Welcome to Christadelphians of Tanzania
The Christadelphians (a word created from the Greek for "Brethren in Christ"; cp. Colossians 1:2 — "brethren in Christ") are a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century. The name was coined by John Thomas, who was the group's founder. Christadelphians hold a view of Biblical Unitarianism. The group has often been described as a form of Messianic Judaism, as they share many of their beliefs and hopes with Judaism; notably the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Israel whilst they also believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah.
Although no official membership figures are published, the Columbia Encyclopedia gives an estimated figure of 50,000 Christadelphians, who are spread across approximately 120 countries; there are established churches (or ecclesias, as they are often called) in many of those countries, along with isolated members. Census statistics are available for some countries. Estimates for the main centres of Christadelphian population are as follows: United Kingdom (18,000), Australia (9,987), Malawi (7,000), United States (6,500), Mozambique (7,500), Canada (3,375), New Zealand (1,785), Kenya (1,700), India (1,500) and Tanzania (1,000). This puts the figure at around 60,000.
Readings: Jonah ch. 4; Hebrews ch. 10
You may have noticed that there is one word which is repeated in those two chapters which have just been read, and by a happy coincidence that same word is also repeated in our first reading for the day. This word brings us very close indeed to the memory of the One whom we meet to remember especially this morning. The word also reminds us vividly of our natural humble estate, and yet it speaks to us of God's merciful provision both today and, God willing, within the Kingdom.
So then will you look please at Job 3.3. This will give us the background to the feelings of Job. "Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it." So great was the measure of the humiliation and suffering of this faithful servant of Deity that in verse 5 he could declare: "Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it."
The word, then, which we sung in our second hymn (No. 3) and which appears in each of our readings is the word "shadow", the Hebrew "tsal". The word obviously has different connotations. There i