Thursday 21 April 2011

Let your kingdom come - 2010 annual review of the English Ministry

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:17)

The Kingdom of God was right at the heart of everything Jesus said and did while he was on earth. Every miracle he performed. Every parable he taught. Each person he healed. These were powerful signs. God was establishing his kingdom here on earth. Ultimately, all of them pointed forward to Jesus dying on the cross. At the cross, we see Jesus glorified as the Christ. Through his death, Jesus was exalted as Lord and King.

As we look back to the events of 2010, we remember God’s faithfulness and goodness shown us here at the Chinese Church. Yet at the same time, we see God’s power and purpose. He is building his kingdom through Jesus.

May the record of these wonderful events serve to remind us: The kingdom is near. Jesus Christ is the risen King.

Matthew - The Kingdom of Heaven

“He who has ears, let him hear.”
Matthew 13:9

We kicked off the year with a series looking at the earthly ministry and work Jesus in Matthew’s gospel. We learned of Jesus’ birth, his temptation by the devil and how he began his ministry in the small town of Galilee. We heard the most famous sermon in the bible - the Sermon on the Mount.

We also saw opposition. Religious people didn’t like Jesus. They didn’t like Jesus’ friends, who were poor, sick and uneducated. The religious didn’t like what Jesus had to say. He called them to repentance.

Jesus came announcing the Kingdom of Heaven. This meant salvation: God was finally going to save his people from oppression, injustice and even death. But it also meant judgement: God was going to destroy the devil and all who oppose his authority as God.

This announcement of the kingdom is what the bible calls the gospel.

1 Corinthians - God is faithful

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18

Our series on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians was a study on the church. What is the church? Why do we come together as the church?

Surprisingly, the bible answers these questions not by talking about the church, but by focusing on Jesus Christ. God calls us to himself in Christ. God is faithful in sustaining us to the end through Christ. God builds his church on the one foundation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Rock Fellowship

Our mid-week bible study meeting has been growing and growing. More friends. And more food! All glory to God who has been so good in giving us more grace.

We concluded our study from the book of Genesis, which we began in 2009: All fifty chapters (well, minus a couple here and there)! Beginning with creation, fall and the flood, we have journeyed with Abraham and Isaac, and seen the last days of Jacob in Egypt, together with his twelve sons. Yet Genesis is about first and foremost about God. In the face of evil, God is more than able to bring about his purposes for good.

Not long after, Rock embarked on a new adventure through the pages of Exodus, encountering the God who reveals himself as the compassionate and sovereign redeemer of his people, saving the Israelites from oppression and slavery under Pharaoh.

Awesome - Christmas Celebration

Last Christmas, we reflected on the awesome message of the birth of Jesus. Through carols, skits and yes, lots and lots of lovely food, we celebrated the miraculous Christmas story of the incarnation. Jesus Christ, fully God, came to earth, fully man.

In Luke Chapter 2, we met the angels, the shepherds and the mother of Jesus. There we identified with their joy, their amazement and their wonder over a baby born that night in the small town of Bethlehem. He is Christ the Lord!

Solid Rock 2010

The highlight of the year was our annual Solid Rock youth concert, held on the last Sunday of August. The theme was “The glory of Christ and the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Philippians 2 helped us see Jesus’ glory in his humility. Though being in very nature God, Jesus took the form of man, taking the nature of a servant and obeying his heavenly Father unto death - even a shameful death on the cross.

In preparing for this event, the youth worked hard, served sacrificially and shined for Jesus!

Summary of 2010 events

Chinese New Year Celebration: The Wedding Banquet
Ready, Steady, Cook! Youth cookout
Rock: Reunion dinner

Passion for Life Cambridge: Tim Keller on Counterfeit Gods
The God Confusion: London Men’s Convention

Chinese Cultural Evening: Rock @ Harry’s Cafe
Rock: Conclude series on Genesis

Solid Rock Concert

Rock: New series on Exodus
Sunday: New series on 1 Corinthians
Richard and Jessica’s wedding

Baptism: Winnie

Rock Fellowship Christmas Event
AWESOME: Christmas Celebration
VISA Course: Evangelistic bible study

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