Notices for Sunday 10th July 2016

Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works.
Col 1:9 (Message)

Help us Father God to live out the grace and mercy and compassion that you have for us so that we can really have an effect on other people.
Amen

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Mr Philip Oliver
After service tea hosts Val and Betti

Our thanks for the flowers this morning which are given by Ken Holroyd with Tom, Henry and family in memory of parents Derek and Rhiannon Holroyd
Organist: Lydia Edwards

Sunday 17th July
11.00am        Rev Richard Sharples (Communion)
Vestry Steward – Ian
Door Steward – Chris
Tea Hosts – Chris and Joan

Diary Dates

July
Tue 12th       Every Day with Jesus Study Group 10.30am
Tue 12th       Cytun Bible Study at Emmanuel, Penn-y-ffordd 7.30pm
Tue 12th       Coleridge in Wales Poetry & Music at Wrexham 7.30pm
Wed 13th      Midweek Communion at Regent Street 11.15am
Tue 26th      Coffee Morning Llangollen 10.00am – noon
Wed 27th     “Time Out” a monthly reflective worship at Hope Parish Church  7.30pm (4th Wed in the month)

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Dorreen Holroyd
Vanessa Woolrich
Pete and Ruby Kasprowicz
Michael Shipley

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.

Nothing Special
Col. 1:9-12; Lk. 10:25-37

My Grandmother’s sister, Ruth Jackson, was the first woman to become an orthopaedic surgeon. Anywhere. In fact, the association of women orthopaedists in the AMA is called the “Ruth Jackson Society.” She was quite a gutsy lady—just becoming a doctor was hard enough for a woman in those days. Her passion combined with her compassion for people who suffered led her to break into one of the most elite “male’s only” clubs in that day. When she was treated for a neck injury, she was displeased that orthopaedics in that day was a “hands-off” discipline. So she pioneered a “hands-on” approach to treating neck injuries. She literally wrote the book on it—a book that went through 4 editions and was the standard text around the world for many years.

Growing up with Aunt Ruth was both wonderful and difficult. She could be incredibly demanding of a boy who she wanted to follow in her footsteps. In fact, the whole family expected me—both implicitly and out loud—to do something “spectacular” just like Aunt Ruth. They didn’t insist that I go into medicine—though she applied a great deal of “arm twisting” to get me to do just that. But whatever field I went into, it was clear that I was expected to rise to a level of national if not international renown. I realize this all sounds pretty incredible, but I assure you every word of it is true.

To some extent I still struggle with that legacy. As a minister, it has been my passion to make a lasting contribution to the body of Christ. It was fairly easy to see myself doing that as a professor of the largest theological seminary in the world (at that time). These days, I struggle sometimes with that notion that I’m supposed to do something spectacular. I think this serves as a kind of follow up to the “myth” that “I can’t really make a difference.” In a sense, it’s the flip side of that idea—that you have to do something “spectacular” if you want to make a difference. I think this is especially the case in our culture where we worship “celebrities.” How many of our kids dream not of becoming a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher–but rather a famous actor or musician? For some people, that notion becomes almost an obsession—you have to do something spectacular if you even want to be valued by those you love.

I think that our lesson from Paul’s letter to the Colossians this week gives us some help at this point. He talks about a perspective on the Christian life that is pretty down to earth. It’s a matter of “bearing fruit” and doing “good deeds” and living with “perseverance” and “patience.” These and other incredibly mundane activities are what it means to “walk worthily” of the one who redeemed us. It sounds like the life that Paul envisions for those of us who would follow Christ is really nothing special. That might seem too cliché to merit our attention, until you think about the Parable of the Good Samaritan. After all, what did the Samaritan do that was so “spectacular”? All this kind soul did was to notice the one who was wounded, and then to care enough to bind up the wounds and to provide for his recuperation. It was simply a story of mercy in action, compassion that goes the second mile. But it made all the difference in the world to “the one who fell among thieves.”

It seems to me, contrary to our culture that is obsessed with all things “spectacular,” that it is when we are engaged in the most mundane activities that we make the most difference in another person’s life. When you get right down to it, that’s the only place we can really make much of a difference in the life of another human being. We mortals rarely achieve the level of influence that can truly make a difference for hundreds or thousands of people out there. For the most part, we have the opportunity to touch a life here, a life there. It is through the quality of our character, not anything “spectacular” that we may do, that we make a difference in another life. It is through the way in which we conduct our relationships, not through any great “achievement,” that we really have an effect on another human being. From that perspective, the Christian life is “nothing special”—it’s a matter of simply living out the grace and mercy and compassion of God. But then that’s what makes it so important for us to live like that.

Rev Dr Alan Brehm, Hickman Presbyterian Church, Nebraska, USA

 

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