Sermons are not enough

Good morning and welcome to St Augustine’s church. We are a community of people convinced of the love that God has expressed to us and seeking to share that love with those around us. Whether you’re newish or visiting us, or whether you’ve been part of this group for many years, we hope you feel that you can belong here, develop friendships and connections, strike up conversations, and even ask for help if you need it.

Last Sunday we had a real reminder of our Christian unity through the brunch we shared after the service. It was a very encouraging time, with lots of laughing, conversation, and of course food. We found ourselves looking around and being comforted that we are looking at better times. We look forward to seeing what God has in store for us as a community of faith. We trust he will grow us, not only in numbers, but also in spiritual maturity, as we seek his Spirit’s work in us and through us.

As you have probably worked out by now, I am a strong believer that the word of God, the Bible, is central to our lives as Christians. It is God’s own expression of himself to us, and so really is “a lamp for our feet” as Psalm 119:105 says.

The word of God is not our goal, but it is our way to our goal. And that goal of course is life lived in the strength and wisdom of God, and then ultimately life lived in the eternal presence of God. Studying the word of God therefore should be something to which we apply ourselves.

And yet sermons are not enough. Sermons encourage us, teach us, challenge us, and sometimes even rebuke us. And yet we regularly have questions of the text that we are not able to answer and the preacher is not able to anticipate.

And so for this reason, I’d like warmly to invite you all to participate in our Lenten Bible studies. For those unfamiliar with church language, that just means that it will be a series of studies occurring during the season of Lent, which is the 6 weeks leading up to Easter. In these studies, we’ll follow the journey of Christ to the cross and ask what implications this has for our lives as his followers.

I’d love it if you would all join in. There will be 2 options (10am and 7:30pm – meet in the church). Please sign up for a group on the list at the back of the church, even if you will not be able to make every session.

I look forward to growing together in our fellowship in Jesus.

Cheers, Mark