2. Oct, 2017

October Greetings from Ros

As I write this we are in the middle of celebrating Harvest, a time of thanksgiving as we remember God’s faithfulness in his care & provision for us.  This month we also move on to celebrating our Church Anniversary, a time when we look back & remember his faithfulness to us as his people in this place over many years.  So the thanksgiving continues.

Recently we’ve started to look at the book Of Joshua in our services.  It’s a fascinating book recording the entry into the Promised Land and its conquest by the Children of God.  I’ve been struck by the instruction of God to Joshua to take stone from the middle of the Jordan and build them into a memorial at the first place that they camp at on entering the Promised Land.  

In the future, when your children ask you, “What do these stones mean?” 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel for ever.’

Memorials play an important role in the life of God’s people in the Old Testament.  They were intended to remind people of God’s goodness as they reminded the people of the things God had done for his people. They were not intended to draw the focus on to the actions of the people but to act as reminders and to draw their focus on to God.  The intention was to bring the response of worship to God.

At Harvest we are reminded of God’s faithfulness in bringing the harvest and His care and provision for us on a daily basis.  As we celebrate our Church Anniversary we remind ourselves of God’s presence with us and his care and protection for us as a fellowship throughout our history.  It is a time of celebration and thanksgiving as we remind ourselves that God has been so good to us over the years.  He has been at work throughout the history of Swanwick Baptist Church.  We look back and remember his faithfulness.

Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.                                           Habakkuk 3:2

We see what he has done in the past and want him to do amazing things in our generation.  For this reason we make ourselves available to him to work through us in our service to him in the present.  As a result, it is also a time when we listen to what God is wanting to say to us in the present as we look forward to Him continuing to bless us in the future.  

I’ve been reading a book that focuses on Peter walking on the water, which insists that if you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat.  The writer of the book, John Ortberg, talks about the way we consider Peter to have failed at the point where he took his eyes off Jesus and focussed on the storm.  Ortberg makes the point that at least he got out of the boat and began to walk on the water whereas the other 11 were the real failures because they didn’t even get out of the boat!  Let’s get out of the boat to join Jesus in what he is doing in Swanwick.  We don’t know what the future holds but we do know that God will be there with us whatever it holds.  Jesus promised us that he would never leave us nor forsake us.  

Don’t be afraid... Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome…

Nehemiah 4:14                                       Love, Ros