Last weekend was truly a “celebration weekend”, celebrating the great things God has done over the last 25 years as John and Tessa have ministered among us. It was great to be reminded on Friday evening of the miracles God worked to enable us to buy and to fit out the church and the manse. But what I found most touching were the testimonies of lives transformed. Saturday afternoon and evening were a lot of fun. My abiding memory will be of the way the chairs were all put back in 10 minutes flat by a human chain passing them out from the crèche room: What teamwork! The Sunday services were inspirational. Chris Short’s message was just right both to challenge us and to make us appreciate the eternal significance of John and Tessa’s work here. John’s passionate call to “Fight the good fight of the faith” summed up his ministry and stirred our hearts. At the end John and I looked out from the pulpit over a church full of groups praying fervently for each other. It was a glorious sight!
So what now? Forward! Onward! We have been reminded of what a great God we have. We have been reminded of what a great body of people gather here. Our values and our principles are clear: We are a Christ-Centred, Bible-Believing, People-Loving community, following Jesus together. Now we need the faith and the courage to live that out. There is a battle raging for the souls of men. We are daily faced with the choice of whether to opt out or to engage with that battle. Brothers and sisters let us not be passive, but active for the Kingdom of God! We must engage, first with God, to call down the resources of Heaven, and then with men and women to share the truth of the Gospel and the love of Jesus. It will not be easy. There are battles to come. Let us be like the saints of Revelation 12 who won victory over Satan:
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Yours in Christ,
Ian Thompson (Acting pastor)