Pastoral Note 25 February

Hi Table View Methodist Family,
 
This Sunday we will have services at 8, 930 and 11am; at all three services we will continue with our journey through The Story (Chapter 6) and set aside some time to pray for our country.  If you normally worship at 8 or 930 I would especially like to invite you to try to join us at the 11am service where we worship in several African languages; usually with English translations on the screen.  We will start promptly at 11am and the service is normally finished by about 1230pm.
 
As I watched the news this week and saw all the pain and struggle happening at our universities I was inspired by the good news of students praying together at the University of Pretoria.  In their prayers they formed a larger group than the groups that were fighting.

Praying together is the proper beginning of a better journey; when we pray together we share our struggles.  We learn to understand each other's pain.  And most important; we open our ears.  We open our ears to the struggles of those around us; we open our ears to God who guides us in our response.
 
In Galatians Paul warns that the fruit of the flesh are (among others):  "...enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy... and things like these." - Galatians 5:20.  As we see all the current anger in our country; students fighting, service delivery protests, violence it might be tempting to respond with the fruit of the flesh.  When people raise sensitive topics or say and do insensitive things we might be tempted to respond in anger; with hard words; to harden our hearts.

But the fruit of the Spirit on the other hand is: "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control." - Galatians 5:23-24.  Instead of responding with hard words and hard hearts - we should respond with gentle and generous humility; with love, peace, patience and kindness.  As Christians we see the problems of the world in spiritual terms.  What is wrong with the world is not a worldly problem - it is a spiritual problem.

Paul reminds us in Ephesians: 
"...our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
- Ephesians 6:12
 
I want us to learn to pray together.  I know this is short notice but I want to encourage you to join us for worship especially at the 11am service this Sunday as we continue to be guided by God on our journey together.
 
God bless,
Gus

The Ladies Morning Fellowship would like to invite you to join them on Tuesday 1 March at 10am, there will be a presentation by a German author who has written a book on South Africa.

Our sermons are online at: http://tableviewmethodist.blogspot.co.za/p/sermons.html
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For Sunday 28 February read Chapter 6 of The Story; or from the Bible: Numbers 10-14; 20-21; 25-27; Deuteronomy 1-2,4,6,8-9,29-32,34
For Sunday 6 March read Chapter 7 of The Story; or from the Bible: Joshua 1-2, 6,8,10-11, 23-24