Some years ago Joan Osborne released a song with these lyrics: ‘What if God was one of us?’ It’s a fascinating question: imagine if the real God was one of us! At last we could be sure who he is and what he is like.
The Bible makes a shocking claim: God has indeed become one of us. We are just 2000 years too late to see him with our own eyes. But thankfully we have eyewitness records to find out what happened when he visited this planet.
At his birth, Jesus was given the name ‘Emmanuel’ (Matthew 1:23). This name is no ordinary name: it is a Hebrew word which means ‘God with us’. Eight centuries before Jesus’ birth, God inspired the prophet Isaiah to predict that a child would be born miraculously to a virgin and be given this name (Isaiah 7:14). The eyewitness accounts in the Bible record that this really happened. When Jesus grew up he demonstrated that he was ‘God with us’ by all he said and did.
This central event in time and history is what we focus on as a church- the time when God was with us in the flesh. That’s why we call ourselves ‘Emmanuel Church’.
What are we about?
When he announced the birth of Jesus, the angel said, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.” (Luke 2:10)
The birth of Jesus is not a fairy story. It is news about something that happened on a real day in a real town in the Middle East, 2000 years ago. But unlike so much news on TV it is “good news of great joy.”
The angel also said that the good news of Jesus is “for all people.” This news is for all people everywhere in every generation. Whoever you are, whatever you have done, whatever has happened to you, Jesus is good news for you.
Who are we?
We are a community of ordinary local people who want to get to grips with the good news of Jesus as found in the Bible. When we meet we hear what the Bible says. This is because the Bible is not just accurate history, it is God’s communication to us. Jesus called the Scriptures the word of God (e.g. Mark 7:13) and so do we. The apostle Paul said the same when he wrote ‘all Scripture is God-breathed’ (2 Timothy 3:16). Because of this, we don’t simply hear what the Bible says, we do all we can to put it into practice, however imperfectly.
Who are we linked with?
We are part of the South East Gospel Partnership group of churches, a network of churches from different denominations all united in the gospel (which means ‘good news’). Their doctrinal basis forms part of the trust deed of the church. We are also part of Affinity, a national network of like-minded evangelical churches.
Open to all
As the good news is for all people, in our meetings we welcome all people whatever their beliefs or questions and will do all we can to help you discover what is the best news in the world.
Come and join us on a Sunday at our Morning Service or at our evening meeting ‘Prepared to Serve’. If you’d rather not do that, but would like to investigate this good news more discreetly, then contact our Minister. He would love to help you.