As I write this article spring is well upon us, the sun is out, blossom is on the trees, the birds are singing and flowers are in full bloom. Yet eight weeks ago we were in the grip of a second icy blast from the East, having to cancel some meetings and the service I was due to take at Chisworth. What a dramatic transformation!
In May we had the Mary Magdalene film showing at Central. One of the things that struck me was how the disciples are portrayed as being very focused on God restoring Israel to the Jews. They kept asking Jesus, when in Jerusalem, “Is this the time?”, basically they were looking to Jesus to overthrow the Romans.
During the ten days of prayer ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, between Jesus’ Ascension and Pentecost, I was struck by the dramatic transformation in attitude of the disciples. They ask the risen Jesus, in Acts 1v6 before his Ascension, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” Despite their three years with Jesus and him teaching about how different God’s Kingdom is to Jewish expectations, they still did not get it. They had witnessed Jesus arrest. When he was crucified they had lost hope and then his appearances to them following his resurrection, their hope was reignited. Yet they still had the wrong vision about God’s Kingdom.
The current situation in Jerusalem must be offensive to God. Jerusalem can be translated as ‘city of peace’! Yet, religious tensions have lasted centuries. Maybe, at the heart of this, is a failure to recognise that God’s Kingdom is not centred on a place but on having Him central in our lives.
So, what changed at Pentecost? Jesus had told the disciples to ‘be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ (Acts 1v6). In the following days they took time to pray and reflect on Jesus' life and instructions to them. But, it was at Pentecost when they were dramatically transformed, for on that day the disciples' hearts and purposes were changed. Beyond the dramatic signs accompanying the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, including signs of wind and fire; and the speaking in foreign tongues so foreigners could understand – the Holy Spirit of God brought transformation. The gift of the Holy spirit, the spirit of truth, breathed into them the truth about the Kingdom of God which they had failed to grasp properly when Jesus was with them. That God’s Kingdom lives and grows in each one of us who believe and live out the Kingdom values Jesus taught us:- Love one another. Forgive those who have wronged you. Love your enemies. Have compassion on the poor and needy.
These are not easy commands but when we give them priority in our lives we can begin to transform the world. We cannot do this on our own, which is why we need the support and fellowship of other believers; through reflecting on Jesus’ teaching, praying, sharing, worship, witnessing to God’s love, we and our communities can be transformed – it is the way of the Kingdom – it is the example handed down to us and one we would do well to continue, if we want to see God’s Kingdom grow.
May God’s spirit be with you, inspire and keep you in the love of God.
Rev. Michael Grimsley
(Minister Hadfield Methodist Church - 01457 852422 - Day off: Mondays)
Update: Annual Church Meeting
At the annual church meeting we agreed to think about ways in which we can encourage each other to grow in our faith and keep connected. Several suggestions were made. If you think that you would be interested in any of the following, please sign the sheet at the back of church, or email Caroline.
Details of all these are also on the sheets at the back of church.
NB This is not a definite commitment just an expression of interest. You may also have your own other excellent ideas. Please use the suggestion box in the church porch.
|24||Jose||Kath||Kath L & Marion T|
|Thursday Thought coffee|
|3||Jose and Dorothy|
|17||Gweneth and Ken|
|24||Jose and Dorothy|
Don’t miss out on things you would like to go to:
Please ask if you would like a lift to any event. Those of us who drive are more than happy to help, and would welcome your company.
Dates for your Diary
|Tue 5th||7.30pm Circuit Bible Study on Jonah at Hadfield (session 1)|
|Wed 6th||Service at Willowbank Home. 2.30pm All Welcome|
|Sun 10th||Methodist Homes for the Aged Sunday|
|Sun 10th||Circuit Bible Month (Jonah) activity day (3:30-5:00pm) followed by Praise service at 6:00pm, Hollingworth|
|Tue 12th||7.30pm Circuit Bible Study on Jonah at Zion (session 2)|
|Sat 16th||Safeguarding Training at Central. 10:00am-12:00noon|
|Tue 19th||7.30pm Circuit Bible Study on Jonah at Chisworth (session 3)|
|Wed 20th||Drop in Lunch for the over 55s 12:00noon to 1:30pm|
|Tue 26th||7.30pm Circuit Bible Study on Jonah at Central (session 4)|
|Thu 24th||Witnessing our Faith: session 4, Adult Cell Group, 7.45pm in the Cellar. All Welcome|
|Wed 27th||F&GP Meeting Central 7.45pm|
|Sun 1st||Sunday School Anniversary. 10.30am Bruce Levitan, 2.30pm Rev Mike Grimsley.|
|Fri 6th||Summer Supper, Hollingworth 7:00pm|
|Sat 7th||Summer family BBQ. Central 4:00-6:00pm.|
|Every week:||*Term time only|
|Sunday:||10.30 am Morning Service & Sunday School|
|Monday:||10.00am – 12.00 noon Feeding Together Drop-in session. Information and support regarding infant feeding and time to meet other parents. (Not Bank Holidays)|
|Tuesday:||6.30-9.00pm. Table Tennis|
|Wednesday:||6-7.30pm Rainbow Brownies*|
|Thursday:||9.30-10.00am Thursday Thought, followed by Coffee 10.00-11.00am|
|1.30-2.45pm Active Parents Exercise Session|
|Friday:||1.15-3.00pm Toddler Group
6.45-8.00pm Youth Station - Youth Club for 8-13s*