Church News – February 2022

From the Sanctuary

As we come out of the month of January, and enter February, so we exit the season in the Christian calendar called ‘Epiphany’. Next will come Lent (but not for a few weeks yet). Epiphany is all about the visit of the Wise Men (or Magi) to Jesus, at his birth. However, the last we hear of them in the Gospels is in Matthew 2: 12, which says, ‘Then they returned to their country by another road, since God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod’.

Then they returned to their country by another road… During the last eighteen months, I have felt lucky not to have to travel to work in Chester as much, because almost all of my work can be done ‘From the Sanctuary’ via my computer and internet. However, the times that I have had to go into Chester, have meant having to find ‘another road’ as the A51 has been closed completely in one part, where the road has been gradually slipping into the canal, near Barbridge. I guess that the Highways department took advantage of the quieter traffic flow, in order to carry out the major roadworks – which certainly needed doing. At first, I found this disruption to my usual routine to be a nuisance as I had to leave home earlier and find a different way; but then I began to embrace it as an opportunity (and a challenge) to find new routes to work – each taking me through parts of Cheshire that I had never ventured in before. Much of my new routes took me through really beautiful countryside and villages which I may go back to and look around on my bike (when/if I get any time to do so), as some of it has been through gorgeous country roads, with some stunning scenery and village architecture.

I wonder if the Magi felt inconvenienced by having to return to their country by another road, as we often do when the journey of life doesn’t happen as we plan it to happen? Yet, as for them, often, God is in it. We can see God’s presence (and possibly purpose) if we are able to stand back from our annoyance and frustration, and sink into a new sense of wonder and opportunity to do things differently, and see or experience things that we have never had the opportunity to experience before.

What things that you would like to happen in the usual way, aren’t happening in the way you think they should? Can you step back from your disappointment and frustration, and see God in what is being enabled? For if, and when, you do, peace and delight can often replace the angst. God is in it.

I wish you every blessing,

Services will start again in church from Sunday 6th Feb.

God So Loved the World

‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ (John 3:16)

This month, as we mark St Valentines’ Day, we focus on the importance of love. In understanding the way God loves us, this verse shows us how we should love others. God’s love is unconditional: God demonstrated His unconditional love for us by sending His Son into this world, to show us how we should love others, especially when it is undeserved! ‘There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.’ (Philip Yancey).

God’s love is sacrificial: God’s love is not selfish or self-seeking, but selfless and self-sacrificial, putting the needs of others first. This is demonstrated by the cross, which is the supreme demonstration of God’s love. He died for our sins to give us access to God’s love, which is made real in our lives by the Holy Spirit.

God’s love is forgiving: According to the film Love Story, Love means never having to say you’re sorry.’ Yet Jesus’ love for us enables us to forgive others, as we find His forgiveness through the gift of eternal life, available to all who put their trust in Him.

In this World Cup Year, we remember Bobby Moore describing the terror of receiving the World Cup from the Queen in 1966: “I noticed that the Queen was wearing some beautiful white gloves. I looked down at my hands and they were completely covered with mud!”

Although we approach God with dirty and spoilt lives, because of His love, we can shake hands with a holy God and share that love with others.

Five famous quotes from Desmond Tutu

The recent death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu was mourned around the world. Here are five of his more famous quotes, which show why he was so especially honoured for his justice and reconciliation work in South Africa.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” 

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” 

“Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument. Good sense does not always lie with the loudest shouters, nor can we say that a large, unruly crowd is always the best arbiter of what is right.” 

“Forgiving is not forgetting; it’s actually remembering – remembering and not using your right to hit back. It’s a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you don’t want to repeat what happened.”

“Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realise our need of one another.” 

What’s on in February 2022

Each Tuesday
this month
Bible Study on Zoom7 pm
led by Br Peter
11 am
Monday7thChurch Committee on Zoom7 pm
Wednesday9thM.W.A. Meeting in Church1.15 pm
led by Br John
11 am
led by Br Peter
11 am
led by Sr Susan Flint
11 am