Sunday 26th July
Life of Paul – Prisoner
This week we will be continuing in our series, looking at the life of Paul. We will be looking at Paul being a prisoner, and thinking about how God’s work is everywhere. The reading will from Acts 16:16-40
Song: Amazing grace, my chains are gone
Thinking about what we’ve been looking at Paul – his life and all he went through, I came to Isaiah 61. We can apply the words to him, but also to ourselves in our own situation.
As I read this, it started about the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord being upon me – that’s like Paul, and then it moves on to the release from darkness for prisoners – and that fits in with today, looking at Paul as prisoner.
But as I read down, it also talked about rebuilding ancient ruins, and restoring places long devastated. That renewal and rebuilding can also be applied to us as a church as well. Before this coronavirus hit, we’d started to talk with Partnership, and thinking about where we’re going as a church, and how to move forward from where we are. Everything’s had to change because of the virus, so even more now we need to look at what we need to do going forward. We had a meeting earlier this week with Alistair (from Partnership) to talk about the next steps, so hopefully there will be a continuing involvement with him, helping us forward. He’s looking to meet with us all around September time, so hopefully that will be helpful.
It is going to be about rebuilding. In some ways, starting again as a church, looking at where we are and where we need to go, and the things God is calling us to do – which might be different. Paul had to change his way of thinking right at the start of Paul’s journey when he met Jesus. Perhaps for us as a church we’re in this time of rebuilding and seeking God’s face. So over the next few weeks, perhaps as we start meeting together again we can start to talk about some of those things. There will be things we will always be doing – meeting together, worshipping, having communion, etc. But in terms of reaching out to others around us to proclaim God’s kingdom, to be those people being called to be a witness for Him.
We’re not doing this alone! As Isaiah 61:1 says – God’s spirit is upon us. There is power in the name of Jesus!
Song: There is power in the name of Jesus
Song: Before the throne of God above
Reading: Acts 16:16-40 dramatised in the following video:
Song: You alone can rescue
We’ll be looking at Paul being a preacher, and thinking about speaking to people in a way they understand. The reading will be from Acts 17:16-34