Sunday 24th May 2020
Welcome to church.
During these crazy times we have had the joy of seeing many answers to prayer. It is a great reminder of God's faithfulness and goodness to us.
One of the things we have been praying for as a church, is for opportunities for Christians to share something of God's love for people.
A few weeks ago a few of the guys from our church joined over 400 teams worldwide in taking part in an online quiz set up by Christians in Sport. After the 4 rounds of the quiz, Graham Daniels, the director, shared a short message on the hope Christians have in Jesus. It was a great night.
A few days later we gathered, on Zoom obviously, to pray. We prayed, among other things, for more opportunities for Christians in Sport to share this message. Since then Graham has been on national sports radio talk shows twice, featured in a national newspaper article about faith in football and been interviewed on Sky Sports News TV channel twice. Amazing.
Even more amazing was the opportunity to share these truths...
...for 2000 years the Christian faith has held to these two things, we are loved unconditionally by a Creator who came in to this world for you and if you can grasp that you are loved in this way, you can look at the world around you and say let's make our country and our world a better place.
This was in response to a question from the interviewer, "what hope do you think faith offers you?" What a question to be asked, never mind on national TV...on a sports channel!
So many people in our world are consumed by matters of identity. What often happens is that what we do, and the success or failure of that, consumes us. So often we seek love and acceptance based on our ability to 'do' something and when we fail it devastates us. That we can know someone loves us irrespective of any of that, brings tremendous hope that goes beyond anything this world can offer and can only come from outside of ourselves, and is revealed in Christ.
Romans Chapter 5 verse 8 tells us this...
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Knowing the worst about us, Jesus came to earth and loved us enough to deal with all our sin on the cross and now through him we can have new life through his grace and mercy.
In this time of uncertainty, God is revealing himself to people in ways we couldn't have imagined a few months ago, that knowing and being known by the creator of the world not only brings life beyond this world but makes a difference in the here and now.
Praise be to our God
Thank God for the many opportunities we have had to share Jesus with people of all ages. Thank God that his church isn't a building but a people he has saved for his glory.
Pray for our politicians and leaders as this situation continues. As plans are being made to ease measures and return to school and work for many, that real wisdom and compassion would be applied.
Let's give thanks for Margie and her recovery so far. Thank God for a negative COVID test and continued protection. Pray she can soon return to Rob's for further recuperation.
Pray that God would help you 'be still and know him' this week. Pray that we would grow more like Jesus as we do this.
A poem by Tony to lead us in to worship...
From Darkness to Light
I was out there in the darkness, my heart cold and hard within.
Jesus there at the door was knocking, waiting for me to let him in.
Life and hope there waiting for me, to wash and cleanse me from all sin.
I opened my heart, my Jesus entered,
now I'm in the light with him.
I'll walk the walk until he calls me, I'll tell everyone about him.
How he can change your life in a moment, give you hope and peace within.
He is always there, he loves you.
He will draw you ever close to him.
If you want to be with Jesus, open your heart and let him in.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.’
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
this week's sermon
1. Psalm 46 is a hymn to be sung by God’s people. Why does God desire his people to sing? Why is it so important for a church to sing?
2. Do you find it hard to “Be still and know God” (v10) What lies behind our struggle to do that?
3. If you have time, trace through the Bible, the picture of water and how it points to life. Where do we find water in the Gospels?
young people and children's resources
Here is week three in our 10 week series looking at the Bible. Today we carry on our 5 week look at the Old Testament looking at the question of who is God, thinking about God being a God who provides. To download the craft James shows us click here
The Bible Project - Sabbath
This week’s video, reading and questions from the Bible Project look at the Sabbath.
In the last few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our entire world. This means we can’t gather in groups and meet together at church and that's tough.
The Sabbath is a weekly reminder of God providing for his people in the past, and it’s meant to give us hope in God’s plan to restore all creation in the future. As we think about this theme from the Bible, pray it will give us hope and a new way of thinking on the tough situation we are in at the moment.
Bible Reading : Genesis 2:1-15
Adam and Eve
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
How have you found this time which has meant a slow down in our lives? What thoughts and emotions have you experienced? What fears are you aware of?
God's idea of rest for us is all about filling a space we set apart with his presence and celebrating the beauty of creation and all that God provides. Having a Sabbath day is a way for us to remember God’s presence and his perfect purpose for creation. What are some of the simple things you can celebrate or are grateful for? Who can you share that with this week?
To have a Sabbath is to rest from our work. But work is a good thing all the way though the Bible, for example, it is one of the reasons God places the human in the garden of Eden—“to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). So why do you think God commanded a Sabbath rest from work?