1 church + 1 church + 1 church = 1 Church
Over the weekend we had the opportunity to fellowship, pray and worship with friends from a number of churches in the Torfaen area. The Torfaen District Gospel Partnership prayer breakfast took place in Noddfa, Abersychan. After being fed with a lovely breakfast, we were fed with God's Word. Before we prayed for the valley, Pastor John Funnell read Psalm 85 and we were reminded that revival starts with us and we joined in the plea of the psalmist;
"Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"
Towards the end of the psalm, in verse 12, God's promise is given, "The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest." And so, in faith that God is true to His Word, we prayed.
On Sunday when our afternoon service had finished, we zipped over to join with the lovely folk in Pontymoile MIssion, as they celebrated 138 years of Gospel witness and God's faithfulness. We heard songs, poems, prayers, and the Word.
Neither the Saturday meeting, nor the Sunday meetings had huge numbers in attendance; as believers in Christ we are in the minority within our community. Yet I am encouraged, and I know many others are. Three things, in particular, shine bright in my mind from the last few days.
Prayer: Gwent's Eastern Valley is fervently and sincerely prayed for. Many don't know and might not be interested, but there is a great love for local people and the area itself.
The Bible: God speaks to us through His Word, we get our strength, teaching and encouragement from it. It was a joy to find it at the heart of all that was done in the different meetings.
Unity: Being part of a small church makes it important (and fun) to visit other churches. I've never been impressed by large numbers, or troubled by low numbers. 2, 20, or 200, there is something special about joining with fellow believers to worship God. If they are strangers, they rarely stay that for long.
Christians everywhere are all part of the one Church. We are one, because we are one in Christ. Those who inhabit this particular corner of the world are passionate and committed to the community's welfare. Just as church should be :)