Day 234

Day 234 – Sun 23 April – I set off to Ilford just before 8 and joined the London Marathon runners on the tube – I had a great hour and a bit on the tube reading Calvin, I should finish the Institutes in the next couple of days. I was preaching at All Nations IPC in Ilford which was planted last year, Simon Arscott who was the Assistant Minister in Trinity York came down with Becky his wife and 4 kids. It’s wonderfully encouraging there were lots away but still nearly 40 people there. Simon had been at the Twin Lakes Fellowship in Mississippi this past week. I preached an evangelistic sermon on ‘What’s wrong with me?’ from Luke 18. One wonderful surprise was a family came from Romford,  the wife was in Cardiff the same time as us and we’d not seen each other for the guts of 20 years. In the afternoon I was back at the Arscott’s with some people from All Nations, Becky is coping manfully with the 4 kids while Simon is away. We had a lovely lunch and a magnificent Cloud Cake for dessert. I spent quite a bit of the afternoon on the phone to my friend who is in politics  about some tricky issues he is facing. The afternoon service was at 4, it reminded me of when I first came to IPC just a smaller group, a  simple service but people hungry to learn. I dashed off relatively quickly but it was such an encouragement to be with them, Simon and the others there are doing a terrific work, nothing glamorous just simple life – The Word, Prayer, Sacraments lots of hospitality. Simon is an excellent preacher and the work will grow.

 

I wanted to get to ERC in Hackney for their evening service and arrived just during the first hymn. I’d not been in the main auditorium before it’s a beautiful building, dark wood pews, pipe organ with a balcony on 3 sides and I think would probably seat 6/700. There were about 130 of us there and I think I spotted one other white face. We sang – Sing Praise to God who reigns above, Van Zinzendorf’s O Lord enlarge our scanty thought, My Jesus I love thee and then at the table we sang Horatius Bonar’s magnificent hymn – Here O My Lord I see thee face to face.

 

Here, O my Lord, I see thee face to face;
here would I touch and handle things unseen;
here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,
and all my weariness upon thee lean.

This is the hour of banquet and of song;
this is the heavenly table spread for me;
here let me feast, and feasting, still prolong
the hallowed hour of fellowship with thee.

Here would I feed upon the Bread of God,
here drink with thee the royal Wine of heaven;
here would I lay aside each earthly load,
here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.

I have no help but thine; nor do I need
another arm save thine to lean upon;
it is enough, my Lord, enough indeed;
my strength is in thy might, thy might alone.

Mine is the sin, but thine the righteousness:
mine is the guilt, but thine the cleansing
here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace;
thy Blood, thy righteousness, O Lord my God!

Feast after feast thus comes and passes by;
yet, passing, points to the glad feast above,
giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,
the Lamb’s great bridal feast of bliss and love.

It’s old school with the organ but terrific, they sing wonderfully.
Kehinde the  full time elder preached helpfully and warmly on preparation for the Lord’s Table from John 14 – 5 points as we come to the table – 1. Here the disciples are given the assurance of continual communion with Christ.  2. The disciples are assured of the love Christ has for his people 3. he assures them of their hope in this world 4. The call of the disciple to obedience 5. A separation from the world. It was wonderful stuff and I left with a burning heart. It’s so encouraging that there are strong churches in London like this. I was home just before 10.
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