Simon Redmill
Friendship and Rest


I so enjoyed meeting yesterday as Grace Church.  It’s not the same as being physically together but I’m grateful for modern technology that allows us to connect with each other.

Wasn’t it wonderful having Elizabeth, Joe and Harry lead us in sung worship?  I loved the courage and honesty of Erica sharing her story and her favourite bible verse: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29 v 11

We heard from David about friendship and in particular David and Jonathan’s friendship.  Let’s invest deeply with friendship with one another. Who could you invite over to your house in August?  To deepen current friendships?  Maybe reaching out and forming new friendships – how about someone who’s from a different nation or background to you as we’ve been encouraged to do in our recent ‘Let’s talk About Race’ sessions? 

I love the point David made about how Jesus made a way for us to be friends with God – incredible!! I believe that a key-way for us to show and tell the love of God to others is through friendship evangelism.  Jesus was known as a ‘friend of sinners’.  He invested time and energy building friendships with unbelievers.  He took a risk in opening himself up and making himself available to those far from God.  Lets be the same.  Who are your unbelieving friends?  Do you make time to invest with those far from God?  Let’s ask for God’s help and grace and see the Kingdom of God come where we live and where we work.

Just this last week I was reminded of the power of friendship.  I received a text from a friend whose wife tragically took her own life.  I met up with him and ‘mourned with those who mourned’.  We cried together, talked and shared, and cried some more though the unimaginable pain.  I hope and I pray it helped just a little, but him turning to me and us meeting up was based on knowing each other and being friends for over 25 years.  Let’s build wise, healthy friendships with both believers and unbelievers.  It takes time, sacrifice and risk, but lets do it to the Glory of God.

On Sunday I shared for a few minutes on rest.  It’s been a crazy few months.  God rested (Genesis 2 v 2), and so can I encourage us to do likewise in August?  That doesn’t necessarily mean lying on a beach for four weeks (though that sounds quite nice)!!  Jesus said, “come to ME all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest……”. 

As an old Pastor of mine used to say: “If you’re tired get into bed, if you’re weary get into God”.  We want to give our teams some rest over August, so we will pause Community Groups and our Tuesday and Wednesday prayer for the month of August. 

Let’s rest, refresh and be ready for all God has for us in September.  Amongst other things, we’ll be having a couple of vision Sundays to share the plans God has put on our hearts as elders, having a week of prayer, and God willing running an Alpha at the end of September.

Finally, if you’re looking for some good books to read or listen to over the summer, I’d highly recommend:

John Mark Comer: “The Ruthless elimination of Hurry” 

Ben Lindsay – “We need to talk about race…….understanding the black experience in white majority churches”.

Owen Hylton – “Crossing the Divide – a call to embrace diversity”                                                               

Personally, it’s been a busy and demanding season, and so I’m looking forward from Thursday to having a couple of weeks off with the family, and then coming back raring to go with all that God has in store for us.

Loads of love to you and your families,

Rest Well,