It was good to have Mr Michael Shingler lead our morning’s worship last Sunday after an absence of some months. He led our thoughts on Communicating the Gospel which was the theme of his service. He called us to worship as he announced our first hymn which was based on Psalm 104 “O Worship the King, all-glorious above: O gratefully sing his power and his love” the music being provided this Sunday by Neil and Jill Barnett.
Michael led our prayers of praise and adoration which were spirit based and uplifting. After our offertory we sang “To God be the glory, great things he has done” the great hymn by Frances Jane van Alstyne, written over 150 years ago but whose words still resonate today. Two bible readings were read, the first from Matthew, chapter 13, the Parable of the Sower and the second from Matthew chapter 28 telling of Jesus appearing to the disciples before he ascended to heaven.
Communication. How things have changed over recent years. How do we teach the Gospel in the age of soundbites and 280 character allowances?, asked Michael. Jesus taught by the use of parables, which his listeners could understand, hence the story of the sower of the seeds where some fell on stony ground and withered away, and some fell on good ground and thrived up to one hundred times. How should we interpret the gospel for this present age, was the question posed by Michael, and there are many answers, but we should use all the means at our disposal including the written word, personal contact by example, images borne out of this digital age because knowledge of the gospel of Jesus is life itself. We are sowers of the Word of God.
Our wide-ranging prayers for others included prayers for the suffering in present conflicts and for good governance by those who lead our National life.