Notices for Sunday 31st May 2015

God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.
Rom 8:15-16 (Message)

Show us Father God how to act with humility and honesty and as part of your family be connected to the source of all life, all love, and all joy.
Amen

We welcome our preacher this morning who is Mr Carl Squire
After service tea hosts Val and Betti

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Sheila Bullough
Organist: Joan McGowan

Sunday 7th June
11.00am        Mr Tim Guy
Vestry Stewards – Ian and Sheila
Door Steward – Keith
Tea Hosts – Keith and Myra

Diary Dates

June
Mon 1st         Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Mon 1st         Lunch at Gresford 2.30pm 2 courses £5 Call 855691 to book before the lunch
Fri 5th         Friday Lunch Club at noon in the hall £2.50
Sat 6th         Church Fair at Gresford 12.30pm
Sat 6th         ‘Brymbo’s Got Talent’ 4.00pm
Tue 9th        Concert in Church Hall 7.30pm Tickets £5, Cor Y Pentan and Northop Youth & Training Band
Wed 10th      Midweek Communion at Regent Street 11.15am
Sun 14th       Circuit Service at Gresford 6.00pm

Please pray for the following:
Richard Down
Phyllis Davies
Isobel Holroyd
Ernest Tait
Maurice Anderton
Seren Williams
Vanessa Woolrich
Kay Davies

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

CIRCUIT BBQ

In aid of the Circuit Project “Save The Family”

Gresford Methodist Church
Saturday 20th June – 4.00pm – 7.00pm
Tickets £6 Adults (5-12 years £4)
Family 2 Adults plus children £15

Majestic and Merciful
Isa. 6:1-8; Rom. 8:15-16

Most of us aren’t much on protocol and etiquette these days.  But in certain circles, they are essential and strictly enforced.  We found out a bit about that when the President and First Lady visited the Queen a few years ago.  Apparently, the First Lady “bent” the royal protocol by responding in kind when the Queen put her arm around Mrs. Obama’s back!  According to protocol, no one is allowed to touch the Queen!  That’s only one of many protocols that apply to the Queen.  You only speak to the Queen when you’re spoken to.  If you’re dining with the Queen, you don’t start eating until she does, and when she’s finished, so are you!  You only shake her hand if she offers it to you, and then you make it light and quick.  And you absolutely never, ever turn your back to the Queen.

Our lesson from Romans presents us with a different side of God than that of the God of Isaiah.  The Apostle Paul talks about the Spirit of God living in each of us.   And he says that the Spirit of God is there to assure us that we are God’s beloved children.  And so he says, like beloved children, when we cry out to God, we cry, “Abba, Father.”  It is the address of a beloved child to a loving parent.  It is the language of family intimacy.  This is the side of God who is as close to us as the very air we breathe.  This is the side of God who welcomes us like a doting father or a loving mother.  God is the one who is merciful to everyone in every way.

It’s no coincidence that these two passages describing seeming opposite sides of God’s character are brought together on Trinity Sunday.  It’s our understanding of God as “trinity” that brings all this together. As one of my favourite Scriptures puts it, “thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isa 57:15). God is at the same time the one who is far beyond our ability to conceive or imagine and also the one who is so intimate that we can approach God like a doting father or a loving mother.  God is both majestic and merciful.

The question is, what do we do when we encounter this God who is majestic and merciful?  I don’t know that we have to fear for our lives like Isaiah did, but the majestic aspect of God’s character should make us feel a little bit exposed, at least somewhat uncomfortable.  When we encounter the God who made all universes, who created the world and all its beauty, who planned the life cycle in its wondrous complexity, it would seem that the only proper response is humility.  I think we recognize that before this majestic God all our illusions about controlling our own lives are just that: illusions!  I think that’s at least part of what humility means in response to the majestic God.

And when we encounter the merciful God who is as close to us as the very air we breathe, who welcomes us like a doting father or a loving mother, it would seem that the only proper response is honesty.  As Isaiah did, when we find ourselves before this merciful God we too ought to be transparent about who we are and who we aren’t.  In the presence of the God who loves us unconditionally and irrevocably, there’s no reason to hide anything.

When we encounter the God who is majestic and merciful, what matters is not speaking when spoken to, or how we eat or shake hands, but rather humility and honesty.  When we can have the courage to respond in this way, we find ourselves connected to the source of all life, all love, and all joy.  And we find ourselves somehow more connected to ourselves, and to everything and everyone around us.

Alan Brehm, Hickman Presbyterian Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

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