Sunday 5th April 2020
It’s been for many people a week where any novelty they felt at all from the self isolation we are facing has well and truly worn off. Missing family and friends, and for us not being able to gather as a church, has really hit home.
It has also been noticeable for me that plans we made are being cancelled. Both of our children had tickets booked for concerts plus our family holiday to the Keswick Convention, all cancelled as a result of these circumstances beyond our control.
As we build up to Easter, the different ideas and plans we had to reflect, to celebrate and spend time together have as well had to alter and change. As this week is Palm Sunday it is a reminder that the plans the crowds around Jesus had in mind for him were not what God had in mind at all. That in all of life's up's and down's, God is at work on the bigger picture of salvation and making all things new.
The challenge for us is to keep, in all of this, a sense of awe and wonder. As I was trying to remember back to last year and our Maundy Thursday service, a first for us as a church, the thing that struck me most was the power of the Gospel accounts.
Essentially, all we did was read the accounts through from the Last Supper to the Crucifixion, without any comment or sermon. The word of God, as we are reminded in Hebrews 4 verse 12, is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit.
I know it wasn't just me who left that evening with a renewed sense of love, adoration and joy when reminded in that way, of the extent that Jesus went to in order to save a sinner like me.
I truly cannot wait for the day when we can meet again to worship, but I am also thankful that because of Easter, because of the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus, I can know His presence with me wherever I am and He draws alongside us in our time of need and sticks to us closer than a brother.
So I pray that as we build up to what will be a very different type of Easter, that we will get no less, in fact more, of a sense of the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For His glory
Please pray for each other as we miss meeting together. Pray that God would stir up more love for Him and each other as we look forward to meeting again in person.
Thank God for sending His son to make a way for our salvation. Pray that in these unusual circumstances we will be filled with awe and wonder as we consider the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
Continue to pray for our government and those around the world that they would make wise choices. Pray again also for the key workers who are providing much needed support for those in need for patience and courage.
Please pray that as we head towards Easter that the risen Lord Jesus will continue to meet with and save people, even in these difficult circumstances.
This next song is one our worship group have been practicing to play over Easter. We are really looking forward to when we can sing this one all together so please do try to learn it.This next o e
The Lord is my shepherd
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
this week's sermon
1. Take a moment to think about some of the things that have worried you over the last few weeks. Maybe it’s your own health or the future of loved ones.
Read Psalm 23 and reflect on what God is saying to you at this time.
2. List the blessings that God is promising in this Psalm and what is the reason for these blessings found in v 3?
3. With Easter approaching, take time to think about how Jesus has made these promises a reality for you today.
young people and children's resources
This week's Junior Church topic is Palm Sunday. Watch the video below where James explains all about how Jesus didn't follow the crowds wishes but followed God's plan. You can read all about it in Matthew Chapter 21, Mark Chapter 11, Luke Chapter 19 and John Chapter 12. When you have watched the video and read the verses you can download the activities above to think about the story even more.
We are carrying on with the same back room topic of Sharing our Faith. Below is a week 2 of Sync, helping young people share your story and God's story with your friends stories. The other weeks videos will follow over the coming weeks too.