Lambeg Parish Church
A Church of Ireland Parish in the Diocese of Connor
Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland -
Lambeg Parish Rectory
58 Belfast Road
Phone: 028 9266 3872
Lambeg Parish Church has been witnessing to the Gospel of Christ from the beginning of the l4th century and possibly even earlier. Generations of men,women and children have had their spiritual needs met by a church that has accommodated itself to the changing conditions of the area.
Beginning as a rural parish for centuries, it became an industrial region with the setting up of paper, linen, and thread industries. Thousands were employed in these industries,which achieved world-
Hopefully, later this year, we can explore this together in a ‘Parish Consultation' as we consider our responsibility of witnessing to our generation about the wonderful Good News of Jesus Christ.
So, watch this space
Way back in the 1970s, I was standing at the back of the main room of a newly opened Youth Club in Wallace Avenue, Lisburn. At the front of the room, one of the first Apollo astronauts to walk on the moon was talking of his experience.
He talked about walking on the moon, reading the Bible on the moon and even having communion on the moon! But as he talked, I was looking out the window, looking up at the moon itself. And then it really struck me—that man at the front of this room really walked up there! Wow!
Then he said something that stuck with me and that I’ve read many times since. He said: ‘It’s amazing that a man has walked on the moon, but it’s even more amazing that God has walked on earth!’
That’s the message of Christmas, isn’t it? The opening chapter of John’s Gospel tells us that ‘… the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…’ God came to earth. God the Son took our flesh and walked amongst us.
The question is why did he come to do this? The Apollo astronauts went to the moon as part of a ‘space race’ with the Russians. National pride, technological advancement, military advantage, as well as human achievement all drove the mission to get a man on the moon.
But what drove the mission of God the Son to come to earth was completely different. It was a rescue mission—a mission to rescue us from the mess we’ve made of our lives and of the world because of our sin.
He came from ‘glory’ to bring us with him to ‘glory’. It is an astounding message, a wonderful, hope-
This Christmas, let’s consider again with wonder and joy that our Lord came to this earth to bring us to heaven.
The symbol of Christianity is the cross. You see it everywhere. It’s part of our national flag; it sits on many churches; its worn as a fashion item around the neck; footballers often ‘cross’ themselves before coming unto the pitch; but rarely is it talked about.
If you’d gone back two thousand years ago to the time of the Roman empire and asked them what a cross stands for, they would say ‘death’. That’s because the cross was the Roman way of putting criminals to death. This is how Jesus died, a criminal’s death on the cross.
The world in which the cross was an instrument of torturous death couldn’t accept that there could be any good news about someone dying on a cross. For the Romans, it was the most shameful of deaths. For the Jews, anyone who died hanging on a tree (or cross) was cursed by God. So, how could Jesus be God’s Messiah if he died on a cross and so was cursed by God? For the Greeks, talk of a religion based on a cross was barbarous nonsense. It was a stupid message compared to the wisdom they had inherited from their great philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. So, why did Christians boast in the cross and preach the message of the cross?
Because there, on the cross of Christ, sin was paid for. Christ took the curse of punishment we deserve because of our sin so that we would not have to. God the son willingly payed the price of death on our behalf so that we need not face God’s judgement. The result of the cross of Christ? Those who trust in Christ’s death as the payment for their sin will never be condemned, but have entered into a new life with God both now and forever.
The cross of Christ is certainly not something Christians are ashamed of. In fact, it’s their boast, for it was God’s way of dealing with our sins and displaying his love in saving us. Far from being foolish, as many at the time of Jesus would have said, it is God’s wisdom. It’s God’s answer to the problem of sin, evil and death. It brings in new life and a new world for all who repent of their sin and trust in the crucified and risen Lord.
The meaning of Easter
"He has risen. He is not here."The words of the angel to the women on the first Easter morning. Momentous words that changed the course of history. Momentous words that have changed countless lives throughout the past 2000 years. The events of that day continue to have repercussions on the lives of millions throughout the world as the Good News of Jesus penetrates into more and more countries, reaching more and more people. Lives are being changed in every generation, in every culture, in every nation and in every people group that make up the world's nations.
When the angel spoke these words to those women on that Resurrection day, a turning point in history had been reached. God had planned that His Son would come to rescue people from sin, death and hell, by his death on the cross. The Resurrection of Christ from the dead was God's 'Yes' to all that is claimed for the death of Jesus.
Can he forgive our sins? Yes! Christ rose from the dead!
Can his blood cleanse us and give us new life? Yes! God raised Christ from the dead. Can we have a fresh start with God, a new beginning in life? Yes! ' On the third day he rose again!’
The death and Resurrection of Jesus is not a mere story in a book -
Jesus said: ‘I am the Vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5). This is a verse that I personally like to reflect and meditate on often. Harvest time reminds us not only of God’s goodness to us in creation and his provision for us, but also of our responsibility to ‘bear fruit’. In this verse, Jesus describes our relationship with him as like branches to a Vine. He is the vine and we are the branches, drawing our spiritual life and strength from him. Without drawing on his strength as the vine, we would wither away as branches. But if we are constantly looking to Jesus and leaning on him by faith, then from him, strength and spiritual life flow into our lives.
One of the results of looking to Jesus and leaning on him by faith everyday, is that our lives will bear fruit for God. For example, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-
In Lambeg, we want to grow as disciples like this. We want to move forward together in serving Christ by being a learning, caring, worshipping, and witnessing church. The impact of a church full of disciples bearing fruit for Christ will have tremendous positive repercussions and results in all areas of our life together. So, is your life closely connected to Christ as a branch to a vine? If so, are you bearing fruit for Christ? Is the fruit of the Spirit evident in us? May the Lord bless the harvest of his creation with abundance and may he bless our lives and witness with fruitfulness.