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Convocations, they used to call them. A Trumpet blast, rallying call to the whole nation to assemble together in submission to God and his will. Old Israel had lots of them; their weekly convocation was the Sabbath, but their annual convocations started with Passover, which was just about this time of the year!
The Wesley Version
In 1755 John Wesley created a form of service adapted from the works of Joseph and Richard Alleine. These works came from the Puritan tradition of pastoral and spiritual guidance. Wesley therefore insisted that the Covenant Service be located in a framework of pastoral care, preaching and guidance.
There would be a series of meetings relating to the Covenant involving sermons, explanations and exhortations. An invitation would then be issued for “those as will” to come to the Covenant Service. After a day’s “Retreat” for people to prepare themselves in prayer, fasting, reflection and self-examination there would be the Covenant Service itself. This would be held in the context of the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Many Methodists and others still hold this service year by year.
The ‘biblebase focus event’ version!
We have planned our own version of this for this coming Saturday. April 9th 2016.
The venue will be Bracknell New Covenant Church and we will start with welcome and a cup of something at 9.30 am.
The rest of the day is scheduled thus…
9:30 am Tea /Coffee
10:00 – 11:00 New Exodus – New Covenant – Wayne Crossley
11:00 – 11:30 Tea/Coffee
11:30 – 12:30 Preparing for the Covenant – Ron Bailey
12:45 – 1:45 Light Lunch Soup etc.
2:30 – 4:30 Renewing the Covenant – Ron Bailey
4:30 – 5:00 Snack & Scatter
The afternoon session will be in the context of a celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
The day is without charge but an opportunity to share in the costs will be available.
Just trying to touch all the bases and ensure that everyone hears this who ought to…
In February we conducted our first ‘focus event’ in Bracknell, Berkshire, England and many said how much they appreciated it and were blessed. Me too! Thank you for being part of it in prayer, support, presence! Now we want to ensure that others are blessed too so we are heading for Scotland. I’m sharing the coordination of the Scotland Focus Event with Ian Macmillan, and old and faithful friend. (not so old!)
A weekend conference in a Scottish castle.
Our venue will be a castle! Tulliallen Castle in Fife. We have accommodation for all who want to join us. You can come for the whole weekend with full bed and board, as we say in the UK. (bedrooms with en-suite, and full meals). There will be no formal charge but opportunity will be given for any to make a contribution to the costs of the weekend. We want to be sure that no one is missing due to lack of funds, so we look forward to seeing you all. More details on the website.
New Covenant Priesthood: His and Ours
Our topic for the ‘focus’ this time will be “New Covenant Priesthood: His and Ours.” And our speakers will include Ron Bailey and Robert Wurtz II from the Delaware Christian Fellowship in Independence, Missouri. Robert is another old and faithful friend (not so old!) who has been a constant support and encouragement to the work of biblebase for many years. Robert has authored several books and is a regular blogger and YouTube presence and well as being a contributor to various biblebase forums.
Come and join us… and book in today.
Over many years we have been blessed with visits to England from various brothers in Scotland. Their faithful presence at meetings in the ‘deep south’ (of England) have been a challenge and encouragement to many. Now we have an opportunity to ‘return the blessing’, so read the full details of the weekend under the Scotland Focus Event on the website and please sign up as soon as you can. We need to know numbers, particularly for catering, as soon as possible.
The purpose of the weekend is prayer, fellowship and an opportunity to give some time to appreciate our wonderful inheritance in the Better Covenant!
If you need more information please contact me. Looking forward to seeing you there.
biblebase FOCUS events – 2015
April 9-11th at New Covenant Church, Bracknell.
Friday at 7:30 pm – Keynote Session – Welcome and Plan of Action
Saturday: 10:00 – Coffee and Welcome
Saturday 10:30 – 11:30 Session 1 – Ron Bailey – One Bible in Two Testaments. Why?
Saturday 11:30 – Tea/Coffee
Saturday 12:00 – 13:00 Session 2 – Wayne Crossley – Subject – to be announced
Saturday 13:00 Lunch provided
Saturday afternoon – Fellowship, Q&A, Future Plans,
Saturday 19:30 Evening Meeting – songs, testimony and preaching
Sunday Morning 10:30 Welcome to New Covenant Church, Bracknell, Sunday Meeting
Here’s the plan… to hold a series of biblebase FOCUS events in different locations to give readers of this blog and members of our Facebook “friends of biblebase” group an opportunity to dig a little deeper into the thrilling wonders of this New Covenant. Oh, I know some folks think I have a bit of an obsession with the New Covenant. Really, the truth is that I have a decades’ long fascination with the wonders of God’s revelation in the Scriptures and the progressive revelation that we find there.
Isaac Watts wrote a wonderful hymn that begins with the line…
Join all the glorious names…
He makes a journey through many of the titles and descriptions given to Christ in the scripture to show what he calls God’s “condescending ways”. (that’s the old use of the word) He believed, as did many before him and many who have followed him, that God had ‘stooped down in grace’ to communicate truth to us. He used diverse ways to reveal himself to men and in particular he used words. Usually those words were not merely titles and labels but revelations of his character. Many spring to mind immediately; The Shepherd, The Vine, The Light, The Life. Some have dropped from public consciousness but they remain revelations of his character. Some have even dropped from Isaac Watts great hymn in its modern forms. Watts first three verses set the scene for what follows…
1 JOIN all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and power,
That ever mortals knew,
That angels ever bore;
All are too mean to speak his worth,
Too mean to set our Saviour forth.
2 But O what gentle means,
What condescending ways,
Doth our Redeemer use,
To teach his heavenly grace;
My soul, with joy and wonder see
What forms of love he bears for thee!
3 Arrayed in mortal flesh
The Covenant-Angel stands,
And holds the promises
And pardons in his hands;
Commissioned from his Father’s throne
To make his grace to mortals known.
The prophecy of Malachi ‘sets our Saviour forth’ as Watts has it as the ‘Covenant-Angel’ or messenger. His Calvary baptism was accomplished in order to bring in a ‘New Covenant’ …through his blood.
This New Covenant changes everything and provides a new perspective for so much of God’s work of redemption. It is the language of God’s ‘condescending ‘ways’ but it is also the most comprehensive of God’s revelations of his saving power. I have long wanted to examine different aspects of the Scriptures through the lens of the New Covenant. I mean, I wanted the opportunity to gather like minded brothers and sisters together to use the truth of the New Covenant to bring other vital truths into focus through the lens of the New Covenant, hence “biblebase FOCUS events”. Times set aside to examine the implications of the New Covenant on our life and faith.
We plan two ‘Focus’ events this year. This first one in April based on New Covenant Church, Bracknell and a second scheduled for September in Scotland. More details on costs and accommodation to follow. For the time being just book the slot in your diary. We hope to have a good cross section of folks from different age groups, so plan to come and let us know.