God's plan is bigger than Brexit
The problem with living in Leeds and the problem with reading social media is that the world shrinks to a post code and my expectation of what God can do shrinks to a postage stamp. I’ve just spent a few days meeting with a steely crazy bunch of people who are serving God in inhospitable places all over the world where it would seem impossible for them to make a difference. In fact I had to learn some special terminology to understand what they were saying – because it wasn’t safe to speak freely.
But they tell stories of what Jesus is doing all over the world and especially in places where He’s not allowed to be spoken of. So what do they do? Well, nothing like all the activity that an Apprentice gets through in a single day when sent out by Lord Sugar. Mainly they pray, make friends, serve their communities – and then more prayer. They are being obedient to what the Lord (not Sugar) has called them to, and then, sure enough, He goes and does supernatural stuff which just blows your mind and cracks open a view of heaven’s wonders - seen on earth.
Back in Leeds it sometimes feels that we’re just pre-occupied with Brexit, the celebrity pages and seeking after happiness. But God has a plan which takes Brexit in its stride and provides an answer to our dilemmas on an eternal and cosmic scale and He’s also concerned about the detail of our Leeds lives.
The hard work of prayer sometimes seems too much when it’s hard enough trying to figure out how to stay healthy, pay our bills, sort out our relationships and try and enjoy life. But if we can lift our heads a little higher, think about making a difference in the world around us and go to God in prayer we too can experience the startling activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives!
I think the main thing I learnt from time with these crazy Christians is how much God wants to do, how little we can do on our own and therefore how important it is for us to pray.
So do pray! Pray on your own, pray in your small group, pray at weekly worship - and come along to Open Space on April 30 – where will worship and pray and wait for the Holy Spirit to come and do his supernatural stuff amongst us and amongst those we minister to.
It’s Easter week and the scale of what Easter represents across the world is wide: ranging from a re-ordering of the universe as Jesus defeats the power of death to the personal but sensational freedom each of us can experience as we receive His forgiveness granted at the cost of His life.
Here is a prayer of thanks for Easter which you can use if you wish:
Lord, give me grace unceasingly to return thanks to your Word and only Son,
as the purifier of our nature by his conception and nativity,
the deliverer of our persons, by his sufferings, cross and death,
the conqueror of hell, by his descent, of death by his resurrection,
our forerunner, in his ascension,
our advocate, in his sitting in glory,
the perfecter of our faith in his second advent.
(Bishop Lancelot Andrewes)
When we hear stories about what the Spirit of God is doing in hostile countries far, far away it sparks our imagination. But He is also at work in no less a fashion, right here, in Leeds. All around us and amongst us people are being forgiven, set free, repaired, inspired, transformed and healed. Let us not fall into the trap of thinking that the Spirit of God only works his wonders in faraway places but let us pray for and seek his activity right here, right now – in me, in us, in our communities, and in our country as well.
PLEASE NOTE: for your diary, there are extra fun things going on this coming Easter weekend and then on 30 April there is NO WEEKLY WORSHIP but there is Lunch and Open Space in the evening. Check the calendar at the bottom of the website homepage and the newssheets for up to date information.