Dear brothers and sisters,
Today the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Snowdrops are pushing their way through the mud in Greenwich Park and ducks are trailing baby ducklings! It’s easy to be upbeat. But we all know those darker days when conversations that start with a small moan about something or another descend all too easily into a general grumble about pretty much everything.
As I reflected on my own determination to avoid going down that particularly slippery slope, the story of two disciples on the road to Emmaus came to mind. (Luke 24:14). Walking & talking about the unprecedented events of their day; they share their anger and frustration; their shock that Jesus, their friend, on whom all their hope was pinned, had been hung on a cross, then buried and now apparently missing from his grave. Their conversation is unravelling into despair and confusion. (v.17-24) And then someone comes alongside, joins in the conversation. A voice offering God’s eternal perspective on the events of the day (v27). Words that remind them that God’s purposes have not been thwarted but fulfilled. And what happens to their hearts and minds? Hope is restored. Their mindset shifts. They look back on the conversation with wonder:
“Were not our hearts burning within us when he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us’. (v32)
Of course we miss the buzz and crush of larger gatherings; the ‘hi-bye’ snippets of news, brief chats after Sunday services, moving from one group to another. But perhaps these restrictions on groups, can encourage us to enjoy longer, one to one, conversations. And as we walk&talk with one other, or arrange a call&coffee, sharing the very real frustrations and struggles, moments of almost hysterical laughter ( surely I’m not the only one!), in the midst of this winter lockdown, let’s also be intentional in sharing God’s word. Jesus came alongside the disciples with a reminder that his death and resurrection were always part of God’s eternal plan. He brought words of truth and comfort and hope. We are called to do the very same thing. To come alongside one another, one conversation at a time, in the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Online Links, Notices and Reminders:
Meal with Jesus – Lent family bible readings
During Lent, we are inviting families to read the Bible together in their home and to join with other parents to encourage and pray for one other. If you are a parent of a 2-18 year old child, you will be receiving a free copy of ‘Meals with Jesus’ soon to help you with this. Find out more and sign up to a discussion group on our website.
St Johns Mission Newsletter
With Mission Sunday coming up, do read the latest Newsletter on our website. https://www.stjohnsblackheath.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/St-Johns-Misson-Newsletter-Feb2021.pdf
Monthly Zoom Prayer Meeting: Monday 8th February, 8pm – 9pm
Meeting ID: 864 6668 9719 Passcode: 316819
At 9.15 & 11.15 am for the first part of our new series on “Life Together; Ethnicity, Church and the Gospel”. The 11.15 service will be live streamed via the St John’s YouTube channel.
10.30am Virtual Refreshment – join via the zoom link below for some fellowship time together:
Meeting ID: 814 2447 3923 Passcode: 112358
6pm Zoom Evening Service
Meeting ID: 871 3762 3729 Passcode: 079847
FOODBANK at St John’s
All details on website: