Lectionary Readings 18th July 2021
Jeremiah 23.1-16; Psalm 23; Ephesians 2.11-22; Mark 6.30-34,53-56
Eternal God, in Christ you make yourself our guest. Amid all our cares and concerns make us attentive to your voice and alert to your presence, that we may prize your word above all else. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
With sadness we learn of the death of Mary Robinson who passed away peacefully with family present at Lancaster Court Residential Home on 8th July.
Mary had been a loyal member of Ainsdale Methodist Church for many years worshipping regularly on Sunday mornings, singing in the Vocal Group and then with OCTAVE.
We send our love and condolences to Sarah and all of Mary’s family.
Mary’s funeral service will be in church on Monday, 26th July, at 12 noon.
The bible study group will meet at 10.30am in the garden at Ainsdale Methodist Church on Tuesday 20th July – Luke 3 Vs 1-22. All welcome.
Wednesday 21st July at 10am. Will be in the garden weather permitting. All welcome.
Morning & Evening Services
For the Autumn preaching plan early morning communion services and evening services will be offered at Churches across the circuit. This will be reviewed after a trial period. Lifts will be offered to these services where transport is a problem.
Prayer Handbook 2021-2022
If you would like a copy of the new Prayer Handbook for the Connexional year starting in September please sign the list in the porch or contact Gill Hemmings (firstname.lastname@example.org 01704 573210). The cost this year will be £4.50.
Coffee after Church
This week coffee after church will begin at 12 noon . All are welcome whether you have attended church or chosen to stay at home .
Please note the notices on 1st August will be the last for 4 weeks until September. Any notices for this period need to be received by Tuesday 27th July. Thank you.
Out of the Darkness
Recently, on trying to talk about ‘Joy’ to help people come to terms with the present post-covid situation, I found myself discussing Darkness. It was necessary somehow in order to get around to the subject that I wanted to arrive at. I guess we cannot ever get to our destination without first leaving our front door! We read in the very first sentences of the bible that everything began with being in the dark. Gen.1v2 ‘Darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.’ There is a line in a song that says ‘The darkness can never stop the light from getting through’. However dark a place is the light always gets in somehow!
There is of course another kind of darkness, this one gets into our head and clouds the mind. This can be so dark that it prevents us from functioning, sometimes affecting us so severely that it spoils our relationships with family, friends and those we work with. This is the darkness we encounter when responsibilities get on top of us and can disable us so that we lose control.
There is a relationship between darkness and light, the two go together but one always comes with the other, as though a bond is between them, like one needs the other to survive.
2Samuel 22v29 says, ‘you are a lamp, o Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.’
Read Job 11vs13-18.
What is the writer saying here? Again it is about confessing our sins in order to petition the lord for help and in doing so he will listen and answer your prayer.
How on earth did darkness get into this I wanted Joy and lots of it! I wanted light! We are all nearing the end of a period where we have been shut up inside our homes, some of us for months, as though a war has occurred, without the bombs and the fighting but with the loss of life that might be associated with such an event. We are coping with trying to come to terms with this and would want to remember this time with respect dignity and prayer which unites us all, unbelievers included, what we all want now is to see some light and happiness.
Ah! We have had the darkness and discovered that it is very hard to stop the light from getting through. Paul found this out on the road to Damascus when his heart was black and determined to persecute all Christians. He relates his story to King Agrippa in Acts; you can refresh your mind by reading Acts 26v12-18.
This passage is proof that that God sent Jesus to bring the good news to the gentiles (and the Jews if they would listen) and bring everyone out of the darkness.
Here then is much ‘JOY’ in the knowledge of the revelation that
Jesus is the light of the world and can turn darkness to light and forgive
the past bringing great joy into our lives.
If you have a few minutes turn to Isaiah 35. It is all about redemption
and the ‘joy’ that is experienced by those who know the Lord.
Chris Hall (Senior Steward, Leyland Road)