Our minister, the Revd Mark Lawrence, led our morning’s worship last Sunday using as his theme one of the beatitudes of Jesus – “Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall see God”. Mark was warmly welcomed by our chief steward Bunty Hodgkins. We are currently mourning the passing of one of our much-loved church members, Mrs Joyce Scott, and Mark gave details of the Service of Thanksgiving for her life which is to be held on Thursday, 9th June at 2.45pm in our church.
We began with the rousing hymn “Crown him with many crowns, the Lamb upon his throne” following which Mark led our prayers of praise and thanksgiving. Seated we quietly sang a lovely hymn “Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here”. Rod Smith provided our organ music. In our prayers for others we remembered those who suffer for their faith, those who are persecuted and who are caught up in the world’s conflicts, particularly our Ukrainian brothers and sisters who suffer so tragically.
Our morning’s bible reading was taken from the Letter of James, chapter three, read by Margaret Maxwell. The letter is a collection of practical instructions, written to “all God’s people scattered all over the world”. Five verses in chapter three speak of the wisdom from above and deal with good deeds performed with humility and grace.
In his sermon Mark spoke of the blessings brought by the peacemakers “for they shall be called the children of God”. Sadly conflict is a fact of life whether it be in families or institutions but with the love of Jesus in your heart you will overcome conflict and Mark reminded us of some words of Jesus when he said, “In this world you will endure trouble, but take heart I have overcome this world”. Jesus is the perfect Peacemaker as he is the Prince of Peace and the more we become like Jesus the more we are at peace for his peace drives out hatred and bitterness. The story of the writing in 1873 of the great hymn “It is Well with my Soul” by Horatio Spafford, which he wrote after the loss of his four daughters in an Atlantic crossing, was a fitting conclusion to Mark’s sermon. We then celebrated Holy Communion in which Mark was assisted by Jill Harrison.