The Third Rocky Road Epistle, Chapter 14

It was a great joy to celebrate Easter Sunday in the beautiful sunshine and uplifting to be able to sing together outside. Nearly thirty of us made a joyful noise. Those of you who missed it will be able catch up through our Facebook page and our Website. We had a large number of knitted eggs, five strings of eggs were hung up bearing a message and the rest taken to be scattered to others with the aim to spread a counter infection of joy and hope in the middle of the fear and anxiety that people are experiencing.

We are now planning to have another open-air service for Pentecost on May 23rd.

This week we are starting another series looking at teaching involving the phrase “How much more” in the Bible. The phrase is used to argue from something true to something far greater and much more important.

Next Sunday we have our Church Members’ AGM to which regular attendees are also invited to come. It will be held immediately after our service and to keep things short we are distributing information beforehand. This meeting marks the start of us moving forward as a fellowship. We need to discern over the next few months what direction God wants us to take. We also need to review all the different things we used to do and see if they are still relevant and practical within the fellowship’s life and mission. Everyone involved at RRBC should spend some time in prayer seeking God’s plan and their part in it. We all have a part to play in going forward. To help focus our minds and express our united commitment to God a suggestion from those at the Wednesday Bible Study is to fast on the Sunday morning prior to the meeting. If you read the book of Acts you will see that on more than one occasion they fasted and prayed, and God spoke with new direction into their situation.

So, for those of you able to, I invite you to fast on the morning of Sunday 18th. It basically means missing breakfast. You could fast from food and have your usual drinks, or even just have water to drink. Even if you are not coming to the meeting (members - please remember to send your apologies), then you can still fast with the rest of us, expressing your unity and desire to go forward with God.

Zoom Bible Study

There is a Zoom Bible Study on Wednesday 14th April at 7.15pm for 7.30pm start,
God so loved” John 3 v.16,17, and Romans 5 v.1-8

All are welcome to join - please ask Laura for details.

Or if you prefer to do this Bible Study at home, then read the passages several times and consider the following questions.

  1. “God loves you”, what reaction does that phrase cause?

Read both Passages,

  1. What do they tell you about God’s love?
  2. Four “whats”!
    1. What is grabbing my attention?
    2. What can I see God doing?
    3. What do I need to do next?
    4. What do I need to embrace as part of my life?

Reflection

From Phillip on “How much more glorious”, based on 2 Corinthians 3 v.7-18

A few weeks ago, when we were looking at the story of Elijah fleeing to Mount Horeb to meet with God, we remarked on how the mountain had a special place for the Jewish nation. For it was there (or on a mountain near there) that God had appeared to Moses and given him two tablets of stone inscribed with the Ten Commandments. Those Ten Commandments - thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not steal and so on (see Exodus 20) - are not only important in the Jewish faith but are a set of standards on which we build our personal morality and the pillars of law in most world democracies. Moses, when he came down from the mountain, was so radiant with the presence of God that he had to wear a veil because the dazzling appearance of his face was too much for the people to look at.

The giving of the Ten Commandments was a momentous event in the life of Moses and the people of Israel. Yet it was an event that brought condemnation on the people, for they now had God given rules to live by and sadly they were unable to meet God’s high standards. Yes, the giving of the Ten Commandments was glorious, yet it was a ministry that brought condemnation.

If that was glorious, says Paul in his second letter to the Corinthian Church, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness. (2 Cor 3 v.9). The ministry Paul was referencing was of course the ministry of Jesus. Not only does Jesus show us what is right and what is wrong, but only Jesus has the power to forgive our sins and short comings. Only he can put us right with God, which in a nutshell is what righteousness is all about.

Most of us could associate with two things I mentioned earlier: a special place and seeing a radiant look on someone’s face. We perhaps have a special place where we feel the presence of God, such as a church building or a beauty spot or a location where something significant once happened. I remember years ago being at a Christian convention, where the atmosphere was wonderful, and the speaker on the stage asked if we would like to bottle up the feeling and take it home. Much as we wanted to, we all knew there was no point for it would not last. Similarly, a radiant look on someone’s face may not be there every time we meet them, but we know it when we see someone who radiates the presence of God. The appearance of Moses’ face was truly breath-taking to all who saw it, and yet it was not destined to last for ever. If, as Paul says, the glory of Moses was transitory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts. (v.11).

