Welcome to Dawlish Christian Fellowship!
More People, More Like Jesus
Dawlish Christian Fellowship (DCF) is a growing church seeking to be more people, more like Jesus.
DCF includes people of all ages and backgrounds whose lives have been touched and transformed through their personal encounters with Jesus Christ.
We are a relational church, with lots going on throughout the week. Check out the site for more details!!
We would love to welcome you and look forward to seeing you!
This blog entry formed the basis of Mark’s message at the Christmas memorial service held at St Gregory’s Church on Tuesday 4th December 2018.
This Christmas, we’ve just been blessed as a couple with an early Christmas present from my lovely mum – she’s bought us a new memory foam mattress – 70% off on Groupon, too. Our old mattress was second hand when mum and dad passed it onto us many years ago. Honestly, we didn’t know what we were missing. Jo says it’s like sleeping on cake. These mattresses absorbs you, and shapes themselves around you. We are sleeping so much better.
With a traditional mattress, the more weight you put on it, the more the pressure increases, pushing upwards against you. With a memory foam mattress, the more weight you put on it, the more it flexes to accommodate you. The more the pressure increases, the more the comfort abounds all the more.
This reminds me of the Good News about Jesus at Christmastime. Jesus didn’t have a comfortable arrival as a newborn baby – no spotless maternity unit awaited him. He was literally born in a barn, as the saying goes. No homecoming from hospital for baby Jesus – he was on the run for his life with his Mum and Dad as King Herod was trying to kill him. Off to Egypt in exile. No easy life growing up, either, he grafted in his dad’s workshop and out on site, learning the family business. Then, when he began to speak, he was hated and hunted once more as the religious authorities tried to find a way to pin something on him. But he had done nothing wrong all his life. The first and only person ever to achieve that, before or since. And then they got him, (he let them get him), and they made him suffer and die. But, on the third day, Jesus rose again, is alive today in heaven, and very much at work in the world through His Holy Spirit.
The man Jesus was known as a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. I’m often reminded of Jesus weeping outside the tomb of his close friend Lazarus. Far from being an uncaring, distant God, in Jesus, God knows what it is to suffer, and to suffer greatly, even on the cross. In one way, we can only ever really know Christ in His suffering through our own experience of suffering.
Yet on the other side of suffering, and even in the midst of it, we can know God’s inexplicable joy and peace in Christ. This is our hope and this has always been God’s promise in Christ (Isaiah 35:10; NIV) …gladness and joy will overtake you, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
In 2 Corinthians 6:10 (NIV) we hear the extraordinary truth that, in Christ, we can be… “…sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”
Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. How is this possible? The answer lies at the very heart of Christmas.
We sing of the Christmas shepherds in the carol ‘Infant holy, infant lowly’:
Saw the glory, heard the story –
Tidings of a gospel true.
Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow,
Praises voicing, greet the morrow:
Christ the babe was born for you.
As baby Jesus, God came here for us all. He knows how it feels to hurt, and he’s done something about it.
Thinking back to our memory foam mattress, we also read this in 2 Corinthians 1:5 – “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
It’s just as if, the Good News about Jesus can comfort us all the more, even as our suffering increases. Just like our new mattress, He knows your shape and He knows how to hold you just right to carry your weight so you can feel comfort and find rest for your souls.
So, this Christmas, press into the comfort of knowing that, whatever you have been through, whatever you are going through, God knows all about it, He himself is very familiar with suffering, and offers all of us, if we’ll have him, to lead us to a place where there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain. I hope and believe that the truth of this can be Good News for everyone this Christmas.
Mark Jones, Church Leader, December 2018