‘Pews News’ November 2015

Jefferson“Why do we bother to worship?”

After all it was Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, who said: “There is a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday Morning!” And many of us might secretly agree, so why do Christians do it?
Perhaps there are three good reasons, which come to mind.

1. God Desires It. “True worshippers,” said Jesus, “will worship God the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks” (John 4:23).
2. God Deserves It. “We love because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19). And God shows his love in creation (Psalm 95:1-7) and in Christ (John 3:16).
3. God Demands It. Jesus said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 222:34-9). Or ‘Love the Lord with all your passion and prayer and intelligence’ (The Message).
But what is worship?

One answer comes from Archbishop William Temple (1881-1944), one of the greatest moral forces of his time.
“To worship,” he said, “is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God and to devote the will to the purpose of God.”

So how should we prepare for worship?
Archbishop Donald Coggan once wrote: “You will only be able to take your part in the congregation if you come very prayerfully, hungrily, with your mind alert, direct to God, and longing for some bit of his mind and love to come though the pulpit to you, so that you can take that out into the world when the service is over.”
Because, of course, the whole of our lives are to be offered in praise and thankfulness to God (Romans 12).

So,”let us not give up the habit of meeting together” (Hebrews 10), but “let us come before God with thanksgiving and sing joyful songs of praise” (Psalms 95-100).
Why? Because God is “the best so let us raise the roof and lift the rafters with our hymns!’ (The Message).
And Bill Gates? It may be that you don’t know what you are missing!

With best wishes, Charles Jefferson
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A Moveable Priest!
Charles writes: As some of us may be aware, historically the Rector of Middleton has always lived in the village. However, for quite understandable reasons, David – my predecessor – chose to live in Marston because the previous Rectory was not really fit for purpose.
But the hope and intention of the Diocese was always to move the Rector back if a suitable property could be found. This has now happened and sometime in the New Year, Cathryn and I will be moving to our new (and 7th) home in Astrop Road, Middleton Cheney.
This will also enable us to advertise for an Assistant Colleague, who could live in Marston St. Lawrence and have particular pastoral responsibility for this side of the Benefice.
We hope of course to have more details to share next year.