The significance of Moses having to cover his face, because of the radiance of God’s presence, is continued in Jewish culture by the tradition of the priest wearing a veil when the Commandments that represent the Old Covenant, are publicly read. Yet there is always a danger with traditions, that the tradition becomes more important than the event it is commemorating. This, says Paul, has happened here for the tradition is a veil that covers their hearts. (v.15). However, the power of Jesus’ ministry in bringing in a new covenant can take the veil away, for the new covenant is not outside the heart, but within. As the prophet Jeremiah looked forward to -

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 31 v.33)

How much more glorious is the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through his death, and resurrection we can be forgiven. When we accept him as our Lord and Saviour he comes as Spirit to live in our hearts. There is now nothing between us and God, our faces can shine with the brightness of his face as we are transformed into his image in ever increasing glory to become more like him.


Dates

Sunday 18th April -Church AGM after the morning service.


Listening to a recording of our audio service

Please note that the service will be recorded on a Sunday morning and then be available as soon as possible after the service.

If you have the internet, then go to our website (www.rrbc.org.uk) where you will find a recording under the audio files.

If you are not on the Internet, we have now paid to have a “Dial-a-Service” facility. Telephone 01536 909787 and 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.

Don’t forget our Facebook page always has some interesting things on as well.


Prayers

Based on the Church of England’s resource “Prayer for the nation”

A Family Prayer

Loving God, you know us and all that we are facing. We thank you that we can come to you as we are – with all our fears and concerns, our difficulties and challenges. Please draw close to each of us and those we remember before you now. Bring to us your peace and comfort. And fill us with your Spirit that we may be bearers of your grace and hope to others. As a country protect us, encourage us and keep us. In the name of your Son Jesus we pray. Amen.

Prayers for the nation

Lord Jesus Christ, in these dark and difficult days we turn our hearts to you. In ages past you have delivered our nation from disaster. Do it again we pray. Give Wisdom beyond human wisdom to our leaders as they steer this land out of lockdown. Give strength beyond human strength to the NHS and all our frontline workers. Give comfort beyond human comfort to children and the elderly and all who grieve. Lord, Jesus Christ. In these dark and difficult days, turn your face towards us, have mercy upon us, and heal our land we pray. Amen

Please pray for our Mission of the Month

The “Open Doors” organisation supporting persecuted Christians around the world.

Songs for Sunday

1. Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
pure unbounded love Thou art;
visit us with Thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart.

2. Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.

3. Come, Almighty to deliver,
let us all Thy grace receive;
suddenly return, and never,
never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
glory in Thy perfect love.

4. Finish then Thy new creation:
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see Thy great salvation,
perfectly restored in Thee:
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before Thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Charles Wesley (1707-88)
© CCLI #5638

1. Lord, the light of Your love is shining,
in the midst of the darkness shining:
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us,
set us free by the truth You now bring us –
shine on me, shine on me.

Shine Jesus, shine,
fill this land with the Father's glory;
blaze, Spirit, blaze,
set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow,
flood the nations with grace and mercy;
send forth Your word, Lord,
and let there be light!

2. Lord, I come to Your awesome presence,
from the shadows into Your radiance,
by the blood I may enter Your brightness:
search me, try me, consume all my darkness –
shine on me, shine on me.
Shine Jesus, shine,

3. As we gaze on Your kingly brightness
so our faces display Your likeness,
ever changing from glory to glory:
mirrored here, may our lives tell Your story –
shine on me, shine on me.
Shine Jesus, shine,

Graham Kendrick
© 1987 Make Way Music CCLI #5638


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Rocky Road Epistles Chapter 23
The twenty third letter from Rev Laura Staves to the scattered flock of Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Kettering.

Rocky Road Epistles Chapter 22
The twenty second letter from Rev Laura Staves to the scattered flock of Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Kettering.

Rocky Road Epistles Chapter 21
The twenty first letter from Rev Laura Staves to the scattered flock of Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Kettering.

Rocky Road Epistles Chapter 20
The twentieth letter from Rev Laura Staves to the scattered flock of Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Kettering.

Rocky Road Epistles Chapter 19
The nineteenth letter from Rev Laura Staves to the scattered flock of Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Kettering.

Rocky Road Epistles Chapter 18
The eighteenth letter from Rev Laura Staves to the scattered flock of Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Kettering.

Rocky Road Epistles Chapter 17
The seventeenth letter from Rev Laura Staves to the scattered flock of Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Kettering.

Rocky Road Epistles Chapter 16
The sixthteenth letter from Rev Laura Staves to the scattered flock of Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Kettering.

Rocky Road Epistles Chapter 15
The fifthteenth letter from Rev Laura Staves to the scattered flock of Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Kettering.

Rocky Road Epistles Chapter 14
The fourteenth letter from Rev Laura Staves to the scattered flock of Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Kettering.

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