Monthly Message Jan 2022

Dear friends,

Way back in 1940 the philosopher C.E.M. Joad wrote: “We have abolished the fear of God and instead we live in constant fear of man.  We have done away with the idea of a hell in the future and we have succeeded in turning our lives in this world into a living hell”.  Eighty-two years later the same could be said of our world today.  Men and women live in fear – of Covid, climate change, economic collapse, violence, exploitation of the young, neglect of the old, inevitable death and so on and so on.

The most we can do about any of these fears, if we can do anything at all, seems so insignificant compared to the size of the problem.  Yet we try, as if man can solve everything.  So many are still followers of the dictum of A.C. Swinburne, the 19th century writer: “Glory to Man in the highest! For Man is the master of things”.  In complete contrast, Jesus said: “apart from me you can do nothing.” [John 15:5].

Is there not a great, urgent need for men and women to replace all their fears with a true fear of God?  When the angel Gabriel came to Zechariah in the temple “he was startled and was gripped with fear”.  Then when Gabriel visited Mary she was “greatly troubled”, and the reaction of the shepherds to the angelic visitation was that “they were terrified”.  On each occasion the angel’s response was “Do not be afraid”.  Each of these three persons, through the angel, came face to face with the presence, power, word and grace of the living God.  Is not the greatest need of our day a fresh visitation of God to his people by the Holy Spirit in revival?  Is not our greatest duty in our day to pray for that revival?  Shall we resolve to go into 2022 praying that the Lord will show us, and our nation, what he is saying to us through, among other things, Covid, the social and moral malaise, the tragic weakness of the church in our time?

In a letter to a friend in 1945, the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones wrote: “I long for revival comparable to that of the 18th century.  More and more am I convinced that there, and there alone, lies our hope.  I believe that the people at the back of the ‘Faith for The Times’ Campaign are beginning to see that now.  But they so enjoy organising activities and meetings!”   Almost eighty years on, do we have the faith and the conviction to bear that burden forward?  Let us encourage one another in this at our Spring Event: 12th March, URC Hall, 9.45am-12.30pm.

Your brother in Christ,

Tony Mason


Monthly Message Dec 2021

Dear friends,

In October I reflected on Revelation and then, last month, on Reconciliation as two aspects of the Incarnation.  This month we consider Redemption. 

Titus 2:14 – Jesus Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own eager to do what is good”.

When someone frees a slave he pays a ransom for his freedom.  That is exactly what Jesus said he had come to do – for us.  Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”.  Some have asked to whom has the ransom been paid, and have argued that it was to Satan.  But the idea cannot be pressed that far.  God is under no obligation whatever to pay anything to Satan; nor does Satan, having been cast down from heaven, have the power to make any demands on God.  No, the focus is not on the one to whom the ransom has been paid but on the glorious One who willingly paid it, out of sheer love and grace towards us sinners who deserved nothing of the sort.  But consider the enormous power exerted by Christ when, by his death, he ransomed sinners, for “the whole world is under the control of the evil one”- I John 5:19.

Colossians 1:13 “He (Christ) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”.  Every time a sinner repents and turns to Christ, not only do the angels in heaven rejoice, but Satan loses one more soul from under his control!  Christ delivers us from death, the penalty for sin, and thereby the very fear of death.  In Hebrews 2:14,15 we have a great setting forth of the purpose and accomplishment of the Incarnation, the wonderful event and act of God we celebrate at Christmas time: “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death”. 

Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like me his praise should sing?

Your brother in Christ,

Tony Mason

PS Look out for information in the New Year about our Spring Mini – Event on Saturday, March 12th at the URC Hall in Saffron Walden from 9.45am until 12.30pm.  Do keep the date free!

Monthly Message Nov 2021

Dear friends,

I can still vividly remember seeing them, though it was way back in the 1960s: two men walking side by side down the aisle of a Hertfordshire Baptist church, carrying the offering they had just taken up.  Nothing remarkable in that, you might think. But one of those men was British and the other was German.  The latter had been brought to the UK as a prisoner-of-war during World War II and had decided to stay.

He was a Christian and had joined this particular church and, on getting to know the other man, discovered that both of them had fought in the same battle against each other!  Here they were now, no longer enemies but fellow servants of the Lord Jesus Christ!  But they had been, in fact, brothers in Christ even when they were in opposing armies.  Both of them had been reconciled to each other because both of them had been reconciled to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Last month I reflected briefly on Revelation as one purpose of the Incarnation, now I turn to Reconciliation.  “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them”. II Cor 5:19).  Wonder of wonders!  God, the holy and sinless One takes the initiative in reconciling lost, rebellious, unclean sinners to himself.  And he doesn’t just brush off the dirt and leave us in our unrighteousness; rather “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. (v21).  Christ took our sin in order that we might receive his righteousness.

If God could effect so great an exchange, how deeply offensive our sin must be to him. If God could effect so great an exchange, how great must be his grace! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (v17).

“Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.”  (Isaac Watts)

Your brother in Christ,

Tony Mason


The Bible Focus Team have been considering the possibility of a “Reunion” in the Spring of 2022.  It would be something of a mini-version of the September event, but more informal and interactive. There would be opportunity for worship and to minister to one another in prayer and in sharing in the Word of God, to renew friendships made on previous occasions and even something to which you could invite your friends.

Further details will be available in due course, but in the meantime please join us in prayer about this, and let us know any thoughts on the matter that the Lord may lay on your heart.