Carpenders Park Church - Caring and Sharing in the Community

ELDERS' MESSAGE

Dearest CPC!

 

One of the people who visited me after Val died was my godson Peter – a lovely lad (all 6ft 6 of him) who with his wife works among Muslims in London. I so appreciated his visit. He told me he had asked the Lord if there was a particular verse that he should ‘bring’ for me, and rather apologetically said, ‘I’m afraid it’s just that old favourite Jeremiah 29:11: “I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future and a hope.”’

When I saw him at Val’s funeral he reminded me of this. ‘Remember – a future and a hope!’ he said.

This has meant a lot to me in my grief. A future and a hope. Jeremiah sent that prophecy to the exiles in Babylon, who had lost everything: many of their family members had been killed by the Babylonian army before they had been carried away destitute from their homes and forced to make a new life in a foreign land. A future and a hope? That could have sounded like mockery.

In the darkest situation, the Lord has plans for our welfare, not for our harm. Can I hold onto that, against all that seems to shout the opposite? What’s the basis, the evidence (if there is any) for this unrealistic grasping at hope when all seems completely dire?

For the exiles in Babylon, the basis was just the authority of Jeremiah’s word as a prophet – because they didn’t know about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. True, the message about the resurrection comes to us mediated through the words of other prophets, the writers of the New Testament. But what solid evidence there is for it! As someone commented, there is more evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead than for the arrival of Julius Caesar on the shores of Kent in 55BC – though no one doubts that that other JC really did say ‘veni vidi vici’ (I came, I saw, I conquered) about prehistoric Britain!

And that’s it – that’s the basis of the hope, and the evidence that it’s not pie in the sky. I really can grasp Peter’s verse for myself, because Jesus rose from the dead. Hope in the face of all that denies life is secured because he threw back the stone and rose to glorious new life. I can believe that, even in my deep sadness.

With much love

  



SERVICES APRIL 2018

Our theme is BEING LIKE JESUS

 

Sunday 1st     EASTER SUNDAY

                     Living in new life

                     Luke 24:1-8; Romans 6:1-4

                     Bryan Jukes leads and Steve Motyer preaches

 

Sunday  8th    Being sent by the Father

                     John 20:19-23

                     Douglas Nwosu leads and Steve Motyer preaches

                       

Sunday 15th   Feeling and showing God's anger

                     Matthew 21:12-13

                     Andy Coomar leads and Robert Dear preaches

 

Sunday 22nd   Serving others without distinction

                     Luke 10:25-37

                     Bryan Jukes leads and Douglas Nwosu preaches

 

Sunday 29th         Living without fear

                     Mark 4:35-41; Luke 13:31-33; Luke 22:39-46

                     Dave Sims leads and Bryan Jukes preaches

                     This service is a Communion Service