Welcome to the new Holland Road online magazine. I Hope you find these articles help you get to know more about the church and about Christ.
Recently we have been looking in our Sunday morning services at the story of Jonah, and thinking about this question: How does God Transform a city? One of the lessons early on from this short, punchy and memorable bible story is that the key issue is not actually the transformation of the city of Ninevah, but the transformation of Jonah. God wants to keep transforming us that we will be able to work with him in transforming the city. So how does God transform Jonah? He uses a number of things: the storm and the sailors, but Jonah’s biggest transformation comes when he cries out to God in desperate prayer and God rescues him with amazing grace, leading Jonah to proclaim “Salvation comes from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). We see this pattern then repeated in Ninevah, where the people believe God and cry out to Him in desperate prayer and God in amazing grace and compassion transforms the city. We see this repeated also in the New Testament as Christ dies to bring salvation to all who will believe in Him, calling on His name and receiving His grace (Romans 10:13, Ephesians 2:8,9).
This though is not only the way into new life in Christ, it is also the way on. As we pray and seek God, recognising our need and trusting and believing in God’s amazing grace, He continues to transform us. As I write we are in a week of prayer and fasting. We need God’s help and we need to be attentive to his voice. God seems to be doing some exciting even if at times uncomfortable things among us, often exposing areas where like Jonah we are not doing the things He has already told us to do.
At the same time God is doing wonderful things transforming lives, growing communities, and bringing salvation. Recently we had our world missions gift day and as I write the total so far is over £38,000. Amazing! Once again it has been great to remember all that God is doing through our partnerships round the world. We continue to try and prioritise the poor, places where there is no church and long standing partnerships. It seems to be a particularly significant times for the church in 3 regions where we have special focus, North Africa, India and Wales. Please continue to pray and let us continue to remember the joy and privilege of giving.
One of the potentials of this online magazine is to engage with the articles written, so do feel free to do that. My prayer is that we may grow in our love for God and love for one another.
UPDATE: The final total for our gift day was £43,166.