Today is a new chapter in the life of Christ Church. Normally the notices would be accompanied by Ross’ blog. Incidentally, you can still read Ross’ blog by going to www.moughtin.com.
As part of this new chapter, I am considering what will be attached to the weekly notices. I have decided not to write a blog, instead I will be offering a contemplation on a verse of scripture, issue or news story. It may be once a month or more frequently. It is a work in progress!
New chapters and beginnings have been a big part of my work during this week. Last Saturday, I married Niki and John and prayed for God to be part of their new beginning as husband and wife. This week I spent time with families who are bringing their children to be baptised at Christ Church later this month, again a new beginning. Some people in our congregation have also started a new chapter leading, preaching or reading for the very first time in church.
New beginnings can happen any time in our lives; sometimes they may not be of our choosing. When we lose a loved one we experience a great sense of loss and hopelessness. Yet it’s comforting to remember that the seemingly greatest loss of all, Jesus’ death, resulted in the best new beginning ever —Jesus’ resurrection.
The Christian faith teaches that a new start is always possible. It is provided by a personal encounter with the risen and living Jesus Christ. He offers the opportunity and the resources to make a new start, despite all circumstances or failings.
The Bible records many encouraging examples of people who were able to start again after encountering Jesus. These include a woman caught in adultery who was facing execution by an outraged community, a hated tax collector named Zacchaeus who had been collaborating with the enemy, and Peter, the close friend of Jesus who publicly disowned him.
As Christ Church starts a new chapter, may I encourage us all to take stock of our own lives and ask the question “ What areas in my life would benefit from a new start?”
The Bible describes God’s promises of mercy as ‘new every morning’. We read in Lamentations 3:22-23
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
So on this brand new Friday morning what new start can you make? Why not take this opportunity to go and sit quietly in church which is open 9am – 9pm every day until 20th May. Ask God to help you make a new start.