Friday 1st January 2021

Bookmark and Share

Sundays in Tier 4

Last July we looked at Jesus’ ‘Sermon in the Mount’ and we spent time looking at Jesus’ relationship with the Old Testament Laws. To help us understand it I contrasted the Pharisees obeying ‘the letter of the law’ and Jesus with his disciples doing ‘the intention of the law’.

As we move into Tier 4 ‘the letter of the law’ allows us still to meet on a Sunday, but the Leaders and myself feel that if we look at ‘the intention of the law’ and the Tier 4 slogan ‘stay at home’ the right thing to do will be not to gather together until the current high level of infection lowers.

I will live-stream on the church’s Facebook page at 10:30am on Sundays, and a summary will be available on the church’s website. Please, before then do look at Daniel chapters 1 & 2 - Stephen

With us not been able to physically gather together, our Friday ‘Guest Writer’ article becomes even more important as a way of feeling connected to each other, so please consider whether you can contribute an article. Today’s guest writer is Iain Rogers

Heralds

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,

Make straight in the desert a highway for our God…” (Isaiah 40:3)

John the Baptist must have recalled Isaiah’s words as he called to the people of Israel,

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matt. 3:2)

Our time of reflection during advent has drawn to its conclusion and now our thoughts focus upon the wonder of Calvary and the fulfilment of Jesus mission. Not in his crucifixion and death as an atonement for sins only, but in the glory of his resurrection, his victory over death and the destruction of hells gates. He made possible the reconciliation of sinful humanity with God.

But let us pause for a while before we begin to anticipate the triumph of Easter, and consider the role of John, the “voice crying in the wilderness” calling for us to prepare the way of the Lord. “Make straight”, he cries out, “in the desert a highway for our God”. For we do dwell in a desert in these days, a dry and arid place where many turn away from the water of life and the grace and mercy of God, where the birth of the Saviour has been nothing more than a period of mawkish sentimentality and over indulgence.

The road which we should be making is “straight”, not crooked, meandering or deviant, but “straight”, honest, principled and holy. We, in our fallen state, have made paths that wander aimlessly, without a true and pure purpose and all too often to nurture our own selfish desires;

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way,

and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

John was the herald of the coming Messiah, and as we move on from the season of advent, the birth of Christ, and into a new year, with all of its hopes and fears in these troubling times, perhaps we need to reflect on the proclamation of the kingdom of God in our own time and place: ponder on our call for the road to be made straight.

Only a few days have elapsed since we listened with joy to the Christmas carol, “Hark, the Herald Angels sing…” listen! Hear the proclaiming messengers! We still have wonderful news to proclaim and a road to make straight for our God and Saviour, and we are the messengers. - Iain

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail, the Sun of righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings.

Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die;

born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.

Hark! the herald-angels sing 'Glory to the new-born King!'

(Charles Wesley 1707-88)


Page last updated: 3rd January 2021 5:49 AM