Hope the week has started well for you. Yesterday we enjoyed the more relaxed format of café church and thought about the ‘I am’ statements of Jesus in John’s gospel. 7 times in the gospel Jesus says I am … followed by an image which comes straight out of Jewish tradition and OT scripture, and where Jesus establishes that he is the reality that all of these shadows or outlines have been pointing to. The manna from heaven, the shepherds or teachers of the law, even Israel itself were to show a glimpse to the rest of the world of God’s provision and love and they all failed and so here is Jesus, the very essence of God himself – the true manna, the true shepherd and the true vine. And we now have our own St John’s vine planted next to the entrance to the building to remind us of that and that we are the branches – thanks to the hard work of William.
And of course, even the phrase I am … has significance. It is the name of God revealed to Moses before he leads God’s people out of captivity. It’s the root of the word Jahweh, Adonai and Jehovah. It has a profound meaning loosely translated: I am the one who is and will always be. (In fact, Eh Yeh means I am, Yah Weh means He is).
Jesus is God incarnate and he brings freedom from captivity for everyone, he provides the way to God and to salvation and to eternal life. And because Jesus is the fulness of God revealed, he IS the answer no matter what your situation. If you need something to survive today – he will provide it; if you need hope, illumination, protection, guidance, comfort or just to know and experience the love of God – look to Jesus because He is the answer and the source of life.
As I have said previously, our thoughts are beginning to turn to our Summer Church Camp which is on 12th – 14th August. It would be really helpful to know numbers of people in order to plan effectively, and it would also be helpful to have some funds in advance. Could I therefore ask you to consider what you would be prepared to donate to ensure that church camp goes ahead, along with all of the entertainment, facilities and food, and place your donations into the tent-shaped container in the church porch on Sunday and also inform the team of your desire to attend.
Finally, don’t forget that this Sunday we will have a stall at the village Jubilee celebrations at the BBH village centre off Broadbridge Way which takes place from 12-2pm. Anyone willing to assist please see myself, Jon or Fiona. In particular we will need a few people to help set up the stall during church so that we can be ready for the start.
Have a great week and see you at our all-age service on Sunday