A day to remember
The church was packed with some 800 present, the singing was awesome and the presence of God was tangible. The occasion was the induction of the Rev Wyn Hughes to the pastorate of the Heath Evangelical Church, Cardiff on Saturday 15 January 2005. We were particularly encouraged by the presence of church members from all over Wales and the UK. North and South Wales were united on this very happy occasion. Several ministers who had preached so helpfully in the two year interregnum were there too.
Rev Graham Harrison, the interim moderator, was the chairman. Rev Gwilym Roberts, the former pastor of Caergwrle Evangelical Church (near Wrexham) read 1 Corinthians 2 and led in prayer. Mr Richard Akrill, secretary to the elders in Heath, gave the history of the call and Rev Wyn Hughes responded by outlining God’s dealings with him. Mr Jeff Pugh gave a most fulsome commendation on behalf of the church at Caergwrle, where Mr. Hughes had served for over five years.
The preaching was simply outstanding. Rev Dafydd Morris of Carmarthen was the man asked by Mr Hughes to bring the Word of God. His text was the last part of Acts 20: 24:
“to testify the Gospel of the grace of God”.
The Gospel is the Gospel of God but Paul can also say it is my Gospel.
But the Gospel is from God and is Trinitarian. The Father chose, the Son came, lived, died and rose again and the Spirit seals it. God delights in us. Who but God could bring blessing out of our rottenness? The preacher urged us to remember it is the Gospel of God. Do not “horizontalise” it. Don’t forget the supernatural. Look for the intrusions of Heaven. The Psalmist panted not for orthodoxy, but the living God.
The Gospel is the Gospel of Christ.
It is not just ethics or theory and it is not just the Bible. Rather it is Christ preached from the Bible. Religion is man trying to jump up to God. The Gospel is all about God sending Christ down. Diana did nothing for the Ephesians but look at Christ’s generosity! His was a clean life. He paid the price. He was damned for us. God’s double amen was the resurrection and the ascension.
The Gospel is the Gospel of peace.
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring this message. Peace! Thank God for this in this troubled world.
He concluded by speaking of the Grace of God. This is the free favour of God to Hell-deserving sinners. It is the “warp and woof” of the Gospel. The Gospel must be preached graciously. Grace is utterly realistic, coming to where we are in failure. Jacob’s life illustrates this. Jesus Christ caters for us where we are. He does not say “clean up your act”. It is a Gospel to bad people. We can come clean. We can be honest. Grace is defiant. It defies the moralist and the religionist. The prodigal’s father was willing to lose his dignity and run to his son. Grace is free. Tautology it may be, but inveterate legalism is our problem! Christ has done it all. Grace is incongruent. There’s much more of it than there is of sin. We sin as men but He forgives as God! Finally, grace demands a response. Mephibosheth had to accept David’s free bounty. We have to continue to take! We need to live on Him, rejoice in Him and then embrace Him once more.
This happy day was concluded with the babble of voices as we tucked into the delicious spread that had been prepared for us.
A message from Mrs. Alice Clark [who is 93 years of age] and her son Philip:
We are the daughter and grandson of Rev. John Thomas, the first Pastor of the Heath, who was instrumental in buying the site and, as an architect, planning the building. Our good wishes to your new Minister. My mother and father, Rev. John and Mrs. Tydfil Thomas, spent several happy years there.
Rev. Glyn Owen rang on Friday 21st January 2005, leaving a message as follows:
This is Rev. Glyn Owen from Toronto, Canada. I just wanted to convey my personal greetings to the new Minister of the Heath and the congregation where I spent some very happy years from 1948. God bless you all and use you for the glory of our blessed Lord Jesus.