Sunday, 13 June 2010

Meeting leading

This morning my lovely church (the Plant), gave me the opportunity to lead the church meeting. The job involves welcoming everyone to church, leading in prayer, and introducing the speaker. I've included my notes from the introduction beneath; all comments would be gratefully received!

Hello, and welcome to the Plant on this summer morning. Later today, we’ll be hearing the last Bible talk from our series on the book of Exodus. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found this series for the Old Testament pretty challenging over the last term.

To do a little recap, we started back in Exodus 25 with God’s telling Moses of the intricate description of how the Israelites should worship God, the specifications of the tabernacle and actions of the Priest. We even hear in Exodus 29 how God will dwell among the people of Israel, and will be their God. However when Moses returned to his people to tell them this, he was greeted by them worshipping a statue of a golden calf... Not a good response to a holy and almighty God! The relationship was strained – could God really return to his people after such blatant and willing disobedience? After much interceding from Moses, the relationship is given another opportunity, and the people given another chance to worship God. This time the people willingly contribute to the work of God, and his tabernacle is finally completed to the letter. Our voyage through Exodus will culminate today in chapter 40, when we hear Phil speaking on God’s presence coming to his people.

So, that was a quick recap on what we’ve covered so far – what a choppy story!

Whilst the last week probably hasn’t been quite so adventurous, I imagine we’ve all had some interesting and challenging experiences. I hope for some of us, things may have gone pretty well; maybe the end of exams, the chance for a bit of sun, start of the world cup... However I’m sure that there have also been times for each of us over the past week that haven’t been so great.

Regardless of how the last few days have gone, we all know that we haven’t sought to serve God as we should have done, and like the Israelites chosen to instead to put our time and effort into worshipping other things with our lives.

However unlike the people of Israel in the book of Exodus, we don’t need a temple anymore. God the son came and gave himself up for us, handling the punishment for our rebellion, putting us right with God.

It’s so easy as Christians, to forget how great this message really is, and the enormous implications of it for each us. A little later today, we’re going to remember this awesome sacrifice through the Lord’s supper. However, before we do this, I thought it would be good to come to God in prayer, firstly to thank him for what he’s taught us through the book of Exodus, and secondly, to thank him for the most amazing grace, seen in Jesus. I’ll start each with a short prayer, after this, please do add to them with own prayers, either out-loud or in you heart, thanking the Lord for what he has taught us and done for us.

Thanks for reading this far! Later this week I'm giving a talk on Mark 1:9-15, as part of a preaching workshop organised by my church. Again this should hopefully appear on-line shortly afterwards.

Wishing you all a most pleasant week.