You may have seen advertisements for the Alpha course, an introduction to the Christian faith. Some of these adverts confront many people’s impression of Christianity, that it is ‘boring, untrue and irrelevant’. The Alpha course goes a long way to counter this, but if you don’t have weeks to spare, I would like to give you my two-pennyworth.
Most of the religions of the world have a founder, someone that they believe spoke the truth about God and the human condition. Christians also believe that their founder is God in human form. This means that Jesus not only shows us what God is like, but he also shows us what human beings are capable of. As we read the four biographies of Jesus (the Gospels) that we find in the Bible, we see in a human being all of God that we can possibly understand and appreciate. More than that, we see what we can be like, if we are willing to accept his help. In the words of a song, Jesus ‘laid aside his majesty’ when he came to earth, but he was still himself, with all the love, compassion, wisdom, grace, etc. that we know must be at the heart of God.
The miracles that we read about in the Gospels did not happen by Jesus exercising some inherent power, but through the Holy Spirit, the expression of God at work in world. This is where Christianity becomes exciting, genuine and relevant. The gift of the Holy Spirit is available to everyone who is willing to put their trust in Jesus. He comes to live inside us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and guides and enables us to live as he did when he was on earth. Even though we fail him again and again, he is always there to pick us up, to dust us down and to help us learn by our mistakes. I first put my trust in him in 1985 and have seen Jesus at work in my life, and in the lives of others, countless times, always with the ‘flavour’ of the Jesus we read about in the Bible.
At Christmas time, many joined us in the Ashdon churches to focus on the start of Jesus’ life on earth. We are approaching the Easter season when we turn our attention to the last week of Jesus’ time here. As every year, this will culminate on Easter Sunday (21st April) with a celebration of Jesus rising from the dead, showing us that he has the victory over death for all of us. And on 9th June (Pentecost) we remember the day when Christians first received the gift of the Holy Spirit, to make Jesus-like lives possible here on earth.
Under the title of ‘In Spirit and Truth’, (after a break for the worst of the weather) we have been continuing to meet together for spontaneous worship, teaching and prayer on the first Sunday of each month (at 11am) in the Church Parish Rooms, and the previous Saturday (at 6:30pm) in the Vicarage. We have been blessed to see people healed as we encounter Jesus in new ways. Please visit www.allsaintsashdon.org.uk for up-to-date details.
Do join us at 9:30am on 31st March at All Saints’ for an Ashdon joint Mothering Sunday service with the members of Ashdon Baptist Church, when Gavin will be speaking – activities for children and gifts for all the ladies.
Easter Services 2019
- 4th April: 2pm Ashdon Primary School Easter Service
- 18th April: 7pm Maundy Thursday Communion
- 19th April: 12noon Good Friday Hour at the Cross
- 20th April: 6:30pm Easter Worship
- 21st April: 9:30am Easter Sunday Communion
- 9th June 9:30am Pentecost Sunday Communion