Twice in recent years we have had sports weekends for young people run by SportsReach of Carnforth, Lancashire. Currently we are exploring the possibility of another in 2012 and will announce details as soon as we are able.
On Sunday, December 4th, we had a visit from Will and Sue Marsden (directors of SportsReach) along with their family. They led both the morning and afternoon services, and the photograph here shows the girls singing Christian songs, with mother on the keyboard. It was not simply entertainment, though. The words of the songs themselves were challenging and the whole family was involved in telling us of their activities over the past year, one highlight being a Christian sports mission in Kenya.
Will, on the Sunday evening, preached from Acts 8. He pointed out that whether Philip was among the city crowds of Samaria or on a desert road with a single individual his message was the same: “He told him the good news about Jesus”. He rightly challenged us always to keep Jesus himself at the forefront of our ministry as a church.
There are many practical kinds of service in which to engage; there are moral and spiritual issues to be addressed; but at the heart, at the forefront, and as the foundation of it all must be “Jesus”. As we celebrate Christmas, from which in popular culture Jesus has to such a great extent been eliminated, let us continually emphasise the angel’s message: “Jesus … he shall save his people from their sins.”