Loving God

Loving God

Today we have a cooperative service with our brothers and sisters from YWAM. The theme is God’s love for all children of God, whether they as young, older, male, female, of different cultural or ethnicity, and whatever gifts and abilities they use in service of the Lord. We will consider the Gospel account of the prodigal son, who made a poor choice, but afterwards returned to the Father and was surrounded by his love.

Next, will look at a clip from “Eddie the Eagle” about Michael Edwards, a British plasterer turned into ski jumper, who made a name for himself at the Winter Olympics in Calgary by being brave, courage, and daring, through his faith in and inspiration from his coach and mentor, although some considered Eddie to be short on talent.

All of us have times in the journey of our lives when we experience difficulties, some of our own making and some in response to how we are treated by another person. How do we respond to these difficulties? How do people who live through faith in Christ respond to roadblocks and immense difficulties that they might encounter in their journey through life? What helps us to cope with challenges?

Today we will hear from some of our brothers and sisters from YWAM about what sustains them during their lives of faith, service and inclusivity. Thanks to all members of our family for sharing with us today.

Yours in Christ,

Debra

Agape Love

Agape Love

The service today is about the Gospel Reading “Jesus Reinstates Peter”. This could also be called, “Agape Love”, which has always been of fundamental importance to humans. Therefore, the lessons taught to Peter by Jesus in this reading touch the lives of all of us today.

Listen to the Word of God, as well as the short play, which help us to understand and appreciate the immense impact on Peter’s life of his betrayal of Jesus.  Jesus responded by showing grace through reinstating Peter, while teaching him some crucial life lessons. As the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, said, God’s agape love is the greatest force in the universe.

 

Yours in Christ

Debra

I Am the Light of the World

I Am the Light of the World

 

The words “I am”, showed the intended audience the connection with Old Testament when God spoke to Moses “I am who I am”.  In the Gospel reading for the Service today, we hear the words of Jesus, “I am the light of the world” …” Whoever follows me will have the light of life and life and will never live in darkness” (John 8:12).

Jesus’ answers these questions, which are possibly the three most important questions in life, in John 8:12. The answers will be discussed today, as well as the significance of Jesus’ Claim. Jesus was making the bold claim to be nothing less than God, who had led the Israelites through the desert. The longed for the Messiah had now arrived.

Jesus used comparisons with physical light to engender understanding of spiritual truths; who Jesus was and his nature and work. Light in our physical world sustains life, and life would be impossible without light.

Since God loved the world, Jesus, the light, was sent into the world so that believers can be saved without judgment. Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus declared the truth, although many people reject that light, for they love the darkness, as John 3:19 states.  As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. For those who do believe, Jesus is a light for us to follow, with Him lighting our path so that we can go His way.

This Gospel reading uses the symbolism of light for believing and living through the love of Christ, which is inspirational for believers. He describes the life of a Christian as opposed to unbelief, where the symbolism is of living with darkness, sin and evil.  We are told that people who believe in Jesus Christ and live through an intimate relationship with Christ are reassured of salvation, since God is always with those who have faith.   Today we are going to receive Holy Communion, which must be received through faith for the true spiritual presence of Christ to be experienced.

What about you? What do you believe about Jesus? He is the light of the world and He gives the light of life if you have faith and follow Him. It does not do you any good to claim to believe in Jesus if you refuse to follow Him and walk in His light. Therefore, live by what you read in the Bible, spend time in prayer and become sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ light will shine through you to others.  Are you walking in the light? What needs to change?

Yours in Christ,

Debra

The Lords Prayer

THE LORDS PRAYER

The “Lord’s Prayer” (or the “Our Father”) is one of the best-known prayers and pieces of scripture in all the world, ever.

Praying it should be like being hit with a wave – it has the potential to crush you, yet it carries you, refreshes you, and brings you closer to the shore.

This week’s lectionary reading covers the section of Luke’s Gospel in which Jesus teaches his disciples this prayer (11:1-13). Apparently, it was common for religious teachers to teach their own prayers to their disciples. This prayer that Jesus teaches is typical of his teachings: it is drawn from a wide range of traditional Jewish scriptures and prayers, it is concise, and captures beautifully for all time the relationship Jesus wants for us with God.

The Lord’s Prayer shows us how Jesus wants us to interact with God. The words are NOT magic! They were taught in Aramaic Hebrew, recorded in the New Testament in Greek, and they were recorded slightly differently in Matthew’s Gospel (6:5-15) and Luke’s. We’re the beneficiaries of 2000 years of faithful scholarship and translation giving us the versions we currently know.

We haven’t learnt the actual words Jesus taught (it doesn’t matter which language you use when you say it), but we have learnt the meanings and have taken the initial steps that Jesus hoped we would take.

Through the Lord’s Prayer, we can easily see what was important to Jesus in the way we relate to God:
It is deeply intimate (God knows us and loves us)
It is deeply reverential (God is Holy and the master of history)
Our participation is invited in our own salvation and in the salvation of the world.

\For a great piece of scripture that gives context to this prayer, try the lectionary reading from Hosea 1:2-10, and Hosea 3:1-5. In there, you’ll find God not just as the loving and generous Father, but also as the jilted and passionate lover whose promises of fidelity we abuse every time we place our trust in ourselves, our Government or our wealth.

Yours in Christ

Ralph Reilly

Jesus visits Mary and Martha

SPEND A FEW MOMENTS REFLECTING ON THE FOLLOWING:
Are you too busy for reflection as well as work?
Can you imagine yourself, like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus to listen and learn?
What was the expected role of women in the time of Jesus?
Did Jesus commending Mary and having a meal with Martha show he was concerned about all people?
Does worrying add a single hour to your life span?
Do we become anxious & troubled if we have no time to hear Gods word?
Do you hear Gods word (like Mary) and act on Gods word in service(like Martha)

Yours in Christ
Debra