A Call to Faithfulness

D'you like Olwen Baker's services? I know I do! Leading our service on Sunday (23rd Oct) at a packed Triangle, such is her pulling power, this was the first time we'd seen Olwen since she'd lost her beloved Bob.

But she was as bright as ever, bringing us warmth, humour and sincerity and convincing us that a kindly God really is in His Heaven. And, true to form, Bob still featured in his small starring role in her sermon.

Explaining that she was off to Southport after the service to enjoy the beautiful autumn sunshine, Olwen led us off with 'This is the Day' (Hymn 152), followed by the sung Lord's Prayer, with its magical cadences. In her 'Word to the Young People', clustered at her feet, she asked if anyone had ever told 'A little white lie?' Alas, not a soul in the congregation could deny this most human of failings! She remembered how, when she was young, there had been an honesty box and that she had been 'accident prone'. She had slipped her pennies into the box when no one was looking. "But", she said, "there's someone who knows - God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit - and that's why He decided to save us. Always remember, even when you are not telling the truth - we are forgiven."

A hymn, 'Moses I know you're the Man' (473), that had "grown on her" since she'd first heard it and had dismissed it as "new-fangled" was next, and Olwen told us "we could sing it at her funeral, if there were any of us still alive!" Two readings followed, Psalm 84 and 2 Timothy 3: 10-17 and 4:6-7, then the mighty hymn 'Great is Thy faithfulness' (51) before the Gospel for the day, Luke 18:9-14, the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.

The two letters that Paul wrote to Timothy were the peg for the Sermon. "We seem to have lost the art of letter writing", Olwen lamented. Texts and e-mails meant messages are written and sent almost instantly. Her sister-in-law loved letters - 'pen and ink', as she would say - and Olwen had a friend who would switch off her phone so that you were forced to write to her! In Paul's day letters traditionally began with a description of yourself which, of course, needed careful consideration. Paul asserted that he was a Christian and urged Timothy, a second generation Christian, to keep the faith, continue his mission and never lose sight of his goal. So, too, with us; we have to run the race and we can choose whether we do so with faithfulness, or not. Others run beside us, influencing and supporting us and we are not alone. Olwen said she had been reminded of this when Bob was dying. She had received over 500 cards from well-wishers and their messages had helped her continue and renew her faith. "If you have faith", she told us, "you have to do something about it. The fruit of faith is that people can see that you have it! God keeps faithfulness with you. He never, ever, leaves you!"

Hymn 564, 'Oh Thou who comest from above' rounded off the service and the visual display flashed up 'Stick around for refreshments'.

D'you like refreshments? ....

Kindly written by Astley Jones

Gallery :: Service Photos - 23rd October 2016

Service Photos: 23rd October 2016

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