It’s September! – a month reminding me of my career as a primary teacher. After a Summer holiday relaxing with my family and preparing for the new school year, it was back into classroom life and the exciting process of guiding children’s learning and seeing them perceptively gain in confidence as well as knowledge and understanding.
But September’s also a great time to be in church. There’s enthusiasm and energy as we meet again, all together after six weeks or so when many were away on holiday. It’s a great time to come along to church for the first time if you’ve never been before.
So why come to church? Is it just to meet to enjoy each other’s company?
Well, we do enjoy that, but that’s not really why we meet. Firstly, we come to worship God. We recognise him as our creator and Lord and, if we are Christians, we believe that he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross to take away the barrier of sin that stops us from interacting with him. We believe that only through Jesus can we approach God. And Jesus’ resurrection from the dead at the first Easter gives us the certain hope of life after death.
Secondly, we try to bring the news of Jesus to others. We do this because Jesus himself told his disciples to ‘go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28, verse 19).
How do we, at the Vine, do this in practice?
We talk to friends and neighbours, of course, but we also try to show love through practical action. So amongst us there is a Street Pastor, working at night in Cambridge to help young people, often drunk. We have bikers in the Christian Motorcyclists Association and we visit those in prison. We organise financial advice through CAP (Christians Against Poverty) courses, we open our doors to people who are lonely or those with problems and run a Coffee Break on Thursday mornings. We visit those who find it difficult to come to church because of age or infirmity.
So how do our older people fit into this? Surely they don’t do all these things?
No, but they show their love for God and their fellow humans by faithfully attending church and, more importantly, by praying. About this time of year our churches celebrate Harvest, when we thank God that he provides abundantly for all our needs. The Vine Harvest Family Service will be at 10.30 am on Sunday, 23rd September. We will be delighted if you join us then.
Oh, apologies if you’re not reading this in September. But actually, it’s good to come to church at any time of the year. Why not try it?