The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10: 46-52)
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him (v.51)
We explore more about this story in this week’s sermon, which can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/2P5WtApnP5Y
To conclude, you may wish to listen to this music for reflection - John Rutter’s setting of a Celtic blessing, “Deep Peace,” sung by Aled Jones (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD9Ook_bp0w), the words of which are
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.
Matthew 6: 16-24
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in Heaven
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
What do you think – what is the link between these 3 topics?
I am suggesting that the thing that links the 3 sayings here is the importance of a single focus and the potential damage of being distracted into double vision!
The recording of the sermon can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/xCKUUm0R9Wg.
And the weekly Bulletin/service sheet can be found on our News page.
This Sunday David Coster is leading worship, and will be preaching on the theme of “Why me? What have I done?" which is based on the reading from Job 23:1-9 & 16-17.
The Book of Job is one of the more interesting books in the Hebrew scriptures, because it is not historical or prophetic, rather it stands with the wisdom material of Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. The subject of the narrative is as old as the hills and as modern as the Space age. If God is just and good, why does God let innocent people suffer?
If you cannot make it along to worship we have prepared a video for you to watch which you can access by using the following link: https://youtu.be/SbTdGOiazxs
(Just a quick note about the video: Hamish has been in charge of these up to now, and David and Gail have just learnt how to use the programme. We didn’t quite stop the recording when it should have, so ignore the last couple of minutes of the video! I’m sure we’ll get it right next time!)
World Communion Sunday
Theme: Through the eyes of a child
Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 “Israel, remember this! The LORD—and the LORD alone—is our God.”
Mark 10: 13-16 - Jesus Blesses Little Children
We have gathered here this morning to worship God.
We have come seeking comfort, community, insight and inspiration.
We have come to open ourselves to God’s transforming love.
We come acknowledging our need of God’s help.
The recorded sermon can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/EE6tzIn4Igo
Readings for this week:
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10 and 9:20-22
Inclusive God, we gather together.
Welcoming God, we come to you.
Valuing God, we see our worth in you.
Challenging God, open our ears to your words,
open our minds to explore your ways,
open our hearts to receive all that you offer.
Loving God, we come to you.
The recording of the sermon can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/Sxxywymv6og
The Road to Greatness
In today’s story the disciples clearly had ego problems, arguing amongst themselves about positioning in the coming kingdom. Jesus takes them aside and works on their attitude issues!
There is a generic lesson here about allowing Jesus to sit with us and work on our issues, and a particular lesson about the road to greatness.
To view the recording of this week’s sermon, go to https://youtu.be/X94aC7AzbeM
The text of the sermon, as well as the service sheet for this week, can be found on our News page.
The Big Reveal
Text: Mark 8:27-38
This passage involves a big reveal and a big invitation!
The reveal happens in 3 parts:-
And there are 3 steps to the invitation:
We explore all of these in today’s sermon, which can be viewed here:
Text: Mark 7:24-30
This passage seems to record a sharp and offensive interaction between Jesus and this Syro-Phoenician woman. She comes to Jesus with a request to help her daughter, and he rejects her with an abusive insult! What is going on here? This is hard to equate with the kind and compassionate Jesus who goes out of his way to help those on the margins and those in trouble!
Watch the recorded sermon here: https://youtu.be/2KeZYu0m2cE
or download the pdf from our News page.
We also have a set of Bible Readings & Prayers for 6th – 17th September, which you may like to use for your own devotions.
The Heart of the Matter
In this reading, the Pharisees and the Scribes travel from the headquarters of Judaism, Jerusalem, to the back blocks of Galilee to investigate this new preacher that was causing such a stir. There had been minor interactions with Jesus prior to this, but now this was needing serious investigation.
From the outset, a key question is this: Were they open-minded?
Did they approach this with open minds and hearts, with a genuine desire to find out what was going on, or were they coming with a clear agenda of their own?
The recorded service can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/7V5bE-1jNfA, and the written version can be found on our News page.
And Hamish is recommending a musician he came across this week – his singing will supplement the recorded sermon! Paul Zach sings the old hymns with a contemporary acoustic and blues feel. You can listen to him on Spotify or on YouTube. Hamish especially likes these: Joy Will Come; I Want Jesus to Walk with Me; and Just a Closer Walk with Me.
Ephesians 6: The Armour of God
We cannot gather in person this week, due to the Level 4 lockdown. Hamish has recorded his sermon, which can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/hhvNY63D9jo, and Anne’s sermon can be found on our News page.
The prayers for this week are on the theme of “putting on the armour of God”. You might wish to use them as a framework for your own prayers today.
Almighty God, thank you for providing us with spiritual armour
so that we may withstand temptation and gladly serve you and others.
When our faith is tested, help us to rely on the armour you have given us.
We put on the belt of truth.
We desire that truth and justice will be experienced by people in our community, our country and throughout the world.
We pray for those who suffer when truth is distorted or willfully abandoned.
Help us, and all your Church, to live with integrity as we seek to follow Jesus,
the Way, the Truth and the Life.
We put on the breastplate of righteousness.
We give thanks for all people who seek to do what is good and kind and right,
whether at home, in the workplace, or in positions of wide influence.
We pray that you will protect and strengthen them in their endeavours,
by the power of your Spirit.
We put on shoes of readiness to proclaim the gospel of peace.
Teach and equip us to be bearers of your peace, O God.
Protect and bless people who are peacemakers,
especially those working in dangerous situations at this time.
We hold the shield of faith.
Today we think especially of Christians who are persecuted or treated unjustly
because of their faith.
We pray for all people who are feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges,
and for those whose faith feels fragile at this time.
In silence we bring before you people who have asked for our prayers
and situations of particular concern.
We wear the helmet of salvation.
Loving God, we recognise our need for forgiveness and renewal
and we pray that people who are burdened by regrets or shame
may turn to you and find healing within your church.
We hold the sword of the Spirit.
God, strengthen us so that we may stand firm at times of testing,
and always be ready to share with others the love and grace we have received.
We ask these things through Christ our Lord.
Worship Services are held at 10am every Sunday. For those unable to join us in person, a recorded version will be available from 9am each week.