Sunday 26th April 2020

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Sunday 26th April 2020

Holy! Holy! Holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;

Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

(Reginald Heber 1783-1826)

Listen to YouTube: ‘Shane & Shane Holy, holy, holy lyrics’

Read: Isaiah 6: 1-7

Did you notice that in this description of the glorious holiness of God, that even the angels have to cover their faces as they cannot confront the glorious Holiness of God! What does the word ‘holy’ mean to you?

Special, set apart, free from impurity are words which help me to understand more fully this word ‘Holy’ which we use so often in our worship especially when we describe the Spirit of God which dwells with each of us who has declared our faith in Jesus as Saviour and Lord.

66 years ago the part of our premises where we like to gather on a Sunday morning was opened. Previously the people had gathered in a wooden building in Hawkesley Crescent, but on 3rd April 1954 a new chapter in the life of this church began with the opening of the building on Turves Green. The 25th April 1954 was the first occasion when the 33 members would share communion in their new building, and they decided to make it a Covenant Communion service.

This is the promise they made to God:

As a company of men and women who have individually experienced

 the new or spiritual birth, receiving Christ as our Saviour,

and thereby having become children of God,

we here and now dedicate ourselves to be a church of Jesus Christ

an habitation of God through the Spirit,

united to walk worthily of our profession,

for the preaching of His Word, the observance of His ordinances,

and for such other labours for the salvation of our fellow-men (& women)

and the well-being of the world

as God by His grace may lead and enable us to undertake.

Some of the phrases in their covenant promise to God might not be how we would say things today, but their intention is the same as our current concise Mission Statement: ‘To make Christ’s love known through worship, words and actions’

The phrase from their covenant promise which grabbed my attention was how they described each of us as being ‘an habitation of God through the Spirit’ I realise that often when I talk about the ever-present help of God’s Spirit, I focus on the help we receive through his presence and don’t very often remind us that it is only because of the blood of Jesus washing away our sin, that God sees us as being people where his HOLY Spirit can live. Pause and think about that – the holiness of God – the holiness Isaiah encountered - is present with each of us.

I’m guessing that like me, you find that quite difficult to comprehend - that such holiness can be present with us. The reason this can happen is because the bible describes how God sees us as righteous because of Jesus’ sacrifice (Romans ch.5). Because we are washed clean by Jesus’ death, God’s Spirit is able to dwell with us and as with everything about God his Spirit is holy (special, set apart, free from impurity).

Those church members 66 years ago, spoke about each of us who have received Jesus as our Saviour, being an habitation of God through his Spirit. That phrase indicates permanence – setting down roots - setting up home in our lives. God’s Holy Spirit doesn’t leave us just because we don’t feel his presence, or because some action or words make us realise how unworthy we are of his presence. God is under no illusion that we are in any way worthy, but has given us his Holy Spirit because Jesus is worthy, and through our faith in Jesus’ death he has imparted that worthiness to us.

Use these song lyrics as a prayer:

Holy Spirit we welcome You, Holy Spirit we welcome You!

Let the breeze of Your presence blow.

That Your children here may surely know,

How to move in the Spirit's flow,

Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, we' welcome You!

        Holy Spirit we welcome You, Holy Spirit we welcome You!

        Please accomplish in us today,

        Some new work of loving grace we pray,

        Unreservedly have Your way,

        Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, we welcome You!

                             Chris Bowater © 1987 Lifestyle Music Ltd

Listen to YouTube ‘No longer slaves Bridgette Morris’

Consider how, in your present circumstances, you can continue to

‘Make Christ’s love known through worship, words and actions.’

On the church Website go to gallery and look at the old photos of the building

I look forward to writing to you again on Wednesday - Stephen

Page last updated: 28th April 2020 8:37 AM