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Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

God NEVER changes

By Chantal Robertson, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral

Recently, I attended an Alpha course gathering in Liverpool. It was in the main hall (nave) of a traditional church of England church.

I’m not sure about you, but this used to make me shudder a little.

Until I rebelled at 12 or 13 to help at the local riding stable, I was brought up attending a Methodist church with my grandparents, then a little village Church of England church with my Mum and my brother. 

My grandparents were very much part of the church community, but at the church with my Mum and brother we only came to the short ‘family’ services. We came just before they started, sat by the organ to “drown out my Mum’s awful singing voice” (as she would say) and left as soon as they finished.

I have some good memories, though, of some of the preaches and did enjoy it, but didn’t see the point. 

Years later, after a long journey of sporadically and briefly attending churches in the second year of University and afterwards, and attending an Alpha course in 2003, I finally made a commitment in November 2004.

The following year, in May 2005, I was baptised after experiencing what Christianity really is about; family, doing life together, living sacrificially for Jesus, being bold and courageous in faith and whatever that entails. 

All those stories I was SO familiar with suddenly meant something and had real relevance and impact in my life.

Since then, I’ve fully embraced being in an evangelical church and being free in worshipping and communion and so on – which has meant that going back to a traditional church, even just stepping into the building, has me feel a little uncomfortable at times. It felt stiff and restricting.

Back to the church in Liverpool. While standing there, worshipping along with hundreds of others, with the band, to a modern song, I had a revelation. As I looked up a little contemptuously at the old stained glass window in front of me of Jesus on the throne, with a sneer at what I saw as its pretentiousness.

Then I suddenly became aware that there He was, with angels around Him, a crown on His head and royal robes, and a BARE FOOT sticking out the bottom!

A BARE foot! If King Charles were to do that, it would be plastered all over the worldwide news in seconds and you’d hear echoes of the madness of King George! 

But, no, this is JESUS. Not any ordinary King. But one, who has kept His nail-scarred hands and feet, even on His throne. Who KNOWS vulnerability, pain and  beauty. 

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way, just as we are – yet did not sin”
Hebrews 4:15.

I felt filled with thoughts of how traditional churches such as this had been faithfully carrying the Christian message down through the centuries, from Jesus’s time, to now. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here now. I was filled with humility, remorse and gratitude for those who’d gone before. This church is alive and evangelical AND Church of England still.

Nicky and Pippa Gumbel at the Alpha event in Liverpool

Nicky Gumbel (one of the founders of the Alpha course), interviewed on the day, responded that one of the reasons that Alpha works and still works, is the Gospel message. The message has NOT changed, even though the package has. 

Even though churches have changed over the course of time, with culture/ countries/ technology etc. the message of the truth of the GOSPEL remains the same. God NEVER changes. 

“He is the same yesterday, today and forever”
Hebrews 13:8.

Jubilee Church Wirral Life Group leaders Rick and Chantal Robertson

Chantal Robertson with her husband Rick

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