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Happy 200th!

July 12, 2016

Everyone loves a party, right? The Old Testament is full of celebrations, most of them highlighting what God had done for his people in choosing and delivering them, being their God despite the fact that they didn’t in any way deserve his love or his compassion… And if you think about it, that’s exactly what we Christians celebrate every Sunday!

But this year Milford on Sea Baptist Church is also celebrating in a special way: we have been here for 200 years! Time flies…

The history of any church is always chequered, and it’s sad that new churches are so often started as a result of a rift or a break-away – as is indeed true in our case as well. We’re glad that the old disagreements between us and the Anglican church are no longer relevant, and that we can now work together for the glory of God.

Still, God has graciously used the Baptist church in the past, and we are confident that he will continue to do so for many more years. People’s lives have been changed by the power of God, and we long to see that happen more than ever. The gospel of the love and mercy of God has been proclaimed in many different ways, and we’re not planning on stopping that any time soon! And the congregation, changing over the years but always united in faith, continues to sing the praises of our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Messiah in many different ways.

 

So at this time of celebration, we look back to see what we can learn from the past; but we also look forwards, to see where God wants to lead us in the future. The task is still there, possibly harder than ever – I just read that for the first time, polls indicate that more people in the UK now identify as “nones” (no religious affiliation) than Christians.

So we rally around our Captain, the risen Saviour, to ask what we should do next. How do we reach these people with the (2000 year old) news that there is a God who loves them and a Saviour who died for them? How do we communicate the old rugged cross to unbelievers in the 21st century?

That’s the challenge ahead, for us and for every church that proclaims Jesus as Lord. And whether the church is here for another 200 years, or Jesus comes back next week, let’s make sure we focus on the commission he’s given us: make disciples of all nations, starting right where we are!

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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