Sept '10

 

To know Christ and to make him known

 

Dear Friends,

I hope that those of you who have managed to have a holiday are refreshed and restored.  I have certainly valued time off to pray, read, think, exercise, visit friends, go away, plan, reclaim the garden, sort out things in the house etc..  Doesn’t sound relaxing, I know, but it has been a time to refocus and lay foundations. Thinking back to the holidays I have enjoyed most, I always go back to the family holidays on the Norfolk Broads when we could enjoy sailing as well as visit the nearby coast.

I have been thinking of sailing as an analogy which can be applied to the church.  I wonder what sort of sailing boat our church is ?  Some churches are like the Victory or the Cutty Sark (when restored!).  They stand there as magnificent reminders of past glories but are no longer carrying out the function for which they were made.  The Victory is no longer engaged in battle and is a reminder of battles won in the past. In their day the ‘tea clippers’ were magnificent in full sail and reigned supreme for much of the 19th century, but the opening of the Suez canal in 1869 brought that dominance to an end. They no longer trade though some tall ships are used occasionally for youthful adventure and training.

Such ships experienced difficult conditions. The sea could be very rough as storms created havoc and the ships were totally reliant on the wind for their energy and direction. So too with our church, we are totally reliant on the wind of God’s Holy Spirit to guide us and to be our source of energy.  Some days will be calm and others stormy, but in order to move forward we need as many sails as possible unfurled and seeking to catch the wind. We need to ask God to fill us and empower us.  At the Church Prayer Meeting on Saturday 31st July, there was a great sense that we needed to repent and to seek the leading of God’s Spirit in both our personal and corporate church lives. Once we are on board and obeying the Captain’s orders, we will make good headway whatever the weather.  We need to trust in His navigation and in the course He sets for us as a church.

I hope you will be refreshed and ready to study the book of Ephesians this Autumn. It will form part of the sermon series and the studies at house groups. So why not read through Ephesians at one sitting, and also look at the introductory comments elsewhere in this edition of the Link.  I look forward to joining with you, as together we learn from God’s Word.

With love to you all,

David


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