Friday, May 6, 2011

The Paper Editorial - May 2011

Power at Pentecost
On one occasion one of my co-students claimed that I would be “cheating” if I prayed for help in my exams. “That is getting help from outside”, he said. However he also admitted that he did not believe in my “source of power”, so did not see how it could help anyhow! So if he did not believe in God, and accepted that I obtained this “help” without any physical contact or exchange, then it must be acceptable. Was it really just something of myself from within me, or was it “outside help” as I had suggested?
Many people talk about the ability of the mind to release power from within one’s self. However, the Christian understanding is not that we can develop ourselves from within, but that a Power from without can help us to develop. Jesus, the founder of Christianity, said, “I can of myself do nothing”, and acknowledged that it was The Father (God) that did the works (miracles etc.) that were done, in Him.
After the first Easter, when the risen Jesus was again with His disciples, He told them that they would receive “Power from on high” which would sustain their faith after He had been taken to Heaven. In the Bible account, this happened on the Day of Pentecost (better known by many now as Whitsuntide), which is 50 days after His resurrection – or after Easter. The day recorded as Ascension Day (when Jesus was taken up to Heaven) was 40 days after Easter, so in the Church calendar Whitsuntide is 10 days after Ascension Day.
It was at Pentecost (Whitsuntide), just following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, that the Bible records the Disciples did receive that Power from on High, and whilst each spoke in their own native tongue, others listening heard in their own native tongue. This event is often referred to as the beginning of the Christian Church, and Whitsuntide as the Birthday of the Church.
We believe that the Power that came on the first “Whitsunday” is still at work today, and is demonstrated outwardly in the workings of the Church in society, as well as inwardly in the hearts and lives of believers.
As Christians we believe that this Power is available to believers, and whether one thinks it is cheating or not to get outside help, it can help those who do believe in the “examinations of life”, as we go through the ups and downs of everyday living, and can bring purpose and meaning to this sometimes often perplexing World in which we live. The Power comes from outside, but shows itself through the impact that it has on the thoughts and consequent actions that people do. In Jesus’ words, “My peace I leave with you”. (John 14:27)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Outline of Service 8th May 2011

From Passover to Pentecost
Ye shall receive power
Acts 1:8

Hymn 123: An Inward Preparation

Psalm 139:1-11, 23-24 – Checking What’s Inside

Bible Readings:
Ready and Waiting – Exodus 12:1-11, 30-36
The Promised Power – Acts 2:1-32
What Is This Power – John 14:8-21

Hymn 100: An Example for All

• At Passover (Easter) we think of repentance through Grace
• At Pentecost (Whitsuntide) we think of obedience through Power
• On Mothers Day we recognise God’s Spirit the Heavenly Mother
• The Promise is waiting for us to receive

Hymn 51: The Promise Continues