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Big Jesus wins award for the 'best community entry' in the parade.
We had a unique perspective on Jesus, His fame and renown. If the crowds were silenced even the stones would have cried out to Him. This must be what it was like for Jesus to enter Jerusalem, re-enacted for the benefit of his LGBT people... What does this say for us and for Him?
Photos of ‘Big Jesus’ appeared in ‘The Guardian’ photos of Pride around the world!
Christmas Party Weds 18th Dec at Cliffs Hotel –
Dinner and Dance, three course meal, vegan option,
entertainment. Cost £26
Let us know if you would like to come so we can book the date
with The Cliffs. Jim will be collecting a £5 deposit.
Balance by 31st October
Lynda and Petra’s Renaissance Group Christmas Party
Tuesday 3rd December
at Slug and Lettuce, Queen’s Street (was Litten Tree)
£23. £5 deposit to Lynda to book a seat.
Extracts from Lynn’s Preach
From Psalm 23 “He restores my soul”
To restore means to return (someone or something) to a former condition, place, or position.
We live in a world where we so easily dispose of things we don’t want or need. We are a “throwaway society”. Clothes are made so cheaply its often easer to throw something away rather than mend and re use!
But I’ve seen programmes about restoration on TV. Somebody very patient and very skilled puts hours of work and loving care into a rusty, battered old car and slowly, painstakingly restore it to gleaming, pristine condition looking like brand new.
God is the ultimate restorer. God isn’t in the business of chucking things away! God is in the business of lovingly, patiently restoring us, bringing us back to our original condition.
Scripture is crammed full of men and women who have messed up and therefore could easily have been abandoned to the scrap heap. For instance a man who had everything, money, power, wives, who seduced another man’s wife, killed her husband who trusted him and was loyal to him and tried to cover up the mess.
This was David, an adulterer, a liar and a murder …….and the man who wrote Psalm 23.
And David knew that God restored him even after all that horrible mess. God restored David’s relationship with him, indeed restored his soul his very life.
We are never too far gone, never too damaged or broken that God can’t restore us to how we are meant to be – walking with God in close relationship. Jesus, the Good Shepherd can and does restore even the most damaged of us to a brand new life in him. Restoration is life in all its fullness.
Some of us here know what it means to be “rock bottom” Some of us, including me, have lived lives where we have known utter despair and YET in Jesus we have been restored. Good News indeed!
In Hebrew the word restored speaks about “being brought home” Not being re purposed but returned to the original, I guess it’s just like a ‘return to factory setting’ button!!!
Some theologians suggest that restoration depends on being truly sorry for the mess we created. I don’t believe that. David here in this psalm is talking about God the Good Shepherd. He has just mentioned gods loving provision, “he leads me to still waters” there don’t appear to be any conditions attached to this restoration. God intervenes because of His goodness, not because of our right conduct.
There is no shame or guilt connected to this restoration Isaiah 54:4 "Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
This restoring of my soul is literally me being put back to how I am supposed to be. am perfect in Gods eyes (not yours ….I know!) Jim will often remind us that when he sees us, he sees us as Gods sees us, restored to His image. You are being restored. “I have been restored, I am being restored and I will be restored”!
The Hebrew word translated "soul" means a breathing creature, one in which life is present. The Greek word in the New Testament is similar. In its most basic sense, the word "soul" means "life”. Our soul is our life. All that makes us human is being restored. Or as one translation says – “He causes my life to return” Isn’t that amazing?
Rob Bell will often explain it in this way:
Right at the very beginning God sets us of on the path, we walk with God, and we are fundamentally good.
We are forgiven (past, present, future – The goat has left the building)
Then we stuff up, we wander of the path and go off in our own direction. Restoration is when God says – “Hey, Lynn, do you want to get back onto the road we were travelling?” It’s not a different route, it’s a re-connecting with God, it’s being put back to “factory settings”
If we feel like our lives are off track, if we feel at rock bottom God offers us restoration. We don’t have to “do” anything, you don’t have to “try”. We can rely on God to do the restoration. God leads us. Like a shepherd he picks us up from wherever we have wandered off to and He restores our relationship with Him.
David lived it, he then wrote it down: “The Lord is MY shepherd I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me bedside still waters, He restores my soul”.
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