We had a wonderful service today at St Mary’s Easton. The church was packed with over 80 worshippers and that was really good because it was an important service for two reasons: Firstly, because it was the baptism and confirmation of Nora (our first adult baptism in recent memory) and, secondly, because our Suffragan Bishop David Williams was visiting and led much of the service.
This was great because he was able to preach the culmination in our Valley Worship series on the Sermon on the Mount! Bishop David has kindly agreed to let us publish that talk and it is follows here:
Before her baptism and confirmation Nora gave a moving testimony about various challenges that she had faced and how encountering Jesus and trusting God had completely changed her life – as follows:
We were also fortunate to welcome at our service Bishop Benon Magezi and his wife Gladys from North Kigezi Diocese in Uganda, who came as Bishop David’s guests from the valleys of ‘The Switzerland of Uganda’ to the Itchen Valley.
Thank you to everyone who made the service such a success: to the Bellringers who rang us in, the Band who played wonderfully,
Dan who read the lesson and John who led the prayers touchingly and of course to the churchwardens and sidesmen and wonderful coffee ladies who made some really special cake to celebrate the baptism and of course the amazing Ark leaders as well.
5 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 5:1–21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.