BlogsThoughts 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”
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”
Chantal Robertson with her husband Rick
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Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?
Nicki and Dave on how walking the streets and praying for our neighbours can lead to some unexpected opportunities to spread God’s word.