All year round

August 2, 2019

Did you see in the news this week that Christmas has come early, 149 days early, as Selfridges in London opened its Christmas shop claiming to be the first in the world to have a Christmas section? I thought it was bad enough having all the Christmas paraphernalia in the shops at the end October never mind the end of July! Soon, it seems, Christmas will be in our stores all year round, and the pop group Wizard, who belt out their song every year, will get their wish for Christmas to be every day.

This got me thinking about the reason Christians celebrate Christmas. It’s not for the parties, the presents, or engaging in some kind of pagan winter solstice ritual. It’s to celebrate and rejoice in the coming of Jesus into this world in order to show us the love of God and demonstrate that love to us. That’s a message that is relevant all year round and not just at Christmas.

Sadly many people, if they go to church at all, only go at Christmas time to hear some carols and enjoy a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine. But why not be revolutionary and take a leaf out Selfridges’ book and go to church months before Christmas to hear the message of Jesus? In fact if you went to church all year round you might just see that Jesus isn’t just for Christmas.

Barry Robinson

barry.robinson@gracecom.church

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/christmas/selfridges-christmas-shop-2019-open-day-world-record-department-store-london-a9025151.html

 

Authentic bravery

June 28, 2019

Should Boris Johnson appear in TV debates to discuss his leadership credentials? Should he answer questions about his private life? Does the public care? Do Conservative Party members, who will select the next party leader and Prime Minister, care? Maybe Boris feels to do so would make him vulnerable to attack with no mercy shown by press and public alike? As a result his rival in the leadership campaign, Jeremy Hunt, has called Boris a coward for not addressing these issues.

Certainly it calls into question whether our leaders can be one thing in public and another in their private lives. A Christian is not afforded that luxury. To be one thing at home where no-one or only our family sees, and then put on the mask of respectability in public is rightly viewed as hypocritical, and hypocrisy is often quoted as a reason why people have a negative view of Christians and are reluctant to come to church.  

As a Christian I try to live out my Christianity in both the public arena and in my private space, but I recognise that I do so imperfectly, just ask my wife. But there is bravery and authenticity about a Christian acknowledging their failings and that they have no grounds to look down on anybody. Yes, it makes us vulnerable to admit our mistakes, but the Christian message is that with God there is no attack or condemnation, only grace. Now that’s something to care enough about to investigate.

Kind regards,

Barry Robinson  

barry.robinson@gracecom.church

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-48744493

 

Because Magazine July/August 2019

June 28, 2019

You can see our new monthly magazine here

Because Magazine July/August 2019

It is also available to download as a pdf file.

Because July/August 2019

To view this file you need a pdf reader. Adobe acrobat .pdf reader can be downloaded for free

Because Magazine May/June 2019

May 1, 2019

You can see our new monthly magazine here

Because Magazine May/June 2019

It is also available to download as a pdf file.

Because Magazine May/June 2019

To view this file you need a pdf reader. Adobe acrobat .pdf reader can be downloaded for free

What’s wrong with us?

March 15, 2019

What’s wrong with us?

This was my thought as the news came in about the terrorist attack in New Zealand. What could possibly justify the murder of these people? The slaughter of unarmed men, women and children? Our prayer is that God would comfort all those caught up in this terrible tragedy.

When the world stops making sense where do we go for answers? For me, I turn to my faith. Christianity does not explain fully why people choose to hurt one another, but it does tell us that there will be a time when this world will no longer be shaped by hate. Instead it will be shaped by God’s love for us.

 

While this time is still to come, we don’t have to wait. We can turn to Jesus and choose a life of love now.

Kind regards,

gavin.henderson@gracecom.church

Because Magazine March/April 2019

February 22, 2019

You can see our new monthly magazine here

Because Magazine March/April 2019

It is also available to download as a .pdf file.

Because March/April 2019

To view this file you need a pdf reader. Adobe acrobat .pdf reader can be downloaded for free

An unconditional offer

February 15, 2019

Should universities give students unconditional offers of acceptance?

Recently this practice has come under increased scrutiny after it was revealed that the number of unconditional offers issued by universities was increasing and that the students who received the offers often miss their predicted grades. Would students be better off, more resilient, if they had to earn their place?

As a Christian I believe that we have all been given an unconditional offer in Jesus Christ. We haven’t earned this place, yet if we accept it, it will change our life forever and open up opportunities beyond our wildest imaginations.

The offer reflects God’s confidence in who we will become with his help, rather than what we have achieved.

Maybe it is time to consider his unconditional offer of grace?

Warm regards,

gavin.henderson@gracecom.church

Because Magazine February 2019

January 22, 2019

You can see our new monthly magazine here

Because Magazine February 2019

It is also available to download as a .pdf file.

Because Magazine February 2019

To view this file you need a pdf reader. Adobe acrobat .pdf reader can be downloaded for free

Mission to Earth

January 11, 2019

Satellite picture of Earth and MoonDid you see the pictures from the Yutu 2 “Jade Rabbit” lunar rover this week?

If you are a fan of space exploration (and who isn’t?), these pictures are not to be missed as the Chinese rover is the first chance we have had to see what the far side of the moon looks like at ground level*. While previously we have had pictures taken by satellite of the far side of the moon, this is the first time we are able to see it up close, and experience what it is like to travel along its stark landscape.

Space has often been associated with the divine and mankind has often tried to see God, but can we ever truly know what God is like? Is God too far away? Is our image too blurry?

The good news of Jesus Christ is that God came to us so that we no longer have to guess what God is like. Through Jesus we can see God up close and encounter him personally.

Don’t miss out on God’s mission to Earth.

Gavin.henderson@gracecom.church

* The moon is tidally locked to the Earth, which means that only one side is ever visible from the Earth’s surface.

If they matter to you, let them know

November 29, 2018

As I’m sitting at my computer a news report has come in telling of the murder of John Allen Chau by an endangered tribe in India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands. Fishermen who took him to North Sentinel Island say tribespeople shot him with arrows and left his body on the beach. Chau, a self-proclaimed adventurer, was engaged on missionary work and in a statement his family said, “He was a beloved son, brother, uncle and best friend to us. To others he was a Christian missionary…He loved God, life and helping those in need, and he had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people.” Then incredibly they added, “We forgive those reportedly responsible for his death.”

This experience made me think about the fragility of life and that I shouldn’t wait until after someone has died to say how much I loved in a eulogy. There is family around me that I need to tell how much I love them, and friends I need to tell how much I value their friendship before it’s too late.

As a Christian it has impressed me that God told his Son how much he loved him and how pleased he was with him (Matthew 3:17). I need to take a leaf out of God’s book, how about you?

Have a good week,

Barry Robinson

Next Page »