Call to Worship
Hymn: 33 Now thank we all our God
the Lord’s Prayer
We share in the baptism of Miles
Finding the Way
A Hy-Spirit song
Following the Way
STL 39 Come let’s travel the way of the Lord
Prayers of Concern
505 Go forth
Words of Blessing
Acts 9:2 – belonged to the Way
Acts 16:17 – proclaiming to you a way of Salvation
18.25 instructed in the Way
19:9 spoke evil of the Way
19.23 concerning the Way
22:4 I persecuted this Way
24:22 well informed about the Way
1 Corinthians 16;6
and 11 wend him on his way in peac
Names are special – sometimes easy to come by, sometimes difficult to find.
But once chosen they stick. Miles is now Miles. Jessica is Jessica. Say the name in the family
and the person immediately comes to mind.
Names of organisations, names of things you belong to are similar. If you have ever had to think of a name for something it’s hard – but once looked for it sticks.
When we started our children’s club the children who belonged looked for a name –
they came up with the name Transformers – quite a good name really and it’s stuck … so far, but watch this space.
The youth group – Hy-Tec – Highbury Youth the Eternity Club – a br
and of trainer at the time –
the name has stuck – and next year
sees the twenty-fifth anniversary.
Today at a Baptism service we have all come together here in what we think of as our ‘church’ – it then has a couple of other words added on – Congregational to identify the idea that it’s the people who meet together who shape the life of the church
and Highbury given that name
right at the outset back in 1827 by the people who came from Highbury in
Islington North London and were
belonged to the Highbury college there. Church goes all the way back to the first century.
The name sticks – it’s known. We know it.
Christianity, a Christian – the name sticks.
But intriguingly go back into the earliest accounts of the people who followed Jesus
were a number of names they were referred to as.
Christian was coined as a nickname by people opposed to them – they are Christ – ians – almost sneering – not used much.
Church – body of Christ – disciples – saints –
But very early on one of the most popular names is one I think is worth re-discovering.
Very early on in the story of the church Saul who is incensed at the followers of Jesus
he persecutes them – he hounds them out of Jerusalem
and then tries to track them down in
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats
and murder against
the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and
asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any
who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
The chapter goes on to tell of the encounter Saul has with Christ
and the change it brings into
What’s interesting is that through the account of Paul’s travels on a number of occasions the followers of Jesus are described as The Way.
Paul talks of the Way of Salvation
There’s talk of people being instructed in the Way, people speak concerning The Way, those opposed to Jesus
all he st ands for speak evil of The
Way. Paul himself recalls the time he
persecuted The Way.
It’s an intriguing picture for the church
and I think one that’s very powerful.
As we celebrate a Baptism service we are making something of a statement about little Miles as we did for Jessica – we are identifying a Way for them to find.
Growing up they will be presented with all sorts of choices, decisions to take. They will be presented with all sorts of differing sets of values.
Maybe the task you as Parents take on board today,
and the task we have as a church is to help people
find the way.
Share things with them … but then in the hope of a commitment they make –
and say this
is for me – so they come to the point at which they feel this is the way for me
A point of decision – As children growing up, as they come to make up their mind, in decisions they take later on.
prayer is that this way is a way to follow.
And the remarkable thing is that at any point they can take up their quest
and find that way –
unlike that experience of stopping to ask the way and
being told I wouldn’t start from here – bit like the Sat nav – wherever you are
you can start from here.
It’s a way of wonder, a way of discovery, a way of life.
But what’s it like.
It is as we come towards the end of the story of |Paul that he has been put under arrest –
goes through a series of hearings that stretch out over a number of years.
In Acts 24 he is brought before Felix , the Governor, who gives Paul an opportunity to speak for himself. Intriguingly we learn that Felix was rather well informed about the Way.
He gives a defence of all that he st
for, of the decisions he has taken, of the Way he has followed.
Indeed he says as much
Acts 24: 14-16
14But this I admit to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our ancestors, believing everything laid down according to the law or written in the prophets. 15I have a hope in God—a hope that they themselves also accept—that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous
the unrighteous. 16Therefore I do my best always to have a clear conscience
towards God and all people.
14But this I admit to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our ancestors,
The spiritual dimension to life – the value of worship – it is good to worship – to
believing everything laid down according to the law or written in the prophets.
A faith that is informed by the Word of God in the Scriptures as we enter into the conversations that are going on among all those writers of the Scriptures from so long ago, touched as we are by the very Spirit that was at work with them.
15I have a hope in God—a hope that they themselves also accept—that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous
A hope that looks to resurrection – life not bounded by death – but life which has as part of its experience resurrection
Value of a world view
16Therefore I do my best always to have a clear conscience towards God
and all people.
Love for God
love for others.
The Way is centred around worship
And finds its focus in Faith, Hope
It is not just that Jesus maps out the way for us to follow.
He’s there with us every step of the way – there to bring us back if we go off – a bit like the Satnav wherever we are pointing us in the direction.
We need to venture on to the journey –
and find the difference it makes.
I think there’s something exciting on offer here …