On Sunday May 8th our minister Trevor Dixon led worship. It was a lovely day for me as it was my birthday and even as I get older I still love birthdays just as much! We began worship when we sang, ‘The head that once was crowned with thorns,’ before Trevor led the opening prayers of adoration, confession and thanksgiving. We heard the reading from Acts 16.16-24 and I read Revelation 22.12-14, 16-17, 20-21, right at the end of the Bible. We sang ‘Christ is alive! Let Christians sing’ before Trevor read ‘John 17.20-26 and preached.
It was the Sunday after Ascension Day. Jesus had prayed to his Father that his disciples might see that his Father is in him and that the world might believe. When Jesus left his disciples to ascend into heaven they would have felt bereft and ill equipped to tell others of his life and teaching, before they received the blessing of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The reading from Revelation emphasised that Jesus was the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega and would be coming soon. Jesus’ power would be there to empower his disciples, after he ascended to heaven. When Paul freed the slave girl from the Spirit which predicted the future, her owners were furious as they had lost their income and dragged Paul and Silas before the authorities and the crowd agreed with their condemnation. The authorities had them stripped and flogged and thrown into prison but undaunted although they were fastened in stocks in an inner cell they prayed and sang hymns to God. At midnight an earthquake freed all the prisoners but when the jailer thought they would have escaped and prepared to take his own life, Paul told him no one had escaped. The jailer was so amazed that he and his family became believers and treated their wounds; he and all his family were baptised. When the magistrates released them the next day, Paul complained that as Roman citizens they should not have been beaten publically without a trial. The authorities were alarmed and quick to escort Paul and Silas out of the city! Paul and Silas filled with the Holy Spirit and power were unafraid at what the authorities did to them.
Following the sermon we sang, ‘Colours of day dawn into the mind’, before Trevor led the prayers of intercession. Our final hymn was ‘Go to the world! Go into all the earth.’ Worship concluded with prayers of petition and the benediction.
Beth joined us for lunch to help me celebrate my birthday. My beloved cooked a delicious lunch for us to enjoy. It was a lovely and relaxing day with my family opening my presents and cards. Cathy and I would be celebrating the following week and Beth will taking me to see Annie at the theatre in June. I am so fortunate and blessed with my family and friends for all their generous presents.