Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was well attended at St Thomas's Road Methodist, moved following the fire at St Norbert's. The service booklet followed the theme for 2011 "All things in common" with an address by Peter Dalziel, of the Salvation Army, now retired with his wife Sylvia to Spalding. The congregation of St Norbert's very kindly looked after everyone with refreshments after the service.
Luke 22.29, we read of Jesus conferring power to his disciples. Peter described those things he saw that churches agreed on, including the Nicene Creed, Forgiveness, Reconciliation... Jesus showed us how to live in the quality of his life, showing us such care - the diet of his love. There is a story of how St Francis, when he was serving as a soldier, gave a poor man some money and walked on, later turning round, going back and giving the man an embrace - showing how much he did care.
The Bible records the many parables Jesus told of the lost - coin, sheep - and how God cares for us.
Peter stressed how Christ's mission should be our mission - our commission. Part of the work for Jesus was to go to Calvary, to die on the cross. Peter asked if we accepted His Calvary? To fulfil God's plan, Jesus had to go to Calvary. Do we go where God leads us?
Peter had his suspicions when he saw the passion play at Oberammagau; as the clouds rolled in to darken the scene of the crucifixion, he was overtaken with awe and the reality of the image, seeing the pain, blood and suffering. He recalled how an actor in a film may portray Christ on the cross, but he may not live the reality of Christ's life in his own day to day living.
The challenge to us is to live out the reality of the life that Jesus showed for us, to live out the Calvary and its effect in all our lives.
The ministers joined together to lead the concluding blessing; l-r: Rev Jenny Park, Rev Anthony Walker, Fr Jim Burke, Pastor Kevin Taylor, Lieut. Colonel Peter and Sylvia Dalziel, Rev David Curran, Rev John Bennett and Rev Robert Sheard.