Sunday Service 6th September
Here is our twentyforth virtual service in the continuing UK Coronavirus Lockdown. Make sure to scroll down all the way to the bottom of the page so you don't miss anything. If you didn't see last weeks service and would like to catch up, you can see it here. Links to all the services are also on the Listen Again page.
Don't forget, you can also take a look at last week's service again to see what comments have been left and to respond to them where appropriate.
If you would like to contribute an item for next week's service or for another week contact Alison or Roger or leave a message in the comments below. It looks like we will be having to continue with our virtual services for a while, and it will be good to get as many involved as possible.
The parable of the prodigal son
Recently, I was fortunate enough to be given, a couple of sheep fleeces. They are an amazing tactile and inspirational, material to consider.The crimped nature of wool forms millions of tiny air pockets, that trap air, offering protection from extreme heat and cold but also against physical injury. Wool has ‘chemisorption’ qualities too, due to the nature of its protein makeup. It can, therefore, react with and neutralise bad odours and harmful substances, as well as regulating humidity. It doesn’t burn either because of its high nitrogen content.
Wool is product of the pastoral world and the economy of the Bible people. Much symbolism is attributed to sheep, shepherding, and vulnerable flocks, as Roger taught us some time ago. The Bible speaks of the purity of wool. The hair on our Heavenly Father’s head, is likened to white, snowy wool (Revelation 1:14). Our sins though scarlet shall be washed till we are as white as snow or wool (Isaiah 1:18).
Personally for me, lockdown has been good in many ways. I have taken up the piano, a regular exercise & walking routine, refined some crafts and have had more time to consider things. But it has also been hard. I have not liked that I have ‘lapsed’ in keeping contact with other church members. Our family bible study times have lapsed. I have lapsed in regular bible readings. I’ve had the best of intentions but felt rather overtaken by the family’s needs & struggles, as well as some of my own.
The father of the prodigal son, (who had ‘lapsed’ in his duties and allegiance), ran to throw a robe, most likely made of wool, about his son’s shoulders. His son was still a way off, the bible says, so the father didn’t know what decision his son had come to. Nonetheless, the robe or cloak signified that the son remained an heir to all his father’s love, forgiveness and inheritance. It restored him to all that his father had always hoped for him to behold. It was a garment that made him stand upright again, reaffirming his authority and status. We remain our father’s sons & daughters, our church identity is who we are, if it rests on Christ. We may move in different communities, in our neighbourhoods, our work and our leisurely walks; but we take all that we have become, in Christ, to perhaps a wider congregation.
I had a desire to learn how to play traditional hymns on the piano. ‘Abide with me’, ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds’ and ‘rock of ages cleft for me’, were written by those who found themselves locked down in circumstances of peril, illness or incarceration. The words, however, speak of the woolly cloak of complete assurance found in God’s promises and protection.
Abide With Me
God's promises and protection
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Listen to a Service
The latest recording can also be found near the bottom of our home page where there is a player that can be used to listen to it or you may download it to listen to later.
From our Foreign Correspondent
See an account of John Lancasters 2019 visits to India here.
Follow Johns latest mission trips to India and see more pictures of the people and places he visits by joining John's Adventures in India on Facebook.
Tool Box Project
Do you have any spare tools or craft items? We are collecting them for Tools With a Mission. See the list on our Tool Box Project page for details of what we currently need.
Can you knit, crochet or sew?
The Springfield Stitchers need help with various charity projects. If you would like to help or, if you would like to learn to knit, crochet or sew, or if you have unwanted wool or haberdashery (buttons, zips, thread, fabric, sewing machines) please pop along to find out more.
The Springfield Stitchers meet at “The Coffee Hub” every Thursday 9.30 till 12.00 at Springfield Park Baptist Church. Contact Alison for more information.
As a church we believe in the power of prayer and that it makes a difference in situations and circumstances. We are part of Chelmsford 24-7 Prayer, joining with Christians from across our City to pray for the things God lays on our hearts. Please follow this link for more information about how you and your church can get involved: https://chelmsford24-7.org/. Plans for the near future at Springfield Park involve the setting up of a new prayer space and prayer walks around our local area. Watch this space for developments.
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