., why are you so relaxed. She replies: I’m not afraid because my Dad is the engineer, he’s driving the train, and I know he will get us there safely, why would I worry.
We are called into the world, to serve Jesus amongst all the hard and difficult challenges of being human. It’s even harder than that we are called to strive for a higher standard, obedience to Jesus above all else. That’s not easy!!
One of the great advantages we have is Jesus Peace. We can find peace of mind, peace of heart, peace of the soul whenever and wherever we are because he gifted that to us.
Jesus peace is available to us, his disciples, 24/7 we need only submit ourselves into the arms of God; who truly loves us, and we can receive an inner peace!
Hope you all have a great few days, see you soon 😊
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