I always associated the summer with BBQs and siestas, until I became part of Jubilee. Nowhere else have I ever seen these two, as well as a lot of other things happening during this season (and I’ve been to many places).
You might have realised that the seasons have changed. There’s two ways of looking at it; green leaves on trees have transitioned into yellow and bright orange ones on the pathway and long-bright Summer days have given way to shorter ones, OR, it gets dark too soon, the wind is intolerably twirling around my knees, and the lovely food in supermarkets has been replaced by funny looking vegetables.
My trick to check whether the (allegedly) summer has come to an end is by checking the fruit aisle in the supermarkets. If watermelons are still available, it's still summer. How do we test our hearts in different seasons of life? I appreciate watermelons may not work with this, but how do we ensure that our hearts are right with God? How do we reflect the heart of God in our relationships with one another, and with the world outside? The Bible has the answer to this (surprise, surprise). The Psalmist calls upon God for this (Psalm 26:2). Against what do we measure our walk with God? What’s our heart response to situations in different seasons of life? Do we decide to see the light of God that encompasses our lives, even in the midst of difficulties, or is our focus on the hardship? When all is as it should be, do we give God all the glory and honour?
Something else that the change of season brings is that life is back to its routine and there’s a sense of ‘going back to normal’. We don’t see the early church going back to, or settling for normal, and therefore we do not have an example to follow (which is great!). I’m glad that I’m part of a church and leadership that doesn’t settle for normal. The excitement around Alpha is one small indication of this. What a joy to be part of a family that doesn’t see Alpha as a costly inconvenience, but rather a wonderful opportunity to show love, compassion and friendship to the world, and a way of spreading the Gospel for the Kingdom of God. The other encouraging sign is different prayer meetings throughout the week; seeing people passionate for coming together to pray to the Father. Jubilee’s 18th birthday was another indication of God’s grace, and His Spirit upon all of us – 18 years of kingdom advance, 18 years of legacy for the next generation.
As we advance through different seasons of life, let us seek God in everything, asking him to search our heart. Let’s love one another, be excited for this adventure, pray for those running things (particularly those behind the scenes) and cheer for the prayer warriors. Let’s love Jesus, love His Church, and love people.
‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’
As we come out of our Covid restrictions and look into the next season for us as Jubilee, I wanted to take this time to share some news with you regarding our next steps as a church.
This month, we're privileged to have Michael Akotia write a blog for us. Michael along with his wife Mabel and three children (John, Keziah and Grace) are dear friends to us. Michael leads City of Grace Church in Ho, Ghana and serves on the Christ Central Churches International Team.
Have you ever thought that there might actually be a number of similarities between our Christian walk and baking a cake? Gavin explores some of these similarities in this month's Elders letter!
So Sunday saw the finale of series 6 of the BBC drama Line of Duty. If you haven't been watching it or have watched the latest series then you can read on. If you still plan to watch the final installment of series 6, you may want to stop here (although it's not a huge spoiler)!