Being God's Presence in Blacon (August 2017)

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I am writing this just a few days after the wonderful fundraising concert many members of this church took part in to raise funds for the British Red Cross fund to support the victims of the terrible Grenfell Tower Fire (see page 10 for more about that). It was a tremendous concert, not only because of the £460 raised for such a good cause, but also because it brought together people of all ages from around the community, in concern for the plight of others who live hundreds of miles away, whom we might never meet.   I have been contacted by some of those who took part, delighted to have had such a role.   It is right and good that the church building is used for such an event, because it points to a key role the church has in such disasters anyway.

The most important way any Christian reacts when something terrible like that happens is to pray for God’s comfort and healing for those caught up in the situation, and to give from our own resources to help their plight.   But also, at Holy Trinity, we are in a fortunate position to be a lasting presence at the centre of the community.  We have been here since the first wave of council houses were built on the estate, which means that in effect we have been here longer than most of the current residents of Blacon.  That long-term commitment to the area is tremendously important and valuable, in a society where so much is ‘here today and gone tomorrow’.

Being here as a constant praying, worshipping presence, we are demonstrating God’s love for Blacon (and the rest of the world) in a powerful way.  Because we are doing what He did when He became a human being in the form of Jesus Christ.  It is mind-blowing to come to terms with that God, the creator of the universe, took on the lowly form of a man, living in poverty in a pretty unspectacular part of the world called Galilee.  And it is mind-blowing that He did this in order to give up his life for us, that we might be saved.  And this same God uses us, in our ordinary lives in Blacon, to make his love and resurrection power known by people.

Whenever as Christians we show concern for another person, we are indicating something of God’s love for them.  When we demonstrate love and care for one another within the church, that speaks to others of God’s love and care for people.  We know that God loves us so much He gave His only Son to die for us, and through the death and rising to life of Jesus we can be forgiven our wrongdoings.  When we show not only care but also forgiveness of one another, that demonstrates to others something of God’s forgiveness.  In that way, others will know that God loves them so much that He gave His Son to die for them too.  So the way we live together as a community at Holy Trinity is an integral part of how we worship and pray together, and how we give to good causes also.  And our worship, prayer and giving, as well as our life together, are all witnesses to the wider community of God who became a human being and lived among us. 

Tina Upton