Posted: 30/08/2016


September offers a new beginning for so many people. Some children will start school or nursery for the first time, while others will have the experience of moving from primary to the comprehensive school. It is also a time when many young people will move away from home to attend university and others start their lives in the ‘working’ world.
September is also a new year in the ‘church calendar’. The lull of August is behind and church leaders getting ready for the new challenges of mission that lay ahead.

In 1 Samuel 16 we read of Samuel the prophet being challenged by God to prepare a way for a new beginning for the people of Israel. In this passage we find that Samuel had to action four things in his life in order to enter this new chapter that God had for his people. These four things would be good for us as a 21st century church to action in our lives as we approach September with its offer of a new beginning.
The first thing that Samuel had to do was, shake himself out of the lull that he was in due to God’s rejection of Saul the king. For us as a church, the lull of August is over and it’s time to wake ourselves up and get ready to move into what God has for us in this coming ecclesiastical year.
The second thing that Samuel had to do was to get over the fear of men. He was afraid to go down to Bethlehem and anoint David as king because of his perceived reaction of others. Sometimes we too can fail to respond to the challenges of God because of the fear of what others might think of us. However, when we overcome our fear of others and place our faith in God, we too like Samuel can know an amazing blessing.
The third thing that Samuel had to do was that of ‘breaking with tradition’. His instruction from God was not to anoint one of Saul’s sons as king, but rather David the son of Jesse. Sometimes a new beginning needs a new method, a different way of doing things. Therefore, as this September door of opportunity opens for us, let us be released into something different, something for the first time! Let’s not allow our traditions hinder us from the challenges that God has for us.
The fourth thing that Saul had to do was, ‘be open to the Holy Spirit’. When it came to the identification of God’s anointed, Samuel’s first reaction was to look at men’s outwards appearance and in so doing was in the danger of anointing the wrong man as king. However, Samuel was in tune with the Holy Spirit and later anointed David, the most unlikely of Jesse’s sons, who became Israel’s greatest king!
It is so important that we are tuned into the Holy Spirit. There are so many voices today that demand our attention. So many good ideas and good programs around and in our desperation for growth we can so easily be side-tracked and listen to the wrong voice. It was Dr Jim McConnell who I heard say: “The greatest need of the Church in the U.K. is ‘Spirit Filled, Christ Centred’ leaders.”

“Lord, help us to be open to your Holy Spirit so that we may always move in the Spirit’s flow.”
September is offers a new beginning……….Let’s get ready for a great adventure with God!

Ps Arnallt Morgan