Sunday 26th April 2020
John 19 verses 19 to 22
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
When will this all end? We long to be able to meet with friends and family. Earlier this week we thought the Lockdown would be just another 3 weeks, we hear the news now that it likely will be much longer. Whilst we may be afraid of health problems, think of the disciples in their lockdown. They were afraid that if they went out they would be recognized, like Peter. Then they could be taken into the temple and treated like Jesus.
There were the confusing messages around. The two disciples making for Emmaus, they were sad, disappointed and going over all that had happened. The stranger joins them and wants to know what has been going on. "Are you new around here, haven’t you heard"?
Then they recognized him as he gave thanks and shared the bread. They went back to the others, afraid but now excited. Then look at the difference in Acts Chapter 2. The group that were locked down in the upstairs room, afraid, are now all out. Pentecost had come and the Holy Spirit was in the believers. There were thousands of people still around the city, Peter now stood up boldly, telling them the Gospel and where they stood before God. About 3000 were saved that day.
In our Lockdown it may get to us, we might be afraid but let's be bold and excited, speaking up for the Lord in what we do and share. Our strength is also like in the early church they met together from house to house and in the temple. We can't do it physically but with the electronic means we have today we can Zoom in and be one.
See you Sunday and Wednesday May God bless you
PS I saw a cartoon on Facebook. The Devil talking to a Christian says, "I closed all the churches". The Christian says, "No you just opened 1000s in people’s homes".
Do not be afraid! I have redeemed you, called you by your name, you are mine.
Let’s give thanks to a wonderful God who holds the future in his hands.
Thank God for opportunities in ‘Lockdown’ to get to know neighbours and share the love of Christ with them.
Pray this epidemic will soon be over. Praying for protection of the health workers we know.
I do not know what lies ahead,
the way I cannot see.
Yet one stands near to be my guide, he’ll show the way to me.
I know who holds the future and he’ll guide
me with his hand.
With God things don’t just happen, everything by Him is planned.
I’ll trust the God of miracles, give to him my all.
Matthew Chapter 9 verses 14 to 26
Jesus questioned about fasting
Then John’s disciples came and asked him, ‘How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?’ Jesus answered, ‘How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
‘No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out, and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.’
Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman
While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, ‘My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.’ Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’
Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment. When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and the people playing pipes, he said, ‘Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.
News of this spread through all that region.
this week's sermon
1. What questions do you have that stop you coming to Jesus or what things in your life stop you from walking with him? Take some time in prayer and bring them to Jesus, asking for his help.
2. The woman reaches out to touch Jesus and she is healed. All of her shame is removed and she’s given new life. What is this telling us about faith and how we are given new life?
3. The little girl who has died is described by Jesus as being asleep. Jesus takes her by the hand and raises her to life. What is this telling us about ourselves having lived lives without God and what is the hope we have in Jesus?
young people and children's resources
We are back in the book of Acts this week. When you have watched the video and read the verses in Acts Chapter 2, you can download the activities above to think about the story even more.
it is week 7 and 8 of Sync this week. There are 2 videos again as we get to know Laura over a messy food challenge, before we hear her and Grace talk about reading the Bible to know more of God's story...enjoy!