‘May Christ, who sends us to the nations, give us the power of his Spirit. Amen. Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God!‘
This conclusion of Morning Prayer in Epiphany eason speaks to us in Groningen. We’ve much to be thankful for, not least Holy Trinity’s prayerful and gracious support of us, including a substantial donation of offerings that is helping this church plant grow. We are thankful for our lovely Carols services with the Old Catholics which drew large numbers, and also for our very first and very merry All-Age Christmas Day service.
We are blessed by the many new people, from the Netherlands and all over the world, who come, week by week, to our services and events, and choose to become part of our fellowship in Christ.
In Epiphany season, we remember the magi coming from afar to worship the baby Jesus and offer Him their treasures. And we recall the mission of the Church to all nations. In Groningen, as elsewhere in this land, we actually find the nations coming to us. So we welcome them, particularly those who are drawn to God in Christ in a new and special way, and we seek to journey with them deeper into faith.
A highlight for us on
10 January (Baptism of Christ) was the baptism of a young asylum seeker who had had a vision of the light of Christ one day, and felt compelled to walk into a local church. The pastor of said church asked me if I might teach the man the Christian faith in English, which I did over 2 1/2 months. At his baptism, he gave an incredibly inspiring testimony to his struggles and how he had come to Christ. We couldn’t have anticipated a more compelling sign that the Lord is indeed here and his Spirit is with us. We continue to bless the Lord for all the signs of grace we see.
Yours in Christ, Sam