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31 March 2016

Your God reigns!

Callom Harkrader photo Callom Harkrader Head of Outreach
Passion Retold crowds2

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ (Isaiah 52:7)

Our God reigns! This can be difficult to believe some times. In the busyness of life, the terrible events flooding our news, and the vast swathes of people in this city who do not believe the good news of Jesus, it is easy to be dismayed and lose sight of the fact that Jesus is sitting on His throne.

But we are in good company if we have ever lost sight of this wonderful fact. During the original Easter weekend, Jesus’s followers were confused, frightened, and hopeless. When Jesus was arrested, Peter drew a sword to fight – and if I’d been there with a sword, I think I may have done so too! But contrast Peter’s reaction to Jesus’s in Matthew 26:52–54:

‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to [Peter], ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?’

Jesus believed what Peter then did not: that even in that moment of dismay and seeming defeat, God still reigned.

Passion Retold Jesus
Copyright to the Daily Echo


Passion Retold crowds
Photo by Ben Stockley

But just as the tears of the original Good Friday turned to joy on Easter morning, this most recent Easter weekend was a tremendous encouragement! We’ve had a weekend of astonishing opportunities to see and say to Southampton, ‘Your God reigns’:

  • the Easter Exhibition
  • Good Friday Communion including a children’s service
  • Passion Retold in Guildhall Square
  • the Inspector Smart puppet show
  • two Sunday morning services including an all-age service with a baptism
  • Real Lives with Dave Merrington

I was particularly involved in the Passion Retold and Real Lives events. To see thousands of people watching the excellent production, listening to the very clear gospel message, and at least eleven people making prayers of commitment isn’t just exciting – it’s life changing! Many passers-by stopped and watched the entire event. How wonderful as well to see so many Christians from all over Southampton coming together in the very centre of the city, and worshipping God together as one. Your God reigns!

Dave Merrington advert just title

Real Lives with Dave Merrington was a special treat for me. What a joy to hear from a man who has been at the top of the sporting world share his faith so passionately. And how wonderful to see so many new faces in the audience listening attentively. You could hear a pin drop when Dave paused. Several people signed up for the Alpha course after the event, which reminds us to continue praying for fruit from all those who heard the gospel over Easter weekend.

We have much to pray about, we have much to be thankful for, and, most importantly, we have someone to pray and be thankful to. This world often seems dark and far from our Father, but we worship Him who went through darkness and separation from the Father and came back victorious. What a privilege to take part in this.

Dave Merrington photo
Photo by Anna Gurman

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ (Isaiah 52:7)

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