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Our Church Celebration Lunch 

Saturday April 2nd 2022  
Wonderful and Beautiful
Ephesians 2:11-22

On Saturday, we gathered together to mark the end of lockdown giving thanks to God for our church family and his sustaining of our fellowship and the gift he has given us in one another. we are so grateful that we also saw church in action as so many people help to get everything sorted out from booking caterers to setting up tables and looking after the finance. we are particularly grateful to Annabelle Coombs and to Tor Moir for their oversight and hard work. It was fantastic to relax together, to be catered for, and enjoy sharing our very lives. Praise the Lord!
During our lunch we reflected briefly on the joy of being church by looking at Ephesians 2 v 11-22.
In Ephesians chapter 1 Paul described the church as the body of Christ and our Lord and Saviour as the sovereign head of the church. And  in chapter 2  Paul  then reminds  believers of  our prior alienation from God and his people. We were cut off,  adrift in this world , and without hope. But because of what Christ has done, humbling himself by coming to our world  and dying on the cross for us, and rising from the dead he has  wonderfully  and beautifully brought us into relationship with God. But also, of course, he has also -  wonderfully and beautifully  - brought us into a relationship with one another!
A deep bond  - a loving bond  exists between us  which means that the gathering on Saturday was wonderful and beautiful. In Ephesians 2 v 11-22 Paul calls us  ‘fellow citizens’ (19),  members of the same household of God. Which means we are FAMILY!  And we are precious stones, bricks in his temple enjoying  the vital presence of the Cornerstone keeping the structure sturdy,  the Lord Jesus himself. “In whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. (v.21)
And look what the Lord is doing among us today! “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (v.22). This is an extraordinary truth and privilege. And it makes a compelling witness to the world. As Paul goes on to say in chapter 3, that God will be glorified in the church as we, the church, play the role of a ‘shop window’ to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places, displaying to them the manifold wisdom of God.
We ask our friends the question:  ‘You want to know what God is like?’ and we rightly say, “well look at the Lord Jesus”. Well Jesus’ express wish  is that people can also look at the church to see what his Father is like! This is mind blowing. A serious responsibility and, again, an extraordinary privilege.
This fellowship is wonderful and beautiful.

Psalm 133
A song of ascents. Of David.
1 How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life for evermore.

Let us pray
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3 v 14-21
Dan McGowan  6.4.22 

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