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Wednesday 1st June 2022 Thy Kingdom Come Novena Day 6
Thy Kingdom Come Novena Day 6 1 PETER 3:4 4 Rather, it [your beauty] should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. Whilst we are implored from our early years not to judge a book by its cover, it is something we have a hard time adhering to. But scripture is unequivocal: ‘Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment’ [ John 7:24]. It’s hardly surprising – most of the people who saw Christ upon the cross merely recognised a criminal, a man suffering a shameful and humiliating death. All most people saw was a failed messiah – unable to see the incredible truth – God triumphing over evil for our sakes. Things are not always what they seem. But appearance is important for us. There is so much in how we present ourselves. So many of us feel we have to pretend, to fit in, to look a certain way in order to be accepted. Our perceptions of beauty are based on scarcity; they are temporal and limited; they are a cause for comparison and jealousy, insecurity and lack. But this is not how God values us, and it’s not how He wants us to value ourselves. By contrast, the qualities of what St Peter calls, ‘the inner spirit’ are abundant and unlimited. They leave us feeling joyful, rather than jealous, inspired rather than insecure. Cultivating external beauty is an attempt to feel good about ourselves. Building internal beauty makes others feel good too. The women Peter is addressing have little social status. They were often objectified, often seen as something to be ‘owned’, rather than as individual humans seen and loved by God. Yet Peter recognises that they have a rich inner life – one that is subversive to the expectations of the time – a life lived not for others but for Jesus. Peter affirms that neither men nor masters are the supreme authority, but the God who makes us in His own image. Christ Jesus – the one in whom God is made – calls us to see people for who they really are. It’s a call to really and truly hear and know people properly, to work with God’s Spirit who encounters us and opens us up in our deepest places. All too often we tell people about Jesus without trying to hear their story first. All too often we judge before we know the truth. Today we reflect on the true beauty we will surely encounter if we put our trust in God’s abundant love, rather than our own fear of not being enough. Only God can enable this. Let us pray for our five friends, that God would connect with them by His Spirit to their spirit. The only thing that brings people to God is the person of Jesus and the work of the Spirit. He doesn’t need anything else from us, He simply asks our love in return.
14:00Informal Afternoon Service Philip Hall All welcome
19:00Midweek Focus Cancelled tonight, resumes June 8
Contact for venue.
Thursday 2nd June 2022 Thy Kingdom Come Novena Day 7
Thy Kingdom Come Novena Day 7 1 PETER 3:18 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. Suffering is an inevitable part of our lives. Peter is writing to suffering communities, people who are experiencing significant hardship because of their faith in Christ. Their courage and vulnerability during this exile, Peter seems to suggest, is not just a sign of their faith in Christ, but follows the model of Jesus’ example of the Cross. Being a Christian has never offered an escape from suffering. Jesus’ death and resurrection doesn’t exempt us from painful experiences, from feeling rejected or lost. It doesn’t stop bad things happening to us. We will be injured, we will grieve, we will be humiliated. Ultimately we will die. What Jesus has done for us does not guarantee us a pain-free life. But what His death does do is open up the door to us knowing and experiencing God’s blessing, even – sometimes most intensely and profoundly – amid suffering. What Christ’s suffering on the Cross does offer is the intimacy of a God who loves us so deeply that He was willing to bear the pain we previously had to experience alone. What His resurrection does promise is eternal life with the Father, even throughout the reality of our temporal lives. The most extraordinary thing is that God suffers this unimaginable pain for us, whilst we were still His enemies. He is willing to die for us, even though we are the ones who rejected Him. As we continue to pray today for those five who are yet to come to Jesus, let’s celebrate the fact that Christ has already died for them, already counts them as loved, and desires to be with them in their pain as well. We pray that they might be made alive by His Holy Spirit. In this passage, Peter places suffering on a whole new, cosmic axis. What God has done for us reverberates around the whole universe, and yet is centred on one beaten, broken man. Later, Peter writes: ‘You are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may be glad and shout for joy when His glory is revealed’. Our sufferings are not trivial to the God who intimately knows suffering. But they are not final either. On the other side of suffering is victory. For what took place in Jesus takes place in us – death in the body but being made alive in the Spirit. May those you know who are experiencing suffering today feel the arms of God comforting and guiding them. With God, suffering never has the last word.
