“…our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”Philippians 3:20
The above verse ‘jumped out’ at me from this week’s readings. Expectations shape our actions in so many ways – expectations about lifestyle, relationships, holidays, weather, church, food, results – the list goes on! And of course, right now we are all waiting expectantly to know how the war in Ukraine will unfold and – we pray – will be resolved with a lasting and workable peace.
It’s good this week to be reminded that as citizens of heaven, all our expectations are met by Jesus – he gathers up the desires of our hearts, our worries, our unknowns in his love and redeems them all through his big story of salvation for the whole of creation.
Who we are in Jesus – citizens of heaven – is the biggest and truest expectation we can hold. And we can allow that truth to change how we live, how we relate to others, what we value and work towards – we can allow it to give us hope for the future in a fragile and hurting world, and to lead into newness and fulness of life with Christ.
Our Services for this coming Sunday 13th February, the Second Sunday of Lent, are:
8.00am Holy Communion at All Saints with Revd Lizzie
10.00am Holy Communion at St Mary’s with Revd Lizzie
10.30pm Messy / Muddy Church at All Saints with Rev Janey and Elisa. Please encourage and invite those you know with children of any age to come along and join in!
In the week ahead, we have:
· Wednesday 16th March – 9.00am Celtic Morning Prayer at All Saints
· Thursday 17th March – 10am Holy Communion at St Mary’s
Next Sunday 20th March, there will be Creative Church at 10am and Holy Communion at 6:30pm at St Marys, and Holy Communion at 10:30am at All Saints.
I’ll leave you with the words of a modern hymn by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (which can be sung to the well-known tune ‘Oh Jesus I have promised….)
We're citizens of heaven; we know where we belong.
O God, your love surrounds us; we sing your kingdom song.
The grace of Christ transforms us; in him our life is found;
We sing with joy and gladness, for we are heaven-bound.
We're citizens of heaven here in an earthly home;
Lord, it can be a challenge to live as you have shown.
With loyalties divided, we wonder what to do —
To follow wealth and power, or bravely follow you?
We're citizens of heaven; renew our sense of call.
Lord, deepen our commitment to serve you over all.
For we are your creation; by grace, we are your own.
Forgive our sinful wanderings and bring your people home.
Lord, give your church the courage to love and serve you more —
To worship you more gladly, to welcome in the poor,
To pardon as you pardon, to give in all we do —
That, heaven-bound, your people may daily live for you.
May you know afresh this week, that your citizenship is in heaven and from there, our Saviour comes to give us hope and fulness of life. Amen.