It was a different morning at Hobart Baptist Church yesterday morning, when we welcomed our Boy’s Brigade, along with their family and friends and others who joined us for the service. The service was special not only because Boy’s Brigade was with us, but also because it was a Combined Service, where the three congregations that make up Hobart Baptist Church came together at once. Normally the children would leave in the middle of the service, but yesterday they stayed for the whole time.
Hobart Baptist Church is made up of a diverse group of people. We come from many different backgrounds, languages, ages, cultures and experiences. There are among us many different expectations of what a church should and could be; yet we were together this yesterday, in the midst of our diversity, to worship the one and true God.
While there are many in our community who dismiss church as out-dated, irrational and perhaps even dangerous, there are also many who believe it is important and many who quietly admit they wish it were true. The notion that there is more to life than just breathing, eating, working, and death is enticing.
Many think people go to church because it makes God happy – as if God needs cheerleaders to tell him how great he is, while others think it is because God wants to be worshipped. However, we don’t come to church because of what God wants, (although worship is important,) but because of what we need. We come to be reminded that God loves us, that we are forgiven, and that life is much more than what our education, our media, and the world tell us.
“God’s grace breaks into our lives in surprising and unexpected ways
In a similar way there are many who think the main purpose of the Bible is to tell us how to live a good life. But that is far from the truth. While the Bible does have commands, promises and teachings, its main purpose is to illustrate how God’s grace breaks into our lives in surprising and unexpected ways. Almost against our wills, we are invited to respond to God’s love —a love that saves us from our sin and our brokenness; and a grace that rescues us from all that overwhelms and engulfs us.
My prayer is that everyone, including you, may sense the reality of the presence of God, receive a glimpse of the love of God, and be touched by the reality, the mercy abd the grace of God.
May God bless you,
Stephen L Baxter