“3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – Galations 1:3-5
Those are the opening words of the apostle Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia.
How would we begin a letter to the people who live around us?
Throughout the recent “More” series of midweek meetings, prayer gatherings and Sunday services, I mentioned thour one the our primary needs as a Parish is to communicate clearly in several directions.
If we are people who feel called to be more like Jesus then the messages we are consciously and unconsciously sending out to God, to one another, and to the community we are privileged to engage with are very important.
I am currently trying to crystallise all the teaching of our More Like Jesus series into one document that will give us something to work through together in an ongoing way and will act as a statement of our hopes as a parish that will share a good news message with those who wonder what we stand for.
It was pointed out to me recently that, like the apostle Peter, we sometimes need to hear the truth more than once before we grasp it. Each week of the series we talked about allowing God’s spirit to change us, to grant us growth and to help us to put off anything that might hinder us in our discipleship.
We are about to enter what will be a very significant (and very busy) period in our parish life. The Parish hall refurbishment programme nears its completion and the results will be very impressive indeed! This will be quickly followed by the necessary work of the Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. All this capital expenditure will require us to pull together in a concerted effort.
We are also looking forward to the annual Art Exhibition and the excitement of the Christmas Tree Festival. Again, these events will need considerable commitment from the Parish family.
At times like this, we are especially conscious that we need the daily renewing power of God’s spirit as we support one another.
I assure you of my prayers to that end – as I end the way Paul concludes that same letter to the Galations:
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen” – Galatians 6