DAY 102: Sunday 28 June
Good morning all
There’s a word that’s been in short supply over the past 15 weeks – ‘Come!’. All we seem to have heard for 3 months is ‘don’t come, stay away, stay at home, isolate’. Supermarkets allowed us to come and queue and stay at a safe distance, but we prefer you order online and we’ll deliver. But over the past month, as more retail premises have been allowed to reopen, we have been invited to ‘come and shop, but you can’t touch or try on’.
Next week as restaurants and pubs reopen, there will be an implicit invitation to ‘come and eat and drink’, albeit with limitations. Last week as hoards descended on Bournemouth, one lady resident being interviewed said ‘why has the whole world descend on our town and there were even people from Birmingham!’
Since Falcon Lodge Chapel first opened its doors in February 1954, the invitation has always been for people to ‘come’. The doors have been open for Sunday services every week over the past 66 years (that’s more than 3450 Sundays) apart from an occasional closure due to snow or extreme weather which has only happened four times over the past 10 years. But this is now the fifteenth consecutive Sunday when our doors remain closed. We hope it will not be too much longer before we can safely reopen and invite people once again to ‘Come’.
On the last Sunday morning of 2019, we held an Open Table Communion service as we usually do on the fifth Sunday in a month. Joining with us on that day were Steve Casey and his family who had come back home from Liverpool for a New Year family gathering in Sutton. Steve first came to the Chapel back in the 1980’s when he was invited by my son Chris – they were schoolfriends. Chris had apparently invited Steve to ‘Come to the Chapel – it’s great!. Steve continued through the next 10 years or more, through Junior Church and Youth groups and was baptised at the Chapel before leaving Sutton to go to Liverpool university.
He still lives in Liverpool with his wife and daughters and is now lead pastor of a church in Speke from where I have borrowed today’s message recorded last month in Steve’s home.
The theme of our virtual service today is ‘Come unto Me’ taken from Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The invitation to ‘come’ is two-way in our spiritual experience. First of all, God invites us to come to Him as the verses above clearly state. But then we invite God to come into our lives, to save and forgive, to cleanse, to heal, to guide and to empower. As you watch and listen to today’s service, remember to first respond to God’s invitation to you, and then extend your invitation for Christ to come and live His life in your life.
Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Today’s video service can be watched online or downloaded and lasts 32 minutes >>> https://falconlodgechapel.sermon.net/21616218
Many of you will remember Jenny Cope who with her sister Helen grew up at the Chapel through Junior Church and Youth group and was baptised before leaving to go to university. Jenny plays violin and has returned to us on a number of occasions together with her violin. The last time we saw Jenny was in February 2018 when she announced she was moving with her job from London to South Africa. Yesterday we heard that Jenny got married to David in South Africa, where it is now mid-Winter, so congratulations to Jenny and David from your old friends at Falcon Lodge Chapel. Because of travel restrictions, Jenny’s family and friends were unable to travel to be there, so everything was done virtually; her Dad gave her away ‘virtually’ from his home in Rectory Road and her family and friends here in the UK were also able to join in the celebrations ‘virtually’.
MAKE YOU SMILE:
A Special Find
A little boy opened the big old family Bible with fascination and looked at the old pages as he turned them over.
Then something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely.
It was an old dried leaf from a tree that had been pressed between the pages.
"Mummy, look what I found," the boy called out.
"What have you got there, dear?" his mother replied.
With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered: "I think it's Adam's suit!"
From a 3-year-old:
"Our Father who does art in heaven, Harold is His name.