I have set up a sermon site, so if you want to access last weeks sermon on 'New Beginnings' you can find it HERE. Written copies will also be available in the church foyer.
So.... on to my second Sunday. I am going to continue looking at the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah that speak of a time of new beginnings for the people of Israel.At the same time I'm starting a short series titled 'I Believe...' I felt it would be helpful for the process of 'getting to know your new pastor' to outline some of the things I consider important in Christian ministry. Sunday14th September we'll be taking on the theme 'I believe in the Church' and looking at Ezra 3:1-6.
Some have suggested that the idea of the church was one of the most outlandish that Jesus ever had. The whole idea of gathering a group of unrelated people, who have very little in common, and then telling them that, through their love for each other, the world will be transformed, does not sound like a recipe for global domination.
The mystery is that over the centuries the church has not only survived, but in many places continues to thrive. The global focus of the church shifts and changes with every generation, yet despite her fractured state and her many failures, the church continues to proclaim a message of good news to a bad news world.
Involvement with the church has changed my life. That's why I'm here. I hope by being here I can encourage others to catch a vision of the possibilities that are open to them if they commit themselves to being part of a faith community. It can not only change our personal world, but through our lives impact our communities, our nation and the whole of creation in positive ways.
Hope to see you Sunday. Or if you are reading this from afar, I hope that wherever life leads you this week, you will somewhere along the way have an opportunity to connect with the outlandish idea of Jesus, collectively known as 'Church'.