The Second Rocky Road Epistle - Chapter 1

By the time you read this we will be in a second lockdown.  How do you feel about this?  Probably a mixture of emotions.  Perhaps you want to cry out to God “what are you doing?”
Or even as David did in Psalm 13:

1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?

With sadness Sunday morning services in the building are stopped temporarily, as are the prayer meetings on Thursday mornings.

But let us focus on the last 2 verses of Psalm 13:

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.

Our fellowship will continue and God’s work cannot be stopped.  These chapters will continue although it seems time to call it a second epistle for a second lockdown!  We will still put a service on the website to listen to – which can also be accessed by a phone line.  Wednesday Bible Studies will continue on Zoom.  Please see details below for all of these.

We are not stopped from praying or ringing each other and as your minister I want to encourage you to keep going with these things.

As the writer of the letter to the Hebrews put it in chapter 10 v.24 & 25:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

We are not giving up, we just cannot physically come together for these next few weeks.

Since it is the time of year for fireworks and all the Christmas stuff is in the shops this seems a suitable cartoon.


Bible Study

Wednesday 11th November at 7.15pm for 7.30pm start,
“Memory or Forgetfulness”

  1. What is your earliest memory?
  2. What Bible verses can you remember or words of hymns?  Do they help you in difficult times?
  3. Things we should forget or remember as Christians?  Have a look at the following verses,  2 Peter 3 v.8, Hebrews 13 v.2 & v.16, Philippians 3 v.13, 1 Corinthians 11 v.23-26.  Anything that surprises you or speaks to you?
  4. Any other similar verses in the Bible?
  5. What does God not forget or deliberately forgets?

Read Isaiah 49 v.15, Psalm 103 v.11 & 12, Luke 12 v.6 & 7 Hebrews 8 v.12. 

What do these tell you about God and about yourself?


Reflection

From Laura on “Remembrance Sunday and remembering” Joshua 4 v.19-24

“We will remember them” is a commitment made at every Remembrance Day Service.  Why is it important to have these acts of remembrance and others, such as breaking bread and drinking wine to “remember the Lord’s death until he comes”?  Probably because we are better at forgetting than remembering, especially as we get older.  It may be that we gain more things to remember, though possibly it is that our brain takes longer to recall things.

We are told that we should learn from our mistakes.  True, if we forget them we are in trouble, as  George Santayana (poet, essayist, philosopher) said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Memory is important to us as reflected in films which deal with the subject of memory loss.  For example, one called “51 first dates”, where due to an accident the heroine wakes up every morning with no memory of her boyfriend.  Hence the title “51 first dates” since he starts their relationship again every day.  There is a happy ending, but it underlines that memory or lack of it impacts our lives and those close to us.

Memory affects how we relate to people.  If someone was friendly and kind last time we met then we will look forward to seeing them again, but if someone was unpleasant or awkward then we tend to be wary of them.  The writer Margaret Silf describes memories as little power packs of energy that we carry around with us.  Memories act as stored emotional energy.  But negative ones can make us ill if we allow hurts to foster; or if we play the old tape of what happened again and again.  If we base our lives on the negative, we will end up chained to the past.  We need to forgive, or else resentments will sap our energy, harm us and those around and affect our relationship with God.  Forgiveness is not easy, but it is a decision to make before God and with His grace he can bring good through any messy situation.

How do you remember things or are there certain things which trigger your memory?  In the Bible people were told to put up stones or monuments to help them remember things, to trigger memories.  In the passage Joshua and the Israelites put up a pile of 12 stones to remember God’s act in stopping the river Jordan so that they could cross over safely to the promised land.  How could they ever forget such an amazing event?  The monument was for them and for future generations.  A reminder of the power of God, of His care of His people and an encouragement to worship God as He deserves.   Memories of God’s acts and care in our lives can help us when we feel low or in difficulties.

The second world war saw the Island of Guernsey under German occupation.

On 23 May 1945, two weeks after the Liberation, Jurat John Leale, President of the Controlling Committee during the Occupation, wrote a report which ended with the following incredible paragraph.

“From the Occupation of this Island by Germany forces, grim though the experience has been, we have all doubtless learned salutary lessons.  But there is one that I think we have been taught above all others and it is this:  Never in the past have we valued liberty as we shall value it in the future.  If that thought dominates our political, social and industrial lives, then good may yet come out of evil.  If because of our trials we realise, as we have never realised before, the meaning of freedom to the human spirit, then those cruel years from 1940 to 1945 will not after all have been wasted, but, on the contrary, out of the wreckage of the weary and seemingly useless years, we shall have rescued, and indeed refined that conception of life which alone entitles us to bear the name of men.”

As we again face lockdown let us allow God to teach us through it and let us ensure that 2020 is not a wasted year.  Instead pray that we will come out with greater vision of what God wants for us, greater appreciation of His love active in our lives and a greater concern for our world.

Next week’s theme is “New Creation” 2 Corinthians 5 v.14-21.


Songs for Sunday

  1. Hope for the world's despair:
    we feel the nations' pain;
    can anything repair
    this broken earth again?
    For this we pray:
    in every place
    a spark of grace
    to light the way.
     
