Time for Reflection and Preparation
'As we continue our journey through this unfamiliar ‘lockdown territory’, we are making every effort to keep connected, keep worshiping the Lord and keeping hopeful. Praying together helps maintain a spirit of unity whilst keeping God’s vision alive at New Life with our eyes on the future.
After using the account of Nehemiah and Ezra and the building project, to inspire our continuing prayer strategy for 2021, Ian would like to share some thoughts about the season of Lent as a time for reflection and preparation, which could be meaningful in these ‘COVID-19 conditions’.
This is a fixed 40 day period which has many Biblical connotations associated with hardship, trials, testing, judgments and equipping as preparation for God’s purposes.
As we are experiencing this global crisis and its effects on society, we can use this reflective season together to accomplish God’s good outcomes regarding New Life
You are invited to follow this weekly programme from Wednesday to Tuesday, excluding Sundays, with daily scriptures to meditate and focus on.
It has been said that ‘a family that prays together, stays together.’ Let us strive to be such a family in these unprecedented circumstances.
May God bless our prayerful exploits for His Kingdom.
Week 6 Day 1
Wed Mar 24
He received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
2 Peter 1: 17-19
Here Peter testifies to the person of Jesus being God’s Son as he recalls his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. He then qualifies his testimony with reference to prophetic messages that also align with truth like a light shining in the darkness. Let us thank God that He has given this gift to the church to equip us to fulfil Kingdom purposes here in 2021. New Life has been given a prophetic ‘Mountain Journey’ to climb. Be encouraged by Peter’s testimony – Jesus is with us on this mission for His honour and glory from the Father. Search out the 10 prophecies associated with Easter in the Lent Reflection
Song: Christ is Risen Hallelujah
Week 6 Day 2
Thurs Mar 25
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
Another familiar Easter event draws our attention to Jesus’ salvation mission. It is an obvious act of humility with which we often associate this demonstration. However through the lens of the OT we see this clear act of purification had to be undertaken by the priests in the Tent of Meeting to qualify to stand before the altar. Jesus is not just the disciples ‘humble servant’ He is also their priest. Not clear what all this means to the disciples, in their dialogue He suggests that they will understand this ‘later’. This example sets a precedent for us as the ‘Body of Christ’ on various levels. During lockdown many acts of ‘foot washing’ have taken place among us to minister love, comfort and inclusion. Today, will you humbly allow Jesus (Holy Spirit) to wash your feet in preparation for what is to come?
Song: O Sacred Head Now Wounded - Fernando Ortega
Week 6 Day 3
Fri Mar 26
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9-10
Celebratory words from Peter describe our identity in Christ, our purpose now in Him and how He achieved it for us having received ‘his mercy’. We now have a role as ‘a royal priesthood’ to stand in the gap and intercede for the World God so loves that Jesus died. In these unprecedented times of global upheaval and darkness we remember that our church is called to be ‘A House of Prayer for the Nations’.
Song: Highly Exalted - Robin Mark
Week 6 Day 4
Mon Mar 21
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
When it’s all said and done, today let us reflect on the ‘finished’ work of the cross. The Resurrected Jesus, now ascended into heaven, continues in His role as our Great High Priest. He became the Perfect Sacrifice and our Redemption is paid in full. God’s wrath against us is satisfied. In our earthly battle with sin He remains our Saviour, ever- living to intercede for us. Surely this is our ‘time of need’ for God’s mercy and grace. Praise Him!! He alone has made it possible for us to approach His throne from where His mercy flows.
Song: Arms Wide Open: Misty Edwards
Our daily reflections have now come to an end.
We hope you have found our first Lent programme timely and encouraging at this historic moment in all our lives. Thank you to Ian for his obedience in sharing the Easter burden that has been on his heart and for Nick’s attractive website presentation.
Also we appreciate those who have taken time to add their musical interests to the mix. Hope you enjoyed the variety of styles and flavours adding to the Easter message.
However, there is more…….
Next week is Holy Week, Monday 29th March to Sunday 4th April. We are joining with churches across the town for a collective time of celebration. Daily contributions will continue on the website so please continue to follow the programme.
God is doing a new thing…..
Don’t miss it !!