How quickly a year passes! Here we are at the last month of our winter programme and coming up to the end of our study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. While much has changed in ways of living since Paul’s day, it has been remarkable just how relevant his teaching is to life in the church today! In his commentary on the last chapter of Ephesians, Warren Wiersbe writes: ‘Sooner or later every believer discovers that the Christian life is a battleground, not a playground, and that he faces an enemy – Satan – who is much stronger than he is – that is, apart from the Lord! Then Paul goes on to use military armour to show how to approach the conflict, i.e. ‘being strong in the Lord, and putting on the armour of God so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes’ (Ephesians 6,10-11)’. I like to think that the Bible Study Group helps us to discern how to be ‘strong in the Lord’ and how to use the ‘armour’ He has provided for the battle! So if you are free, come and join the training sessions every Tuesday evening!
We live in a society where the Christian Faith is under open attack on so many fronts and our guest speaker this month is at the forefront of many of those conflicts. Callum Webster, who represents the Christian Institute in Northern Ireland will be up-dating us on the work being done to safeguard the rights of Christians on a daily basis. It was the Institute that funded the legal case that secured victory for common sense in the recent Asher’s Bakery case in Belfast. It defends the rights of Christians in employment disputes, where people are discriminated against because of their faith. It helps organise campaigns to influence parental rights in schools, for example in areas such as religious education and gender issues – and even in the disputed rights of parents to use any kind of physical punishment. The secular world is determined to challenge Christian beliefs in every way, labelling us as bigots, narrow-minded, old-fashioned and even homophobic. How should we react? What can we do to defend what we believe to be right? Come along to hear Callum on Tuesday 21st May, as he offers solutions! He is a very informative and interesting speaker.
As always, our final meeting on 28th May will take the form of a Holy Communion Service. For me, this meeting is always special and forms a great way to sum up the winter’s studies, as we meet together as God’s family around His Word. Even if you don’t usually attend, please feel free to join us.
During May, we meet every Tuesday evening at 7.45pm in the O’Connor Room in St. Anne’s.
As the leader of the Bible Study Group, can I thank all those who have supported our Group during the winter months – the Caretakers who get the rooms ready; the ladies who provide tea and coffee when we have Guest speakers; Margaret who organises the Worship and music, (and the members who assist her so willingly and ably), and the members who attend so regularly come rain, hail or snow, and who are so encouraging to me. Enjoy the summer break and remember Andrew and me as we decide what to study next winter! Roy Palmer.