Hello everybody! We had a really challenging service last week based on the way Jesus answered the question about who to pay taxes to. It was funny as a ripple went through the congregation as soon as tax was mentioned!! I wonder why!! Tim, our minister, led worship and chose some wonderful rousing hymns which uplifted our spirits, such as O for a thousand tongues to sing; at the name of Jesus, and All for Jesus; all pointing us to Jesus. Tim talked of the financial discussion and debate he had with his children over pocket money! They are trying to educate their children to be responsible with their money. If they leave an apple core or a sock hanging around money is removed from their pocket money written on a white board. The children are encouraged to be consumers as we all are; his children insist that it is their money and they can do what they like with it! It reminded him of a Taiwanese friend, who said that the elders in her church back in Taiwan were likely to look at their bank statements than anything else!! Would we like our ministers to know our bank statements?
Who does the coin belong to God or the state? Of course everything comes from God and that was what implicit in what Jesus said. We are shaped by wealth and people with vested interests want to control events and the church is also embroiled in that too. Tim argued that we need to look back to the teachings of Jesus and follow and act on them. He admitted that he preached as much to himself as he did to us. We need to build a new ways of life which do not revolve around wealth and consumerism and our own needs, but look to the needs of others. Let us remember that.
Last week was busy at work again so I have a lot of letters still to code. I find it harder to wake up on these darker mornings, but manage to get up with the help of the alarm. I have an annoying problem at the moment of the car not unlocking with the key, so I have to put the key in the lock, which results in an alarm going off for 20 seconds before I can silence it; it is so embarrassing as it just happens without warning. Sometimes the locking works automatically with no trouble, but then suddenly does not work; something in the neighbourhood is on the same wave length apparently. It set off this evening when I set off to lead worship at a local chapel, much to my embarrassment! The comment I got for my service was how much they enjoyed the hymns and I am glad as that is an important part of worship for the congregation.
Last Friday I was out late for a meal with the staff I work with, as two members of staff are leaving for pastures new. Penny is leaving tomorrow to prepare to move house down south to where her husband’s job now is. The place will not be the same without her. One of our doctors is also leaving as her husband has a consultancy in Liverpool; we will miss her too, although she is not leaving until January. I had a good time at the farewell meal although I was tired being out late and slept in on Saturday!
This morning’s service was led by our deacon David Hunt and he focussed on it being Bible Sunday. He asked us how many languages were in the world and it was over 6000, how many had some part of the Bible in their own language and that was 900+ but only 400+ have the whole Bible in their own language. It was enlightening. He spoke of how we need to listen, learn and live as Jesus did, making the word of God come alive today for a needy world. I just want everyone to know they are loved and accepted as they are by our loving Lord Jesus and learn to love God and themselves so we can truly love others. This is the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.