Ian led worship on 23 February supported by Amanda Amy and Mark. Very powerful service with Ian sharing some of the issues he deals with and his reliance on God to lead him.
Amanda asked people to recall those moments when your Mam takes you by the hand . You don’t where you going, you just have to trust she knows what she is doing. The disciples had that experience on the mountaintop, going into the unknown but with moments of terror.
Matthew 16:13 Jesus asked who do people say the son is. Peter had declared Jesus to be the son of the living god, Peter could not understand that Jesus was to die, Peter was a tough diamond, maybe he’d have been from West View or the Manor if he’d been born in Hartlepool. Jesus rebuked Peter saying that it was foretold. By Elijah. Amanda then read Matthew 17 where Peter offers to put up the three tents for Elijah, Moses and Jesus. God speaks and tells of his love for his son. Again they are told not to tell anyone.
Six days passed since Peter had declared Jesus to be the son of the the living god. Why did Jesus takes these disciples up the mountain. Maybe it’s because they were the strongest, and they needed to be prepared for what was to come.
Amanda wondered what was going through the disciples mind when they were preparing to go . Why do we climb a mountain? Where are we going, what do we need What’s the weather going to be like?
Amanda reminded the church of the trip to Keswick that her and I did after we got married. She shared how I prepared with hiking sticks and a bag that weighed a ton. I needed a pack horse. But I wanted to take everything I thought we might need.
Imagine the scene, did they walk together or did they follow Jesus and maybe like me grumble all the way up!
They met with Moses and Elijah. And they were in the presence of God. We’d be flat on our faces as well . Peter did. He was before God and terrified . They were direct witnesses to the care of the Father for his Son.
Don’t be afraid, get up I am with you is the message Jesus shares.
We need the same space for contemplation and conversation with God. We need our mountaintop with God.
As we head into Lent Fasting and praying brings us before God. Amanda shared that she had affirmation. of this but reminded people that even if yiu can’t do a full fast you can do a Daniel fast , rather than giving up all food Daniel asked for vegetables only . God fulfilled Daniels statement.
When your at the top of the mountain you see gods splendour . Amanda climbed a stepladder to illustrate the point. She shared her journey up Roseberry Topping with her Mam. She then shared the fact that you have to come down the mountain. She followed her Mam down the rocky side of the mountain. It was scary and it was difficult but they got down. Falls and trips may feel inevitable but if we keep our eyes fixed on Him he’ll take us down safely. Maybe that’s why Jesus took the three disciples , he needed to give them strength for when they got frightened and ran away , denied Jesus before he rose again.
We ended with a time of quiet reflecting on our own needs.