When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”
Acts 1:6 (Message)
Help us Father God to realise that the Church is nothing other than the place within which and through which the kingdom is coming into being. Help us to be witnesses to the vision of the Church and to share your purpose and by your Spirit become your action in the world.
Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Rev Richard Sharples
After service tea hosts Chris and Joan
Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Sheila Bullough
Organist: Lydia Edwards
Sunday 4th June
11.00am Ms Biddy Crossfield
Sun 28th Messy Church in the hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm
Tue 30th Oasis of Silence – Regent Street at 12.30pm for 20 minutes. Bring lunch to share afterwards
Fri 2nd “Enter the Silence” in church 11.30am
Fri 2nd Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3
Sun 4th Variety Songs of Praise at Regent Street 6.00pm Alan Birchall and Derek Harrison Jazz Trio
Tue 6th Coffee Morning at Llangollen 10.00am
Tue 6th Circuit Bible Study at Regent Street, James 1: ‘Doers of the Word’. 6.30pm food, 7.30pm study
Wed 14th Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Sat 17th Coffee Morning at regent Street 10.00am – noon
Tue 20th Social afternoon with Strawberry Tea at Rhosymedre 2.00pm £3.00 per person
Please pray for the following:
Keith and Myra Baugh
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.
Join us for a Faith Lunch in aid of our Circuit Project “Holiday Hunger”.
This is an initiative by St Asaph Diocese supported by Wrexham churches to provide packed lunches for children during the school holidays. Our Deacon Lisa Rathbone is involved with the scheme in Caia Park.
You will find a list in the lounge so that you can indicate what food you would like to provide.
On the day of the lunch we would like you to make a donation towards the Circuit Project.
When the vision fails to materialise, what do we do?
Acts 1:6 “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Jesus proclaimed good news to a people living in poverty and oppression, broken in spirit, both spiritually and materially, both individually and corporately deprived. This was not just a heavenly hope. It was not just hope for the end of the age. It was not just hope for spiritual renewal for individuals and communities. It was not just hope for material well being and social justice for individuals and communities. It was all of these in enjoyment of the reign and presence of God. This was real hope. That is why the disciples’ question makes sense. Had it been fulfilled, they would have seen it. And it was this real hope that Jesus proclaimed as near at hand and for which he asked his disciples to pray.
The impact of the promise was so strong that for generations people were proclaiming it was just around the corner. Jesus had said it was at hand. But he had not said how it would come. Luke writes Acts to tell us not only that Jesus announced the kingdom, but also that the promise is being fulfilled. The Church is part of that promise. To that extent it is true: Jesus promised the kingdom and God sent the Church. The promise is not being fulfilled by a single stroke, as it were, but in two steps. First the Church and then the total fulfilment of the vision. The Church is nothing other than the place within which and through which the kingdom is coming into being. It is not itself the kingdom as if it, itself, incorporated God and were a little bit of perfection on earth. We know this is not true. But it witnesses to the vision and lives by it. The vision is the Church’s true agenda as well as its hope. The Spirit is the gift which enables the Church to fulfil that agenda. You and I are the place of the promise of the kingdom now. Yet ultimately the kingdom is God’s reign, God’s effort, God’s gift. We are not asked to usurp God, but to share his purpose and by his Spirit become his action in the world.
The two step fulfilment of the promise of the kingdom means we do not run away from the pain. We weep with those who weep. We mourn with those who mourn. We join Jesus as he weeps over Jerusalem. We refuse to take popular religious options which pretend Jesus never promised such a kingdom and pretend God is not god. The pain remains as long as the vision is not fulfilled. Each time we approach the Lord’s table the brokenness is set before us and the vision is re-enacted. Because it is the Lord’s table and the Lord’s world we receive nourishment to face the pain. Nourished by the pain and by the promise, we look at the world around us and within us and we ask with the disciples, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And we hear Jesus answer: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons God has set on his own authority. But you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and to the furthermost ends of the earth.”
Rev William Loader, Uniting Church, Perth, Western Australia