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Diary

July 2017

D1

 

 

Regular(ish) Weekly Events

W1Sunday Service and Sunday School as normal at 10 a.m. for coffee (or tea, or whatever). Service at 10.30 a.m.

Second Sunday of every month has always been scheduled for an evening get-together of praise, worship and sharing. And we have had so many wonderful evenings doing just that. Unfortunately, it has proved difficult for some and had been temporarily discontined. But it will recontinue soon - I sincerely hope - with a more relaxed format of prayer and worship, and possibly in the cafe - where so many early-days KCF Sunday meetings were held. As the saying goes, Watch this space!

Tuesday evening Bible Studies for July: unless otherwise stated will be at the home of Anne and Nigel, or until the prodigal returns home.
The Drop-in Prayer meeting on Monday continues on July 3rd at Sarah’s home. Beginning at 8p., Drop in whenever and leave the same way.

(This a new initiative and so far (two meetings) it has proven very encouraging. August's home will be at Peter and Sheila's.)

Tuesday evenings, 8pm as above
Bible Study - We’re still loving The Revelation of St John and it continues to stimulate interest and theories, and remains very thought-provoking. It is a grim reminder that the end times will demonstrate the depth of G’d wrath and yet even then, the breadth of His mercy.

Wednesday evenings, 7:30 pm

During this period of holidays etc. we will learn the next week’s host at the meetings. Next Wednesday - July 5th - will be at Sylvia’s.
Bible Study -This study is well into the Book of Leviticus; and it has provided much more learning than perhaps was expected, particularly in our understand of just what Christ achieved at the cross.

Friday Lunch:
The Talking Donkey - The Talking Donkey is where good things happen, where people are blessed, where the staff go home ready for a rest, and where God is good, all the time.

Friday Evening:
The Youth - remains what it is, a place, a refuge for those that are perhaps not always welcome at other clubs. Do pray for the staff, for it is an immense commitment and their faithfulness is to be commended and covered in prayer..

Saturday Morning:
Mens Prayer Meeting - Men’s Prayer Meeting. Has indeed restarted. And as before is indeed at The Garage, 11 Morar Place, beginning around 8am. It’s there and will continue to be there, God willing, attended or not attended. Even i missed last week, slept in.

Sunday Mornings:

Sylvia’s at 8:30 a.m. Faithful and continuing. If you have a little time before church, yes I know!, but if you do it would be well worth a visit. As with the Youthy, nothing to add.

 

Pastor’s Word

Once or twice or probably more, the Diary - as does our Sunday services - deviates from the accepted norm (is there such a state in KCF?), and moves onto an unexpected road. This is one of these times. Why? Perhaps it is (a) because I’d forgotten it was that time of the month and desperately needed to ‘fill in’, or (b) - more acceptable to me - because this is a thought I’ve wanted to bring to the Fellowship for a while but had no place to give it i.e. (a) well short of a sermon, (b) too long for the Diary’s Pastor’s Word. But as there is not time enough (Friday evening) to harass and nag brothers and sisters for a contribution, I have two pages to fill. And that is good! To air my niggles, that is - not necessarily supply the answers.


"O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you?"
This sentence has bothered scholars, teachers and others for generations, and it’s even more bothersome if read out of context, so please take a moment here and read Mark 9:14-19. It follows immediately upon the Transfiguration when Jesus with Peter, James and John returned from the mountain and walked straight into a minor furore.


Assuming you've now read the passage, I’ll continue. "How long am I to bear with you?" That question in itself is a little disconcerting. Is this Jesus really asking this question of His most faithful followers? Okay, rather less than perfect, nevertheless a faithful bunch of ordinary folk who had given more than most to follow Him, Jesus. I will say before I continue that I can find no real agreement, or consensus of opinion amongst the well-respected commentators of the Bible as to whom our LORD was addressing; the disciples, the crowd, or indeed the entire Israeli nation. Which is quite good because commentaries tend to make one lazy - at least in my case. So here is my pennyworth, I believe it was his disciples Jesus was addressing, and here is why.


The disciples, it seems, had been sent out with the full power of God at their disposal, to heal, to exorcise the possessed, to perform miracles and many other signs and wonders in the Name of the One Whose Name is above all names - our Lord Jesus Christ. And it seems very feasible to me that this mission, this extremely successful mission, would have bred in them, perhaps not a complacency, but certainly an air of confidence that, when it failed, left these men bereft of ideas. In short, these men had had it easy! Is that an awful comment to make, is it bordering on blasphemy? No, because we look at them in the light of what happens later, when Jesus is dead, and they face the hate of the world alone - seemingly. Their behaviour is, in the main, exemplary; totally in keeping with the Lord Jesus’s example. But right now they are riding the crest of the wave, a never-ending wave that hasn’t yet cast them into its trough. Until now.
Now, their surfboard is cracked, the waves are too powerful, they are adrift in a sea of ignorance and misunderstanding, they have forgotten the prime directive of their faith, they have gone in the strength of the LORD, but made the fatal error of believing it was theirs: that they alone were responsible for the healings, the dispossessing of the possessed, the exorcism of evil spirits. Of course they knew in their hearts it was all being done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but yet they were sure that their word was enough. They had forgotten where their strength came from, they had ignored - or misplaced - the spring from which all living words flowed: the waters of life.

And so, our Lord Jesus Christ, perhaps in agony of their ignorance, perhaps in sheer frustration, perhaps in, Father God, please, please help me, cries out, O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.
Then He explained why. And He told them, This kind can come out by nothing but prayer.

For me it comes down to my biggest, or one of my many biggest, failings, Doing anything in my own strength, basing my words or actions on experience, or similar occasions before. Forgetting that nothing that befalls us is the same as before, every experience is new, and every happening requires the blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Christians there is nothing too small to bring before Him, and nothing to large that cannot be accomplished with Him.
We are an interdependent people, but dependant entirely on God, on His love, on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the leading of the Holy Spirit. It does not matter a jot how much experience we have, how may gifts we employ, how often we've faced similar situations - unless we bring Christ into every situation we will ultimately fail, for He is the only foundation, the only rock on which we may build every aspect of out lives. And the more I think about this, the more I am reminded of our Standing Orders,

Rejoice always! Pray constantly.
Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Don’t stifle the Spirit. Don’t despise prophecies, but test all things.
Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.

What could be worse than to hear those words, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you?" Or better than to hear, Well done, good and faithful slave! The choice is ours, solely ours, no-one else can make the decision for us, and there is no-one else we can blame. There is a line in a song by Kris Kristofferson, which reads, Freedom’s just another word, for nothing else to lose. It reflects, I believe, the inherent cynicism and pessimism of the world in which we live, where the surface reflects noise and wonder, tinsel and gold, and everything we could want within hands reach. But it hides the depths, that place where children kill themselves, where couples meet and part and rejoin with others, where babies are aborted for cosmetic reasons where.…it is a litany of horror and despair. And then we may begin to think we understand Jesus’s words, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you?" Then we remember, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.


We are free, free to meet together, free to do His will, free from real persecution, free from the restrictions of man-made traditions and formalities, free to serve as Jesus served. The greatest freedom of all.


Five families are off on their holidays, we will miss you people, and our Fellowship will be severely diminished - but in numbers only. The same Jesus will meet with us as we come together to worship, without music and musicians, but the human voice is still the most noble of instruments, even when cracked, flat and generally out of tune. And one thing we should all remember, holidays derived from Holy Days. Love and God bless, Peter

Again as usual, any courteous suggestions are welcome. Suggestions@kinrosschristianfellowship.co.uk

 

 

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