The first service of this new year at church included a naming and dedication service for little Ryanna, whereby we were able to welcome around 20 or so folk as guests to the event. Whilst the cosy dynamic of a Sunday gathering can sometimes be impacted by such an addition, the service came as a timely reminder that outreach, welcome and hospitality are important parts of what we’re about. Thank you, if you were one of the welcomers. Indeed, as we started a series studying the impact of Jesus on a number of individuals, we saw that in Matthew, a tax collector for the occupying force of Rome, Jesus was interested in everyone, regardless of their background, or status. The invitation to “follow me” that Jesus issues, is one which I have a hunch will be a key one for us all in the year to come; certainly for Matthew it opened up the possibility of a new life, and new adventure with his newly discovered Lord.
Speaking of adventure, those of us gathered at prayer this morning, read of a busy day of ministry in the life of Jesus as recorded in Mark’s gospel. Yet despite all the pressures and opportunities around him, times of prayer with his Father remained a priority. Whatever hopes and plans lie ahead of us, both as individuals and a church community, let’s ensure that we still find time to draw near to our God in prayer, remaining in tune with Him, as our year progresses.