Friday 3rd June 2022 Thy Kingdom Come Novena Day 8
Thy Kingdom Come Novena Day 8 1 PETER 4:6 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. Sometimes we make happen the very things we most want to avoid. One thing we often fear, and yet create for ourselves, is separation. We feel distant from those who are different to us, those we consider ‘other’. We feel separated from those who have gone before. Sometimes we feel separated from God. Some people we think are beyond reach. Sometimes we feel beyond reach ourselves, consumed by darkness, loneliness, and fear. What a profound message then for us in this passage. Jesus descends into the darkness, into the places we fear most, to bring us out of death and into life. Those who are consumed by darkness hear the Good News and are brought into the glorious light of God. Those who are dead are made to live new lives, which witness to the miracles of God. Many people may be physically alive, but they are not truly living. There are those who live submerged by circumstances, situations, and anxieties. The gospel gives people new life – God turns dead ends into turning points, rejection into acceptance, death into new life. It says that no-one is beyond redemption. There is no sin God doesn’t forgive when repentance is true. Those whom we give up on, whom we consider past hope, God never stops searching for. When they are found, God celebrates: ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep’ (Luke 15:6). The generosity of God overflows with such power that even death is swept away. Whilst we do not fully understand the mechanisms of salvation, we are encountered by the one who gives life to the dead. Where people turn away, God welcomes. Where we are tempted to judge, God calls us to love. When flesh inevitably dies, spirit lives. It is a call to live according to God’s standards, rather than wither according to our own. Pray today for your five friends; the Spirit of the one who crosses every boundary to bring the message of His love might reach them. As you pray for your five people today, remember this: no one is beyond the presence and promise of God.
Saturday 4th June 2022 Thy Kingdom Come Novena Day 9
Thy Kingdom Come Novena Day 9 1 PETER 4:14 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Hope in the midst of persecution is a clear theme throughout the Book of 1 Peter. It’s both an encouragement and a promise – suffering will give way to glory. It works through the past, present and future: Jesus has prevailed on the cross and in raising Him to life God the Father has overcome death. The Holy Spirit is with us in the here and now. Christ will return in glory. There is every reason for hope. Here, Peter takes something considered by the contemporary world to be shameful – for the community he writes to, and for many people around the world today, it is being a Christian. Jesus died whilst being mocked, insulted, and berated. He died in shame. Yet this is what He was born to do, the hour for which He came. For this death reveals the glory of God. God’s glory seen in the humiliation of Christ, as God bears our sin and shares our pain. The glory of God is how He loves us. This shameful death transforms shame into victory, unholiness into holiness. Life as a Christian isn’t all suffering. It’s experiencing the joy which the certainty of the hope brings, even in the darkest times. The promise of a world where everything will one day be made new. When people see that hope being lived, incredible things can happen. The living God gives people a living hope. As we live as Christians we experience God’s blessings, even as we know humankind’s suffering. St Paul talks about us sharing His sufferings, that we may enter into His glory. It is the depth of glory found in the unexpected places, in the darkest corners, in those who are rejected and abused. It is knowing that God considers us worth dying for, and that no experience of suffering or sorrow is able to overcome the capacity of God to bring life. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Whatever we are going through, the prayer, ‘Come Holy Spirit’ changes things. Pray most especially the Holy Spirit would so work in your five friends that they are able to enter into glory through the sufferings of Christ. In the beauty, the magnificence, and the joy of our lives, as well as the suffering and the pain, is the glory of God who will come again. May the Spirit of glory be upon you, and upon those you pray for, today and all your days.
Sunday 5th June 2022 Pentecost
10:30Joint Morning Worship in Carnoustie Church All welcome
10:30Service Live Stream Carnoustie Church Facebook
19:00Evening Reflections Carnoustie Church Facebook
Monday 6th June 202210:00Prayer Meeting Philip Hall All welcome
14:00Knitting For Others Hand-In Meeting 21 Barry Road
Wednesday 8th June 202210:00Good Neighbours Drop-In Cafe Cancelled until further notice
19:00Midweek Focus 1 John 3:11-18 All welcome
Contact for venue
Sunday 12th June 202209:30Morning Worship in Barry Church All welcome
11:00Service Live Stream Carnoustie Church Facebook
19:00Evening Reflections Carnoustie Church Facebook
Monday 13th June 202210:00Prayer Meeting Philip Hall All welcome
Wednesday 15th June 202219:00Midweek Focus 1 John 3:19-24 All welcome
Contact for venue.
19:30Church Life&Worship Team Meeting Philip Hall
Sunday 19th June 2022 Father's Day
09:30Morning Worship in Barry Church All welcome
11:00Service Live Stream Carnoustie Church Facebook
19:00Evening Reflections Carnoustie Church Facebook
Monday 20th June 202210:00Prayer Meeting Philip Hall All welcome
Wednesday 22nd June 202219:00Midweek Focus 1 John 4:1-6 All welcome
Contact for venue.
Sunday 26th June 202209:30Morning Worship in Barry Church All welcome
11:00Service Live Stream Carnoustie Church Facebook
19:00Evening Reflections Carnoustie Church Facebook
Monday 27th June 202210:00Prayer Meeting Philip Hall All welcome
Wednesday 29th June 202214:00Informal Afternoon Service Philip Hall All welcome
19:00Midweek Focus 1 John 4:7-21 All welcome
Contact for venue.
Thursday 30th June 202214:00Guild Afternoon Tea Barry Church Hall All welcome
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