13 Jun 2020 • Weekly Notices
Hazelwell Contact 14th June 2020
Please read on for updates, news and prayer requests.
Prayers are requested for:-
For all those responsible for ensuring the safety of customers as shops begin to open following lock down
Residents of Sycamore Terrace & Grove Road
For members of the theatrical and entertainment professions currently facing a very uncertain future
Sunday Worship resources
There are broadcast Sunday services each week on radio & television as follows:-
Radio 4. 8.10am. Sunday Worship
TV BBC1 11.00 am. Sunday Worship
BBC 1 1.15 pm. Songs of Praise
Zoom Hazelwell Service 7th June
You are invited to a Zoom meeting for our service at 10.00am. Led by Moira
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 891 3520 1113
Access by phone line
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Meeting ID: 891 3520 1113
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcAppWwO
Reflection from Moira
“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access[b] to this grace in which we stand; and we[c] boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we[d] also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.”
The chapter before today’s passage talks about Abraham’s relationship with God. It wasn’t an easy one. We only get to hear some of the more dramatic parts in the book of Genesis. What we often skip over is how long Abraham had to wait for God’s promise to him to be fulfilled. How hard it must have been to hold onto faith in God’s promise to him. And when we think about that, we can see how and why Abraham tried to force that promise to happen sooner than in God’s plan, and we can see the pain that caused to him, to his wife Sarah, to Hagar (the servant girl he abused) and to his rejected son Ishmael.
And yet Abraham is praised by Paul, and by God. Why? It is Abraham’s faith in God that is praised.
As ordinary human beings like Abraham, we are limited in our understanding of God and how God works in our world. There are times when we mess things up. Sometimes knowingly and sometimes because we are trying to do the right thing but mess it up. If we’re judged only on our actions and the results of our actions, we all fall short of what God wants for us; we all sin.
And so what Paul is celebrating in today’s passage, is that we’re no longer judged simply by our actions, but by our faith in God. And by that, I don’t mean that those of us who don’t seem to struggle with faith, are better than those who don’t. It’s about who we have faith in.
Jesus, God the Son, paid the ransom price for all of our sins when he died on the cross, defeating death, and rising again to restore us into a renewed and restored relationship with God. It is through faith in Jesus that we can be forgiven. Over and over.
And what’s remarkable, is that Jesus didn’t wait until we were all ready to follow him. No. Jesus died for all of us, even the ones nailing him to the cross, the ones who betrayed him, the ones who ran away. Jesus died for us while we were still sinning.
God knows that life is often a struggle for us. We mess things up. Other people mess things up for us, sometimes very badly indeed. And sometimes we go through great suffering.
Paul is writing to people who are suffering persecution because of their faith, on top life’s normal struggles. Paul doesn’t tell them that they will now have a happy, charmed life because of their faith in God. Paul doesn’t tell them that they are suffering because of their lack of faith. Paul tells them that even in these struggles they can grow, and they can find peace in God.
The peace that God gives us, isn’t the peace of nothing bad happening in our lives. It’s the peace that passes all understanding in amidst of the darkest times in our lives. It’s the peace based on our faith in Jesus: what Jesus has done for all humanity, and knowing just how much God loves us; that Jesus God the Son would choose to die for us.
Jesus offers that peace to you today, and everyday. And especially in the hardest times. May you know God’s peace in your life today.