2018 challenge

REACHING OUT… MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN 2018

(February 25, 2018) Brian Bell challenges…

One of my favourite songs contains a chorus which includes the phrase ‘It always makes a difference when Jesus passes by…’

The message of the song is derived from specific instances in the life of Jesus. The brief meditation I share here is based on one – with suggestions as to how he made a difference and how we may try to follow his example.

Our daughter was married back in 2002 and I well remember the effort we made and (to be honest) the money spent to try to ensure the wedding guests were comfortable and would enjoy their meal.

Remember the incident of the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John chapter 2)? Let’s recall how the presence of Jesus ensured the guests Cana guests were able to continue enjoying the wedding. (more…)

SHAPED BY UNITY IN 2018

(January 25, 2018) Tim Edwards shares some challenging post Christmas/pre-Easter/pre-Pentecost reflections…

To many Christmas 2017 is long gone! It’s almost the 30th of January 2018 already! We’re rushing towards another 30thEaster’s Good Friday… the 30th of March! In fact I’ve seen some Easter eggs and hot-cross buns in supermarkets already!

As we move ahead in 2018 our church is continuing to work our way through the Cover to Cover Bible with daily scripture readings. But – although we’re definitely moving forward – I feel led of God to share some thoughts that came to me last December that are so relevant for moving forward in 2018.

For example, I recall we found ourselves in what appeared to be the somewhat strange predicament of pre-Christmas preparations while studying scriptures traditionally associated with Easter!

Strong link between Easter and Christmas
The more I read, thought and prayed, the more I realised that the link between Christmas and Easter is so strong, so real, tangible and necessary.

Easter, the suffering and death and resurrection of Christ, couldn’t have happened without Christmas (the birth of Christ) and by the same token Christmas is simply not complete without Easter – they are two components of the same story; both vitally important and eternally joined.

Jesus himself drew the link between the two events in the middle of his trial at the hands of the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate: he referred back to the first Christmas and said, ‘The reason I was born and came into this world is to testify to the truth’ (John 18:37).

As he stood there approaching the designated time of his death, Jesus reminded the listening crowd of his birth, thereby joining the dots and bridging the gap for them by explaining what it was all about – that he came to testify to the truth, truth that would bring humanity into relationship with a loving God. (more…)