Living in the light of eternity - Part 2, 7th Nov 2016
7th Nov 2016
Living in the light of eternity - Part 2
‘At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. ‘At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” ‘Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.” ‘“No,” they replied, “there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.” ‘But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 ‘Later the others also came. “Lord, Lord,” they said, “open the door for us!” ‘But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.” ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.' Matthew 25:1-13
I want to make a confession; as a Christian I have given very little focus to eternity and the life to come. The sad thing about that as a pastor is that I haven’t helped my people as much as I might have done. I could have pointed them to future reward and joy to encourage them as they patiently endure the trials of today. We are a now people who like things to be instant and immediate. Over the next few weeks in my update we will look at these issues.
The above passage shows us that whilst things are not always done in our time, in God’s timing things will always get done. The question and challenge is will we be ready when the bridegroom arrives, or will we in our desire for instant and immediate gratification, not prepare ourselves properly for his coming and so miss out? That was the way of the foolish virgins. On the face of it, nothing major separated the two groups, however, some prepared themselves ahead of time others did not. It was only in that moment that it became obvious who was and who was not ready. Yet they would have all had the same opportunity to prepare themselves. It is not a secret or mysterious thing to do that only some of us see, it is partly a choice and definitely influenced by our ability to resist the pull of the immediate and instant. Which group are you in?
Last week - The week before last was half term and we were away for the week. You may not know but I went and spoke at City Church Cambridge on 23rd Oct, we had a really encouraging time there. Last week I met up with Phill Gray who leads the Newday team. Pauline and I have begun our short season of marriage preparation with a couple of couples within the church. We are fitting in three sessions with each couple before Christmas. It was great to welcome back Bill Wilson the vicar of St Stephen’s in Stockwell to our churches together prayer morning on Wed.
Hylton update - Over half term, we had the privilege of going to Eurodisney, through an amazing gift someone gave us. We took the girls and had a great time. Initially we were a little concerned that the girls might feel too old, but nothing could have been further from the truth. They loved it and so did we, although I no longer do anything other than family kind of rides and even one of those was a little hair raising for me! I would highly recommend Eurodisney for people with older kids or even 20 somethings, it is well worth it.
20th No - Baptism (so far two people have said they want to be baptised).
4th De - visiting speaker Rev Ben Goodyear
13th De - Food for the Soul Carol Service with mince pies and refreshments
18th De - Beacon Christmas Carol Service by candlelight followed by mince pies and mulled wine.