Welcome to everyone joining us for our Season of Rest at St Matthew’s this summer. This is a season we engage with every year to do two things:
1. To really REST from the previous year’s meetings, ministry and life in general, (there are no other gatherings of the church during the month of January).
2. To really LISTEN to what God might be saying to us as individuals and as a church (we will use this freer time to meditate on God’s Word and allow it to shape our prayers and our hopes for the coming year.
This year when we gather on Sundays we will follow our recent pattern of spending time together over coffee & cake, then drawing together to discuss the weekly bible reading using some questions facilitated from the front, which will then lead into our prayer time when we can ask God by His Spirit to lead us further in our understanding of Jesus and how to follow him, as well as our general prayers of intercession for the world and our communities.
During the week, as part of your preparation, may I make the following suggestions?
1. Set aside some more time than you usually do to hear from God.
2. Ask God to speak to you as you read from his Word (the Bible).
3. Read the passage we’ve just had and the one that is up next.
4. Read them again!
5. Write down anything that comes to mind as you read – thoughts, questions, ideas, pictures, songs, other scriptures, dreams, visions, words. Ask, “What is God trying to say to ME through this scripture?”
6. Pray for clarification.
7. Talk about what you’ve read with:
a. A trusted friend
b. A Person of Peace
8. Pray as God leads you for:
a. change in your own life
b. other people whom God brings to your mind
c. the year ahead for the church
9. Write more stuff down so that you can remember what you were thinking about and bring it to church to discuss with others!
This January we will be working through Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonians. It’s worth reading through the whole book once or twice to get the overall sense of what Paul is trying to say to the original hearers.
If you'd like to do some personal bible study, you'll find further help on my Vicar's Blog.
God bless, Ian.