I had spotted the Everyday Church in Kingston one Saturday a few weeks previously and was reminded of it during the week leading up to 10 November by Judith at Compassion UK, who is part of an Everyday Church where she lives. Rebecca then asked me where I was going to church on Sunday and we ended up going to the Everyday Church in Kingston together.
Remembrance Sunday 2013 was the anniversary of my father’s death in 1977, so it was a day of “remembrance” for me in that sense. Rebecca and I parked in Portland Road in Kingston (where I lived from 1983 to 1994) – more “remembrance”. Rebecca pointed out some letting agency signs across the road from where we parked that said “Cocoon”.
Cocoon is a word that reminds me of the fact that I am now (as the Bible says) a New Creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”). My life was once like that of a caterpillar, but whilst I was living in Portland Road in Kingston in 1994 an amazing thing happened, I went through the process (the cocoon stage) of being born again and my life then became like that of a butterfly – seeing life from a very different perspective. I love how Creator God speaks through His creation.
On the way through the Shopping Centre on the way to the Everyday Church I asked Rebecca what the time was. She told me it was 10:39. Later I looked at Matthew 10:39, which says “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
As we approached the Everyday Church I saw a number of people congregated next to the Church and realised that they were congregated for the Remembrance Day Parade, but it wasn’t until I was inside the church that I remembered that the war memorial was next to the Everyday Church. I also remembered doing a Treasure Hunt with members of Shofar Church around Kingston on Valentine’s Day 2009 (we were the Matchmakers team) and having a photograph taken at the war memorial.
Treasure Hunt reminds me that when I first met with God in 1985 I was ministered to by the Hunt family and I had a whimsical thought that it would be nice to be adopted by them and to change my name to Treasure. They never knew that, but some years later their daughter released her first album and it was called “Treasure”.
The first song that we sang on Remembrance Sunday morning at Everyday Church was “Christ In Me” – a song written by her and her husband.
Outside a trumpet was played to denote the beginning of the 2 minutes silence and it was played again at the end of the 2 minutes silence. I was reminded again of the story of the butterfly. The first trumpet sound signifying the death of the caterpillar, the 2 minutes silence the ‘dead’ cocoon stage and the second trumpet sound signifying the beginning of the life of the butterfly.
The trumpet also reminded me of the shofar (a trumpet-like instrument) that is traditionally blown at Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) where words like repentance and sacrifice are mentioned.
The pastor at Everyday Church pointed out that between the Old and New Testament was a space of 400 years (another dead/silent/cocoon stage if you like). But for the Jews who don’t know Jesus as Messiah as we Christians do, the silence has been 2,400 years.
I looked at the “last words” of the Old Testament and found Malachi 4:5-6 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”.
In the New Testament these words are used to speak of John the Baptist (Luke 1:17 “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”) and I remembered that when I gave my life to God in 1994 He spoke to me of there being a “John the Baptist anointing” on the church in the present day, to prepare people for Jesus’ return.
We sang a Matt Redman “You alone can rescue” and I was reminded of my husband, who had “Red” hair. The words were so poignant, because I had wanted to be rescued from a single life and God sent my husband, John, to do that in 1987, but it wasn’t until John left in 1994 that the real rescuer “Jesus” came into my life. He promises that He will never leave me and we are together forever and ever and ever – that’s Eternity. WOW.
It is a lovely song and tells the story of my life. I once was dead in my sins and the thief (the devil) came to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He stole my husband and attempted to kill me using my own hands, but then Jesus came into my life and gave me new life to the full.
The last song I remember singing at Everyday Church on Sunday was “Great is the Lord and most worthy of Praise”. The whole song is great, but I particularly remember it has a line in it that says “Lord we want to Thank You For the works You’ve done in our lives” and as I sang that on Sunday I could look back over my life and know it was truth.
Finally, on Monday morning I was thinking about the Futility of War. On Sunday I (who had English parents) was sat with Rebecca (whose mother is German) and there were Rembrance services going on outside and inside Everyday Church. I know there is no co-incidence that God has placed His Everyday church next to the War memorial. Outside, around the War memorial people were remembering what men had done to try to secure our freedom. Inside we were taking Holy Communion, as Jesus asked us to do in remembrance of Him, and we were remembering what God did to secure our freedom (1 Timothy 2:5-6 – “For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.”
The bible tells us that our fight is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12 “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”) and only belief in Jesus can secure the Victory for All People, for All Time