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Issue 2 number 8 June 2016
Pentecost continued Bishop Henry Scriven
W The Editors
Andrew Colborne Alexandra Green Louise Heffernan Sheila Hills
Silvia Joinson David Pope
Copy for next issue to Parish Office or via email by 5th of
preceding month E-mail:
Parish Office: St Helen’s Court, Abingdon. OX14 5BS
Tel: 01235 520144
The Window is available to download from the
Churches’ websites on the back page
hat’s the point of church? Why do we come week after week? And what are our expectations?
Each Christian is called to ‘glorify God and enjoy him forever’ as the
Westminster Shorter Catechism says. So we are to offer worship that has God at the centre while at the same time lifting our spirits into the presence of our creator.
But the Pentecost season is one in which we think about the coming of the Holy Spirit to equip the church to ‘do the good things he planned for us long ago’ (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
Incidentally, isn’t it a shame we have now reverted to naming this season Trinity and not Pentecost? I prefer Pentecost because it reminds us that God is still pouring out his Spirit on the church.
And that’s the point: the reason for church is to equip us for ‘out there’ not to give us a nice feeling ‘in here’. Remarkably, God has chosen us, each one of us, every one of us, to take his light, wisdom and love into the world which is largely in darkness, ignorant and lacking in love. God has chosen the church to be his instrument for his mission. Is there another way? Yes, I guess he could, and sometimes does, do it without our help. But that is not normal. We are instruments of the Kingdom of God. And that is every one of us however week, feeble, old, young, prepared or unprepared. Church is what we do when we are gathered; kingdom is what we do when we are not gathered – when we are in the street, the school, the home, the coffee shop. God’s kingdom is the pizza, the church is only the scooter! (That analogy may not work for all of you!).
We are called to go out and bear fruit equipped with the gifts that God gives to his church We have such a great example and illustration of this in our Queen who uses her God given gifts to bless and enrich the world and thereby spread the Kingdom. We also are reminded of our calling when we see people confirmed for their service as we did on Ascension Day. The commitment of Beth and Richard was to God and their growing faith, but also to the mission of God in the world. They responded to one of the ques- tions of commissioning: Will you proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ? And the answer - With the help of God, I will.
Every one of us has the same calling: we come to church to learn how to be fruit and we go out in the power of the Spirit to bear fruit for the Kingdom.
Pentecost is the particular season when we can work out what God’s gifts are and what he gives to us so that we can be empowered to share with others and bring his light to them. Ephesians 4:7, 8: God has given each one of us a special gift through the generos- ity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say, ‘When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.’
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