  2. Wisdom for all who bear
    the future in their hand,
    entrusted with the care
    of this and every land.
    When comes the hour,
    O Lord, we pray,
    inspire the way
    we spend our power.
     
  3. Honour for all who’ve paid
    war’s painful, bitter price,
    when duty called they made
    the greatest sacrifice.
    Their memory
    will never cease
    to cry for peace
    and harmony.
     
  4. Ease for the troubled mind
    in endless conflict caught,
    each soul that cannot find
    the peace beyond all thought.
    May they be blessed
    with healing balm
    for inner calm
    and perfect rest.
     
  5. Love for the human heart:
    when hate grows from our fears
    and inwardly we start
    to turn our ploughs to spears.
    Help us to sow  
    love’s precious seed
    in word and deed,
    that peace may grow.

Winner of Jubilate's Hymns of Peace competition 2018, to mark the centenary of Armistice Day and the end of the First World War.
Ally Barrett © Jubilate Hymns Ltd CCLI #5638

  1. Praise You, Lord,
    For the wonder of Your healing.
    Praise You, Lord,
    For Your love so freely given;
    Outpouring, anointing,
    Flowing in to heal our wounds:
    Praise You, Lord, for Your love for me.
     
  2. Praise You, Lord,
    For Your gift of liberation.
    Praise You, Lord,
    You have set the captives free;
    The chains that bind are broken
    By the sharpness of Your sword:
    Praise You, Lord, You gave Your life for me.
     
  3. Praise You, Lord,
    You have borne the depths of sorrow.
    Praise You, Lord,
    For Your anguish on the tree;
    The nails that tore Your body
    And the pain that tore Your soul:
    Praise You, Lord, Your tears they fell for me.
     
  4. Praise You, Lord,
    You have turned our thorns to roses.
    Glory, Lord, as they bloom upon Your brow;
    The path of pain is hallowed,
    For Your love has made it sweet:
    Praise You, Lord, and may I love You now.

Nettie Rose, 1977 Thankyou Music © CCLI #5638


Information

Listening to a recording of an audio service

If you have internet, then go to our website (RRBC.org.uk) where you will find a recording.

If you are not on internet, we have now paid to have a “Dial-a-Service” facility.  If you ring 01536 909787 you will be able to listen to a recording of the service on your telephone. 
The cost, around 30p a call, is covered by the church. 

Christmas Shoeboxes

These need to be back to church please.  RRBC is a drop off-point for the area so the church will be open 9.30am to 12 noon on Monday 9th, Wednesday 11th, Thursday 12th and Monday 16th for dropping off boxes.  There are arrangements in place to ensure Covid restrictions are adhered to.

Tearfund Big Quiz Night Saturday 14th November at 7.30pm,
We are holding Tearfund’s Big Quiz again this year to fundraise for the charity’s work in some of the world’s poorest countries.
It will be using "Zoom" and should last around 45 minutes.  Tearfund’s ready-made quiz includes questions suitable for all ages and teams, large or small.
We suggest a donation of £3 per person to take part and these can be made through a just giving page specially set up.  All money will go straight to Tearfund.
The link is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rockingham-Road-Baptist-Church
To take part in Rockingham Road Baptist Church’s Tearfund’s Big Quiz Night please send an e-mail to me, Laura.  I will e-mail the details for joining a short while before the quiz is due to start, if you have friends or family who want to take part just ask them to e-mail too.
It should be possible to play in teams of 2 or 3 households if you want, please can you let me know in advance who you want to be in a team with, otherwise it could be a random selection for every team!

The Special Church Meeting will not be on Sunday 29th November after the service.  We are postponing it and will fix a new date once we know when lockdown will be lifted.  We consider that the required two-month notice, which has already been given, still applies to a new date and will distribute the new constitution once arrangements can be put in place.


Prayer

Let us pray for all who suffer
as a result of conflict,
and ask that God may give us peace:

For the service men and women who have
died in the violence of war,
each one remembered by and known to God;
May God give peace

For those who love them in death as in life,
offering the distress of our grief
and the sadness of our loss;
May God give peace

For all members of the armed forces ~
who are in danger this day,
remembering family, friends
and all who pray for their safe return;
May God give peace

For civilian women, children and men
whose lives are disfigured by war or terror,
calling to mind in penitence
the anger and hatreds of humanity;
May God give peace

For peace-makers and peace-keepers,
who seek to keep this world secure and free;
May God give peace

For all who bear the burden and privilege
of leadership, political, military and
religious; asking for gifts of wisdom and
resolve in the search for reconciliation and
peace.
May God give peace.

O God of truth and justice,
we hold before you those whose memory
we cherish, and those whose names we will never know.
Help us to lift our eyes above the torment
of this broken world, and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm.
As we honour the past, may we put our
faith in your future;
for you are the source of life and hope,
now and for ever.

Amen

Prayer Requests

Please pray for Ringstead Shared Church and their minister Rev David Shaw and please remember our  “Mission of the month” - Tearfund.