This year we have a seemingly nice tree with a slightly less nice verse. So, I thought I would explain some of the reasoning behind it. The idea was to express in the picture the idea of God breaking in. The tree is an autumnal one and there are loads of leaves on the ground. Yet the sun is dawning, the mist is burning away and it is looking like it will be a beautiful day.
The verse underneath is one from the Old Testament. It is God’s call to the people of God that it is their responsibility to be the people of God. We sometimes look around and say what we think is wrong with society and it is all too easy to point the finger outwards at others and society in general. This verse (and the surrounding passage) is indicating that actually a healthy society starts with a healthy church. Instead of blaming others we need to look to ourselves first and then God will act.
God calls us, as His people, to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek Him and to turn from all the wrong in our lives and then not only will he forgive us but then healing can come to others in our world.
So, how do we do this? Well this year we are seeking to do a number of things. Firstly, we will be spending the first half of the year looking at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians – a church that was hyper-spiritual and ultra-worldly. A chance to look at one of Paul’s letters to a church situated in a large multicultural trading city. It will help us to see how Paul challenges them to live lives not as consumers or shut away in some hyper-spiritual reality but as holy people in a world in great need.
Secondly, we are organising more opportunities to pray together. Last night we had our first – and what a great night it was – led by Lotwina it was vibrant and alive and blessed. We will be having others during the year in different styles – prayer walks, silence, praise etc.
Thirdly, we will be looking together at what else God is calling us to do in our community. We had a great start before Christmas when about 40 of us gathered to share ideas and dreams. In the next few weeks we will be looking at how we can make these ideas and dreams a reality.
The picture is here – you can click it to see it in a larger size: