Pentecost Sunday was planned as a Local Arrangement at Four Oaks. We decided to use the opportunity to hold our second outdoor service. The sun shone as we set up and as more people arrived, we had to find more chairs!
It was an uplifting service of praise and testimony. To the delight of young and old, a bubble machine reminded us that the Holy Spirit lifts ‘our’ Spirits, makes us joyful and colours our lives.
As we worshipped together we were reminded that our faith and witness in our neighbourhood needs to be ‘outside our church walls’ as much as possible.
Vivid picture Holy Week is a time for quiet reflection. But there was no quiet reflection on the first Good Friday. Luke paints a vivid picture: Simon carrying the cross, a group of wailing women, sneering leaders, mocking soldiers, two criminals in agonising pain, and the watching crowds. It was all so noisy, so violent, so public.
Prayer and promise And Jesus lifted up. ‘… they crucified him there’ (v 33). Four simple words that mark the pivot of human history. And from the parched lips of Jesus, two ‘words’. The first a prayer, the second a promise. Jesus prays that those who are rejecting him may be forgiven. This Good Friday, come again to the cross and know that you are forgiven, whatever you may have done, or not done! And then the promise to the dying thief from the King himself: immediate entrance into the kingdom. This Good Friday come again to the cross and know that you are granted eternal life, which begins now and never ends.
Power and wonder As Jesus dies, the sun stops shining (v 45). But then the Temple curtain is torn in two, and the darkness of the world is flooded with divine light (John 1:5). Oh, the power and wonder of the cross. Good Friday indeed!
Members of Four Oaks are meeting at the church at 10.15am where there will be a short act of worship. Together with all the other local churches we will then walk to St James for an outdoor service of witness at 11.00am. If you feel unable to walk the distance you’re more than welcome to make your own way to St James to join us. Hot cross buns and tea will be served in the Church Hall afterwards. Please feel free to come and join us for all or part of the morning.
We hope you will then be able to join us on Easter Day 4pm for our Circuit Service of Praise.