Firstly, happy new year!
Today, 1st September, marks the start of the new church year, and, for the Methodist Church, the start for new ministers in new appointments – and for all, the start of fresh adventures in worship and ministry together for the months ahead.
We are starting a new teaching series this weekend at LMC.
‘Awe and Wonder – a journey through Acts of the Apostles’.
Do join us for worship tomorrow, at our new times of 9.30a.m. (all age, family worship), and 11.15a.m. (morning communion), with the treat of bacon butties served during the refreshment time, 10.30a.m. – 11.15a.m..
Also, I plan to blog through Acts throughout the coming weeks – you’ll be able to find the blog on the church website, but will also receive it daily through facebook, or email, if you receive these.
‘My dear Theophilus, I have already given you an account of all the things that Jesus began to do and to teach…’
(Acts 1 v. 1)
Theophilus is the recipient of Luke’s gospel (‘most excellent / honourable Theophilus’, Luke 1 v. 3) and of this second part of Luke’s unfolding story.
We don’t know much about Theophilus, although there’s reason to think he is quite high up in the Roman world – he could be ‘your Excellency, Theophilus’, and it is possible to see his two works as presenting a case for Christ against the hostility of Roman persecutions.
However, I have always been attracted to the wider notion that Theophilus doesn’t necessarily indicate one particular person / recipient. Theophilus means ‘lover of God’ (theos = God, philos = Love). Maybe, in these hostile times of the early persecution, it was dangerous to use people’s real names. Maybe, this is a piece of work which Luke wrote for all who seek to ‘Love God, with heart, mind, soul, strength’.
So, God-lover, open your mind and your heart to the possibility that what God has begun to do in your life, He will continue and develop towards that perfection He has already planned for you.
This is the start of an exciting journey, as we open ourselves up increasingly to His purposes, His power, His presence.
O let the Son of God enfold you
with His Spirit and His love
let Him fill your heart
and satisfy your soul
Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs / people / disciples
today and every day.