Notices for Sunday 12th March 2017

Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.”
John 3:3 (Message)

Father God help us in our faith to be born again and enter the world with a new set of guiding principles, a new way of approaching everything.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Rev John Wiggall
After service tea hosts Chris and Joan

Our thanks for the flowers this morning which are given by Jacquie Robinson in memory of Pamela Sinclair
Organist: Lydia Edwards

Sunday 19th March Church Anniversary
11.00am           Rev Richard Sharples (Parade)
Vestry Steward – Ian
Door Steward – Val
Tea Hosts – Val and Barb

Diary Dates

Tue 14th       Oasis of Silence – Regent Street at 12.30pm         for 20 minutes
Tue 14th       Developing Dementia Friendly Churches Llangollen Pavilion 9.30am to 3.30pm
Fri 17th        Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3
Fri 17th        Men’s Supper here 7.00pm. Rev John Wiggall
Sat 18th       Sparks of Light, Bayston Hill Methodist Church, Iona Community 10.00am to 4.00pm
Wed 22nd     Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Sun 26th       Messy Church in the hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm
Tue 28th      Coffee Morning Llangollen 10.00am
Tue 28th      Abermorddu School Choir and Buckley Brass in the hall 7.30pm Tickets £6
Thu 30th      Circuit Meeting at Rhosddu 7.30pm
Fri 31st        Sankey Evening at Overton 7.00pm

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Dorreen Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Pete and Ruby Kasprowicz
Gwyneth Williams

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.

John 3:1-17

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night… John 3:1-2

What does it mean to be born again? In the vernacular of this age, the language has come to suggest some sort of metaphysical transformation, a shift that promises eternal reward. Believe in Jesus and you are born again, the logic goes, and then you get to go to heaven. For many being born again is the culmination of the Christian task, but for Jesus and his followers this second birth marked a beginning of a dangerous and fraught journey. It entailed leaving behind the safety nets woven and stored up in life and starting fresh, aligned with something new, something politically subversive, socially fraught, and existentially threatening.

The second birth of water recalls Jesus’ own emergence from the waters of the Jordan. It recalls Israel’s own emergence from slavery into liberation through the waters  of a parted sea. In short, it recalls moments when people have set out on new and treacherous journeys, called by God to make themselves in a new image. To forge an identity apart from the markers that had shaped them and re-imagine their communities and their very bodies as God might.

The second birth as a boundary marker after which the world is to be conceived differently. Like the new community forged by laws given in the wilderness, or the new life of Christians on the other side of baptism. To be born again is to enter the world with a new set of guiding principles, a new way of approaching everything, and a radically altered perception. Thus, this second birth is a politically subversive act.

Jesus is asking Nicodemus to be born in a new way, to be born from above, to bear God’s logic amongst a world that functions astray from the will of the divine. Jesus is asking Nicodemus to be on the ground floor of something new. To turn away from what has been done before, to turn away from the rules and logic that have ordered his life up to this point, to emerge anew into the world.

Although Nicodemus seems confused by his conversation with Jesus, he had to have expected something like it. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. His behaviour suggests that he knew he was defecting, at least in some small way, by going to speak with this radical Rabbi, and Jesus does not disappoint. He calls Nicodemus to walk away from the power and privilege of his leadership position and join a lost cause for justice and liberation, to cast in his lot with outcasts.

Jesus is pushing his followers to understand that new life emerges constantly from the old, that God sends new life from above and that new perspectives that interrupt our new habits. This is what Jesus names as salvation. God sent Jesus so the world might be saved through him. Through his message of love and the vision he bears. Through the human transformation he facilitates and for the radical departures he encouraged. To be political followers of Jesus demands a similar radical departure from norms and a similar willingness to boldly make all things new.

Rev John Allen, Chaplain to the Occupy Wall Street Movement, New York, USA

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