MOUSEY MOMENT … EASTER OFFERING 2020 – INTO ALL THE WORLD (but not as we know it!)
The Easter Offering 2020 Dedication Service features people who have made a journey: some in obedience to God’s call on their lives, and others because they had no choice.
The worship encourages us to reflect and learn from those who travel, and to consider our own journeys – both physical and spiritual.
This month, we continue on this theme by following the journey of The Revd Thomas Coke to see how his travels influenced his live. His was a journey to preach the gospel.
The Revd Thomas Coke, a friend and colleague of John Wesley, had a passion to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world. In 1786, he set sail bound for Newfoundland, but blown off course, found harbour in Antigua on Christmas Day. There he discovered and preached to a congregation of 1,000 people at a society started in 1760 by Nathaniel Gilbert amongst the slaves on his plantation. Coke took the exciting story back to Britain and this marked the start of Methodist mission overseas.
Coke had a vision of a mission to Asia and set sail for what was then Ceylon, but died in his cabin in 1814 and was buried at sea. Coke brought to Methodism a world vision and, following his death there was a huge expansion of mission to take the good news of Jesus across the world. It resulted in the official acknowledgement of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society by the 1816 Conference.
The story of early Methodist mission history is exciting and challenging. We are all called to be witnesses for Jesus – some at home and some further afield. Where is Jesus calling you to share the good news of God’s love, as an individual, and as a group or church?
Going on holiday? It’s natural that before you set off, you make your arrangements & organise the necessary things eg accommodation, travel, tickets, money, clothes, luggage and so on. And so it is with being a witness for Jesus. You have to be prepared. But there is more than just the peripheries … it is absolutely vital to prepare your heart as well. Prayer, worship, and time in the Word provide the foundation for a powerful time of ministry and building the Kingdom.
Here are 5 verses to reflect on as you prepare your heart for the journey:
1. Psalm 96:1-3:
“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvellous deeds among all peoples.”
2. Galatians 6:9:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
3. Romans 12:9-13:
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
4. Romans 10:13-14:
“For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
5. Matthew 28:19-20:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Brass is a metal that doesn’t rust. Brass hinges are used on the outside doors of a house so that the hinges will not rust when they get wet from rain or snow. Brass screws, hinges, door latches, and other fittings are also used on boats because they hold up well in the water.
There are other metals that look like brass; sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference.
One way to find out if a metal is true brass is to test it with a magnet. Brass will not stick to a magnet, but metals like a rusty iron frying pan will.
If it is genuine brass, it will not be attracted to a magnet, which means it is the real thing. It is brass through and through.
In the Bible we find this written: “Love must be sincere” (Romans 12:9). This means let love be genuine. Love that is real comes from God. We receive his love and it becomes a part of us – it is the real thing. When we study the life of Jesus and try to follow his example of love, we become filled with his love through and through. Then we are able to find ways of sharing that love with others, ‘preaching’ God’s love for us in every way we can. Genuine love, real love, allows us to “cling to what is good”.
At this difficult time, when the Coronavirus ‘Lock-Down’ has given us great challenges & restricted our ability to travel & socialise, our journeys in faith & how we share our love are being tested in unprecedented ways. But we ARE finding ways through. We ARE finding different ways of doing things. We ARE doing good & spreading love.
CHILDREN are putting up colourful pictures of rainbows in their windows in a bid to spread hope and happiness during the coronavirus pandemic. And what’s even more lovely to see is how many people & families have been playing games of ‘I Spy a Rainbow’ while they are out taking their exercise.
Many of the pictures come with a message, such as: ‘Remember, there is always a rainbow after a storm’; ‘Stay Safe’; ‘Everything will be alright.’
This simple act is creating a feeling of solidarity that we’re in this together although we’re apart.
Read this short poem, look for the rainbows, and stay hopeful.
‘Rainbows’ by Michael O. Adesanya
Rainbows would never be rainbows
If sunshine had never met rain
No one would ever need comfort
If there was no sadness and pain
But life holds both sunshine and showers
The days are not all bright and fair
So look through the showers for the rainbows
You will always find hope shining there