Notices for 31st January 2016

That set everyone in the meeting place seething with anger. They threw him out, banishing him from the village, then took him to a mountain cliff at the edge of the village to throw him to his doom, but he gave them the slip and was on his way.
Luke 4:28-30 (Message)

Show us Father God to accept rejection just as Jesus did but to be resolved to carry on with bringing the Good News to those who need to hear it.

We welcome our preacher this morning who is Rev Marian Jones
After service tea hosts Keith and Myra

Organist: Joan McGowan

Sunday 7th February
11.00am        Rev John Wiggall (Communion)
Vestry Stewards – Elizabeth and Avril
Door Steward – Chris
Tea Hosts – Chris and Joan

Diary Dates

Mon 1st         Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Thu 4th        Prayer Course at Wrexham 7.30pm – 9.00pm
Mon 8th        Marriage Course at Regent Street 6.00pm booking essential – £40. Contact Richard Sharples
Wed 10th      Pastoral Leaders meeting 9.30am in the Lounge
Wed 10th      Midweek Communion at Regent Street 11.15am
Wed 10th      Bible Fellowship at Avril William’s home 7.30pm
Thu 11th        Church Council Meeting 7.30pm in the Lounge
Thu 18th       John & Angie Evans Concert here 7.30pm £5
Tue 23rd      Cytun Lent Study (See attached sheet)
Wed 24th     “Time Out” a monthly reflective worship at Hope Parish Church  7.30pm (4th Wed in the month)

Please pray for the following:
Phyllis Davies
Isobel Holroyd
Mark Steene
Gareth Jones
Kay Davies
Dorreen Holroyd
Vanessa Woolrich
Ron Vaughan
Keith Baugh
Pete and Ruby Kasprowicz

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.

The Gift of Rejection
Luke 4:21-30

I don’t handle rejection very well. I’m working on it. But it still gets to me. I always figure if I’m trying my best, that should be obvious to everyone and they should at least try to meet me part way. Most of the time, that works out pretty well. But when it doesn’t, my first reaction is to get cranky and feel sorry for myself. But with prayer and reflection, such as in this week’s gospel, I’ve made a lot of progress.

I’ve come to see that rejection is an opportunity to draw closer to Christ and to witness his love. In this week’s gospel, we see Jesus, not only rejected by his neighbors; some of them want to throw him off a cliff. But with all the power of heaven and earth at his bidding, Jesus doesn’t respond with a sharp dose of fire and brimstone. He doesn’t even get in their faces. Rather, he avoids confrontation and humbly slips away, remarking ironically that hometown crowds can be pretty tough on prophets.

Most significantly, there is no spite in Jesus. He doesn’t repay rejection with rejection. He knows our weaknesses. He’s not here looking for a better class of sinners to redeem. He doesn’t call off Calvary. He goes to the cross for the folks who ran him out of town, as well as for those who drove the nails, swung the scourge and jammed the crown of thorns down on his head.  He goes to the cross for you and for me, not in spite of our rejection, but because of it. He takes our pride, our indifference, our hypocrisy… our rejection… and he gives us back his love.

Rejection is a two-way street. If we are honest with ourselves, we’re probably dishing it out as often as we’re getting it. Why do we do it? Why are we compelled to turn disagreement into rejection… and punctuate it with a put-down? A psychologist would tell you it’s insecurity. Put in more theological terms, pride is the root of rejection… the pride to work our will on others… the pride that cannot abide contradiction… the pride that casts relationships as contests.

The antidote for rejection is not to become an obsequious yes-man or a non-committal nebbish. We must recognize that rejection is part of the human condition. It is ubiquitous, but it is not inevitable. We need not become either a bullying practitioner or a sullen victim.

Honesty is the basis for all communication, but it should always be tempered by Christian charity. It may be tempting to reinforce our opinion with a zinger. But for all concerned, it is always more effective to state your case not only with conviction, but also with courtesy, kindness and respect. And when we feel rejected, what better example than Jesus, who told us: The stone that the builders rejected has become the capstone.

Jesus fled from the synagogue. But he did not flee from his mission. He saw no need to make a macho statement. This momentary rejection was disappointing, but not surprising. It would not be his last rejection on the way to Calvary. Jesus was and is human as well as divine. By definition he felt our pain, our frustration, our rejection. But he gave it all back to the Father in forgiveness and in sacrificial offering for our redemption, as he prayed: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

Jesus takes us well beyond the clinical pragmatics of creating better social outcomes. Christ did not come to conduct a seminar on transactional analysis. Repaying rejection with love is at the heart of Christianity. In Christ, rejection becomes a very special opportunity to love our neighbour; to give our disappointment to God; to seek his will in prayer and more fully experience his peace. That’s the gift of rejection.

Rev David F Sellery, St John’s, Salisbury, Connecticut, USA


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