Preacher: Barry Firth
Scripture: Matthew 5:1-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:9-18
Barry reminded us that wars have always been happening, the reason being the human condition – sinful. All stand in need of salvation; and true reconciliation, peace, is only really possible through Christ. Barry’s explanation of the Thessalonian letter drew out some important points about Christian values and attitudes, particularly in regard to the true nature of love for one another but also the hope we have because of Christ, his cross and his resurrection.
The Hymns we sang were not familiar but one offered a vision of hope:He reminds us every sunrise that the world is ours on lease: For the sake of life tomorrow may our love for it increase; May all races live together, share its riches, be at peace; May the Living God be Praised! (F. Pratt Green) The image tries to capture the sense of Christ’s suffering in the midst of ours and with the sunrise of resurrection as the hope, both for tomorrow’s world as reborn, renewed people take hold of the Kingdom of God and bring it into being, and for the eternal kingdom of God that brings God’s final justice; the ‘putting right’ – the final healing.