Discerning what follows
By The Revd Robert Jordan M.A.
Bible Reading: Romans 8:12-17, 26-30
Not long ago the URC asked churches to study a booklet on the future of our churches - What the Spirit is saying to the Churches - and we did this a few weeks ago with the elders. And it got us talking seriously on our present, but very specially on our future as a church here in Highworth. We decided then, that the next time I came here we would talk about prayer, because that is what we realized was the issue at stake... that each of us as members, friends, adherents of the church, but also each of us in our own personal lives could seek God's guidance to help us discern what follows.
No doubt each of us in our own particular way, prays - in different ways, for different situations. Prayer is at the heart of our being Christians. and as such as being church. At this time I will be inviting you to dedicate some special time for a particular issue of prayer relating to Highworth United Reformed Church - and particularly its future, its way ahead. Of course each of us is different and also unique, so how we approach this will be different in every case, but we also realize that different as we are we will be coming together even when we aren't always physically together. We discover that thanks to the Spirit a bridge is built that overcomes distance and time - through the Spirit we are grafted into a "togetherness" that is different to anything else.
Our first realization in prayer is that we come to God as God's children, and this is humbling experience. We connect with God and affirm that God is greater than we are. This is one of the things we have in common. When we meet for prayer before our Study meeting there is a lot of silence,, and that is very moving. When we pray on our own we may use more words. There isn't a wrong way when we come before God in humility and when our prayer is felt and sincere.
It will be the Spirit that will help us come to God as 'Abba' - Father of us all, past present and yet to come. We have come by grace of God - God's children. And you must have seen in other cases, or experienced it yourselves...parents and children have a way of communicating that is unique to them, others can see, can hear, and think they understand but that doesn't always. Sound, words, they only they understand. With prayer it is the same. As the reading today tells us "The Spirit helps us, intercedes with groans that words cannot express" . ***
Each of you has a card with four suggestions for prayer, thee cards will be shared as well with people who come to our coffee morning, and the people who share our building for different meetings. We will ask them to be part of this as well, their words, in a unique way seeking discernment for the way ahead. You can pray for the four headings at one time, or one a week... whatever way. There is no wrong way, and the Spirit will do what we feel we may not be able to do.... ***
The Bible says many times there are moments of prayer but doesn't say much what prayer is, and how to do it. So that is very helpful...we don't have to follow a map, we can be who we are, and how we are. But please, be part of this.......... help us discover what God wants for Highworth URC and how to be faithful as we go ahead on this way. And we should be expecting the unexpected, and share the thoughts and ideas we develop on this way. ***
Remember - you may be on your own in this, but you aren't alone. We are the children of God who are on the way. ***