We believe God has called us to build a loving, worshipping, learning, evangelistic, and Spirit-filled fellowship here in Burwell.
We invite all those who share that vision to join us.
Each year we seek a bible passage to inspire and guide us as to how we might respond to this call. What should we focus on for the year?
Last year’s text was 1 John 3:18. Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
“I described it as perhaps one of the most challenging in the NT.” The more we have dug into what love really means during the year, I have concluded it is THE most challenging in the NT! Yet I am so grateful for this verse. It has shaped and guided our decisions during the year.
Our Year text for 2023 is “Let your light shine”
This comes from Matthew 5:16. Here is Matthew 5:14-16 for context…
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
We are focusing on just part of a verse but we will continually consider the wider context. Here I want to apply our year text to our vision.
The “light” which Jesus pours into us and want us to allow to shine through us is – love. Light is a metaphor for the love and truth of God. We are not moving on from last year’s challenging text! We allow the love to shine through our love in actions and in truth. Or as Jesus puts it here through our good deeds.
As John wrote in his first letter
1 John 2:10
Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.
We need to allow all that is God is doing amongst us be seen outside the church. Making our services available online may be part of that. But it is also seen through our outreach activities and practical care for each other.
Our love for God is expressed in worship and worship includes loving each other as well as singing. What is the purpose of letting our light shine before others – “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” that is worship.
Like a city on a hill – not individualistic. LICC remind us that we gather and scatter as the people of God. As we gather, we are filled and refreshed ready to go out once again and shine in the places where God has called us. Individually we are called to do our good works in secret. Corporately we are to let them shine.
We have redemption stories to tell. Telling those stories is part of letting His light shine through us. Following on from our evening “God Speaks” series we want to give space for you to share what you are hearing. We have called this “Let the Redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” This might include testimony, short or longer, prophetic words, words of scripture, and testing these together. Not the only place we can do this but it allows more space.
During last weeks service I felt God was saying “If you give me space, I will give you space”.
Our teaching will continue to support our vision. The battle between light and darkness is not an evenly balanced conflict. Darkness can not defeat light. As the light of God’s word breaks forth, the darkness of spiritual ignorance is banished. Spirit-filled revelation is what brings light.
Spiritual warfare series: We need to recognize that we have an enemy but that through the Spirit we have the weapons and the power to be more than conquerors.
The purpose of the light shining into the darkness is that those living in darkness may see the light, in the sense of accepting it. When we are saved, we move from the dominion of darkness to the Kingdom of the light. Israel were chosen to be a light to the rest of the world. We, the universal church, are the way in which God is choosing to make His saving power visible, at this time. We should do that by supporting and praying for mission organizations but we must also allow our light to shine into our local community. Light is not always welcomed. Many of us might prefer for our deeds to remain in darkness but as Paul wrote to the Ephesians 5: 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
The some of the church activities that will support this are: Film Friday, The Coronation, Rock Solid and Good News Club, Cooking Together@Home
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Is 43:19
God is always doing a new thing. His purpose has not changed but the way in which He works out His purposes does change. Our purpose has not changed but we must constantly keep in step with the Spirit.
We help to build a spirit-filled church by being spirit-filled individuals. I can’t make you more spirit-filled. All we can do is invite Holy Spirit to fill us, then use the gifts which He brings. Prayer ministry. To remove all barriers to the Spirit filling us and flowing out through us. It is the Spirit who brings the transcendent God near. He reveals the love and truth of God in us and through us. It is not the pot lamp which shines. It is not the wick that shines. It is not even the oil which shines. It is the flame which shines. Even more precisely it is the particles of carbon in the which glow white hot in the heat of the flame which reveal its presence, otherwise you would barely see the flame. God chooses to reveal His glory through us.
I still believe God has called us to build a loving, worshipping, learning, evangelistic, and Spirit-filled fellowship here in Burwell.
I still believe that God has promised to bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.
I still believe that God has promised we will be a beacon and this year that might be increasingly true.
Will you join us in that task this year by …
Join us in worship, become a member, come to the prayer meeting, join the congregation group, volunteer to serve, persevere in what you are doing already, by not growing weary of doing good.