"Make yourselves at home with me & my words are at home in you"

‘If you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon’.

(The Message John 15 v. 7)

Some people love the season of autumn, a season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ (John Keats); and this autumn has been spectacular with amazing colours of deep reds, orange and yellows as the trees turn in anticipation of another season soon to confront us, winter. As you read this clocks will have already changed which is when I mourn the season of summer!

So autumn is a season of change as are all seasons. Listening to the gardener of Stourhead in Dorset on the radio this afternoon he described autumn as a season of change, but also one of new life, because all the seeds that drop and die during autumn are in preparation of new birth and growth for the following year. This made me reflect and think that this is the life of God’s people too – we are continually in seasons of change – and though painful I know for some – we have to die to some things in order to bring forth new life in other areas of ministry and mission for the Kingdom of God to grow, and King Jesus to reign supreme.

As we think of seasons we remember that at St. Mark’s we continue to be in our season of invitation, and with the season of Christmas approaching we are going to have a number of opportunities to invite people to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Three scriptures that continue to challenge me are John 15 and hence the above verse. It is His words that need to be at home in us, which also leads me to the sermon I recently spoke on from Matthew Ch.7 verses 24 – 28 ‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock’.

Lastly, my bible readings over the past week have been from ‘1 Thessalonians’ and a verse that spoke to me powerfully was Paul’s word saying, ‘We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers’.

I am wondering whether God is only asking me to be more soaked in His Word, focussing on Him, and thereby enabling me to be more bold in inviting others to hear the great news of what Jesus has done for the world, and the whole of humanity, or whether it might be a larger ‘ask’ of us all? What I love about John 15 is that in verse 11 he says, ‘I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete’!

In the 6.30 pm service we have been looking at ‘Pursuing Joy in different circumstances’ and I think we have realised, through Jesus’ and Paul’s teaching, we can only know the joy of Jesus when we are abiding in Him, and His words are abiding in us’.

To you all who read this blog please pray, read God’s word and have the courage to invite someone to the various services that are happening during December. God’s Word to Joshua, ‘I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous: do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1: v 9).

We have taken the bold decision to put on two carol services at 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm on Sunday 18th December, and two Crib Services on Christmas Eve at 3.30 pm and 5pm with the Midnight Service at 11.15 pm, and our Christingle Service at 11 am on 4th December. So there are lots of opportunities!

Great blessings as you step out and obey Jesus’ command – ‘Go and make disciples of all nations – perhaps a good place is where we find ourselves on our frontlines in the coming weeks as we journey towards Advent and Christmas.

‘If you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon’.

(The Message John 15 v. 7)

Autumn Blessings,

Hennie

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St Mark's Church,

St Mark's Road,

Saltney,

Chester,

CH4 8DE

 

Registered Charity Number: 1130731