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.
Text: Ephesians 4:17 – 5:2
Ephesians 1 – 3 has set out the riches of love, forgiveness and new life in the Spirit available to us because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The vision is of a new humanity, at peace with God and others. The vision is of Church communities who demonstrate this new way of living to the world. Then, in chapter 4:1, the call comes to live this out! To live a life worthy of this calling! To walk in the way prepared for us by God.
“You were taught, with respect to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
The recorded version of this week’s sermon can be found here:
Soaring to the Heights
Text: Ephesians 4:1-16
Paul sets out a lofty vision for all humanity in the book of Ephesians. And the vision fits neatly into 2 halves. In chapters 1-3 he talks about Jesus on the cross and the coming of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of his people! He sees this vision as being ‘alienated humanity being reconciled to God, fractured human society becoming united and even a new and better humanity being created’ (Stott).
We have prepared a video on this week’s topic, and you can view that here: https://youtu.be/XQ01Fw9OpyE
Readings: John 6:1-21 & Ephesians 3:14-21
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your faithful shall bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
and tell of your power to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendour of your kingdom
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
and gracious in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all who are falling,
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand,
satisfying the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
and kind in all his doings.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
For those unable to join us in person today, we have prepared a video for you which can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/xpvmCpsvq4s
The Service sheet can be found on our News page, and the sermon will be uploaded early next week.
Today’s Theme: New Humanity
Readings: Mark 6:30-34 & Ephesians 2: 11-22
Jesus creates ‘in himself one new humanity’. (Ephesians 2:15)
To watch the video we have prepared on this week’s service, follow this link:
A Tested and Thankful Heart
Text: 1 Chronicles 29: 1-2, 6,9, 14-19
David is dying. People are gathering around. He looks back on his life, which seems to have gone so quickly.
Here is the link to the video we have prepared based on what we are doing in church today.
A copy of the sermon will be available from early next week on our News page
Text: 2 Samuel, 5 & 6
2 Samuel 5 & 6 describes a man who was ‘all in’, not one who was simply doing the formalities of life, work and worship.
Peterson remarks that David’s relationship with God is integrated into who he is as a person.
“It is impossible to understand a single thing about David apart from God …. Every aspect of David’s life was God-defined, God-saturated. Everything David knows about God he experiences, enters into, embraces, takes into himself. God isn’t a doctrine he talks about but a person by whom he is led…”
To listen to the recorded sermon, follow this link: https://youtu.be/bgmfBjUFKwk
A pdf copy of the sermon will be available from next week on our News page.
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.