Thank you to our group leaders who provide frontline pastoral care and discipling through our 26 groups. If you haven’t joined one yet, why not try one out in Term 1. They won’t make you stay if you don’t enjoy it! But I know you will love it.
Serving & Enjoying God Forever
I’m not a great one for creating pithy statements or creating catchy mottos. My brother is. He’s in advertising, but that’s another story. So when it comes to setting themes for our year, I spend time with the Lord and chatting with our members. What is on my heart this year is seeking to find our joy in the Lord.
I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t find joy in other things – the love of family and friends, exhilarating music, amazing art, a wonderful meal, and a St George premiership! But our ultimate pleasure can and should be found in Jesus our Lord and Saviour. This year I’d love us to explore, enjoy and experience deeper this wonderful reality.
Rick Warren famously reminded us that we were made for God and his glory. Remember his opening line in his best-selling book, ”It’s not all about you”. Life is to be focused and fulfilled not in us but in God.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism is usually seen as a classic statement of Reformed Faith, in which our Anglican Church is grounded.
It surprisingly begins:
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
I like us to explore this year in our Sunday gatherings and preaching, our LIFE groups and our personal devotions. What’s the existential link between us enjoying Him and glorifying him? How can we seek to enjoy Him? Does enjoying him exclude or denigrate enjoying His creation? What does this reality teach us about heaven? I’m paraphrasing John Piper, but he wants us to reflect on the truth that God is most gloried when he is most enjoyed.
The Catechism reminds us that the Bible is where God reveals how such a journey is possible. Our teaching program focuses on our theme this year. We’ve begun with our January preaching focusing on mission as we do each year, and of course the chief goal of mission is for more people to glorify and enjoy God through Jesus. February to April we’ll study some of the extraordinary claims of Jesus through Matthew’s Gospel as he models & enables enjoying and glorifying God. Then in term 2 we explore the Bible book of JOY ie. Philippians. Terms 3 and 4 we’ll turn to the Psalms and 1 & 2 Peter which help us to find joy and direction, through the highs and lows of life.
Copies of our latest preaching program will be available next Sunday. Our team treasure your prayers and would love you to seek the Lord with us on this year’s journey.
Your brother in Christ