Visit of Mrs Jill Baker Vice President of the Methodist Conference

IMG_20170723_142438It’s not often that a service in church begins with the question ‘Have you had your five a day?’ No – not fruit and veg, but spiritual input! Jill Baker used some verses from Acts (2.42-47) and from Luke’s gospel (11.1-8 – where Jesus teaches his disciples the Lord’s Prayer) to talk about the need for a rhythm for our spiritual life. It can be as structured as the regular prayers throughout the day and night in a monastic community, or a regular but attentive use of the Lord’s Prayer, with its reminders of God and his kingdom, provision, forgiveness and grace. Or it could be a discipline for our daily life, in which we give time each day to read and reflect, to give thanks, to pray, to keep silence, and to act. And with that ‘five a day’, we should grow in our spiritual life as individuals and as a church. This growth was summarised by the prayer of St Richard of Chichester, sung as a solo by Brian; ‘Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: to know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly, day by day.’

But discipline isn’t everything – we must be ready to react to the unexpected; we were reminded how the local church responded to the Grenfell Tower disaster, opening its doors to survivors and releasing its minister to work with people in need. That was exceptional – but we too might have a ‘knock at midnight’ from someone in need (Luke 11.8). And then we need the back-up of the most basic of spiritual rhythms – going in to meet Jesus, going out to share Jesus, ‘day by day’.

Thank you to the person who kindly wrote the above article  describing the Sunday Worship on 16th July.

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