Latest news and 'Thought for the day'
Thought for the day by Simon James-Morse (Minister of Goldstone Church)
45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘“My house will be a house of prayer”; but you have made it “a den of robbers”.’
For most in our community, a consequence of staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is that ‘spring cleaning’ has come early. Gardens have been tended, rooms have been hyper-cleaned, and garages have been cleared. As my wife and I sorted our garage last weekend, our postman observed that he had not seen so many people in the neighbourhood cleaning their cars. Perhaps this cleaning bug is also infectious!
Yesterday was the start of what many Christians call ‘Holy Week’ – the 8 days from Palm Sunday to Easter Day. Although many of the events on Good Friday, Easter Day and Palm Sunday are well-known, what happened on the other days during Holy Week are less clear.
The following chart provides a helpful timeline for the events:
From this chart we see that, on Holy Monday, the day after Palm Sunday, Jesus entered the temple courts in Jerusalem and “forcibly encouraged” the fraudulent traders to relocate outside (Luke 19:45-46). Jesus challenged God’s people to refocus their lives on God.
But Jesus’ desire to cleanse the temple was not just a physical ‘spring clean’ or an anti-corruption campaign. Jesus calls to His people at a spiritual level – to refocus their lives on a personal relationship with Him, expressed through prayer. To put it bluntly, a “House of Prayer” is only necessary if there are people inside the house who are praying and worshiping Jesus!
The Apostle Paul tells us that our “bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19), adding that we were “bought at a price” and that we honour God with our bodies.
So, in addition to any physical cleaning that we may do, let us also review our spiritual lives. Let us “forcibly encourage” anything that does not please God out of our lives and re-establish a House of Prayer – a fresh personal relationship with Jesus, expressed through prayer.
“Prayer is not learned in a classroom but in the quiet room.” E. M. Bounds
Dear Lord, wash the eyes of my heart so that I can get a fresh look at Your Word. Let my soul be open to Your strength and life that I may rediscover Your spring in my step. Hear my prayer, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Gages are Going
I guess most of us will know that Tim & Clare, Ben & Sammy will be leaving soon as Tim goes to be the new Rector of St Peter's West Blatchington, up by the windmill. Strangely they could just be moving slightly nearer to BH, as the rectory is just on Windmill Close!
Tim's last service at BH will be on 19th April where he will speak at the morning service. It'll be a slightly different 'final service' as we won't all be physically there to do speeches etc but we still want to say our thank yous and may well want to contribute to a leaving gift. There'll be more details about how we'll mark the Gage's leaving BH in the coming days, but if you'd like to contribute to their leaving gift, do drop a cheque to the office, payable to Bishop Hannington Church and labeled for Tim & Clare, or make an online payment, saying who it's for, to Bishop Hannington Church Sort Code 40-52-40 Account Number 00016162.
Families getting ready for Easter
How is your family preparing for Easter? Some weeks ago we recommended "The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross" materials which feature an Easter calendar and beautifully illustrated book. Catharine is producing very brief daily videos to get you going with some family devotions based on this material. You can watch the videos here. the books etc are available from Books Alive or from The Good Book Company.
Mental Health Awareness 2020
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We will use this space to keep you up to date with what the church is doing during this time.