Written by James Archer
on 5th April 2023
I love Easter; I think I might love it more than Christmas. The excitement that builds for me during Holy week is palpable as I seek to focus on the risen Christ through prayer, reflection, repentance, and renewal. Easter gives us the precious gifts of reflecting upon the grace and power of God. It also builds hope within us, as we remember that every debt is paid, and every sin erased.
As a theological community preparing for Holy Week and Pentecost, it is important for us to focus on spiritual renewal and deepening our faith. We celebrate Jesus' triumph over death end his perfect resurrection, that made a way for us to enter into relationship with Him. It is a time for reflection and contemplation, and a chance to draw closer to God through prayer and meditation.
As we journey through Holy week, we know the story doesn’t stop here and we look forward to Pentecost. We get to consider the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus, empowering them to spread the message of the Gospel. This time provides the opportunity to reflect upon the Holy Spirit's guidance and inspiration in our own lives and reminds us to ask for the courage and strength to share the love of Christ with others.
In Acts 1:8 it says:
“But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”
This verse gives us insight to the beautiful mission that Jesus gave to his disciples before he ascended into heaven and to which we have the privilege of joining into this day. Jesus promised them and us that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit, and that they would be his witnesses not only in their immediate surroundings, but also in the broader regions of Judea and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:8 provides an important reminder of the scope of the Christian mission. At CYM we are a community that is seeking to be Christ's witness at the local, national and international level. It is not limited to one particular place or group of people but extends to all corners of the world. It is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to bear witness to the truth of the gospel, and to share it with others wherever they may be.
For us at CYM, this verse can serve as an inspiration and a challenge to engage in the task of spreading the gospel both locally and globally. This involves not only training students for ministry in their own communities, but also equipping them to serve in diverse cultural contexts around the world. By being faithful witnesses to the gospel message, we all get to help to fulfil Jesus' commission to make disciples of all nations.
In January the CYM staff team gathered to pray and seek God for the year ahead. This was a precious time of worship, prayer and encouragement. This time saw a few prophetic words being shared that will help shape our future. Whilst we continue to pray and seek God on a few areas, it was clear that God is calling us into a new season where he is giving us permission to serve the nation and nations.
Part of our response has been to look to develop our offer to ensure that it can reach to the very ends of the earth. Our online learning platform is part of this work. We have two courses now available and are working on a pipeline of further courses. To explore our current offer, you can follow this link.
Do share this resource with those you are in contact with. You can also sign-up to be notified when our new courses land. As we have looked to respond to what God is calling us to it has been amazing to see how finances have been released to enable the platform to happen. Please pray with me that we would continue to see finance released to help us expand and extend our offer to the church through the online platform.
In addition to developing new resources to assist the advancement of the Christian faith, we are believing that part of our witness to the world will involve being able to offer scholarships to enable social mobility, support young people’s aspirations and encourage new talent in ministry. At the beginning of the academic year, we started to dream the impossible and decided to seek God for the release of £2,500 a month in regular giving to help us begin to make this happen. Miraculously CYM is now close to seeing 25% of this figure in regular, generous, giving. This will truly help us to press further into being the witness to the world that God is asking us to be. As well as praying that we would see increase in this area I would humbly ask you to consider helping us with the 75% of our faith goal for regular giving. Any regular gift, no matter what size, would be a real blessing.
For more information on how to arrange regular giving to CYM click here.
Acts 1:8 seems like it may become a central verse as we step into CYM’s future. As we journey together towards all that God is calling us to in the season ahead, please do pray for us that we would be discerning and fruitful.
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