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Showing posts from March, 2012

Palm Sunday - an all age talk

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Mark 11:1-11

Draw a donkey (or get people to draw a donkey) using the letters D (disciples), C (colt), P (people), P (praise) and S (spread)

As you draw the donkey, tell the story as told by Mark.


'Jesus told two of his Disciples to fetch him a Colt. As they were untying the colt, the People asked them what they were doing (obviously the local 'neighbourhood watch'). They told them that 'The Lord has need of it and will return it'. As Jesus rode on the donkey, the people declared his Praises. They Spread their garments and branches on the road.'

So what is going on? Let's look at what the people say about Jesus.

1. They are saying that Jesus is coming in the name of the Lord (v9)
(draw the letter L)

In other words, Jesus is coming as the representative of God.

If the Headteacher at school stops you in the corridor as you are going into a lesson and tells you to ask another teacher to come and see him, you are sent in the name of the headteacher. If someone sto…

on Boasting

2 Corinthians 12:1-10
There are times when we have to boast.
I was talking to someone last week who is looking for a job. She has not done an interview for many years. And she was finding it very hard: she was not used to blowing her own trumpet, to selling herself, to saying how great she was.
And sometimes as Christians we do struggle with the idea that there are times when we need to promote ourselves. We struggle with the idea of boasting.
And that should be the case. It may be necessary at times, but we need to recognise that when we boast, we become fools
Paul begins this chapter by saying: 'I must go on boasting'. He has begun boasting in chapter 10:7
But he recognises that although his boasting is necessary, it is actually 'a little foolishness' (11:1); he asks his listeners to 'accept him as a fool, so that I too may boast' (11:16). He finishes the whole section by writing (12:11), 'I have been a fool!'
Perhaps Paul would agree with Thomas F…

Setting priorities for the Church - some reflections

Our starting point is our parish vision statement. We seek to:

Worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the SpiritTeach the bibleGrow people in faith, love and understandingEquip people to serveIntroduce people to Jesus so they can meet him and discover forgiveness and eternal life

1. Centrality of worship and prayer

So many things we could be/are doing: music, tourists, fabric, community work - but the priority is worship: worship of the God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The key: those times when we meet together to worship: to praise God (in music or words), to seek him and to receive from him (in word and sacrament)

My deep desire is that for every person in our churches, coming to our churches, worship and prayer would be the most central thing in our life.
The priority which shapes everything else.

So even though evangelism and social work come very high up my list of priorities, worship is more important for me. Mission and service flow out of…

The blessing of giving

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

We continue to talk about giving, and over the last two weeks and this week we are asking people to reconsider our giving: what we give to the church, what we give to other Christian ministries, and what we give to people generally in need.

My apologies to those who have recently joined our churches, or who are visitors. We do mention giving in our preaching here: the bible speaks quite a bit about giving; but we are not usually as full frontal as this.

And we have seen the following principles
1. God is love, and God's nature is to give.
2. This is really simple. If the Spirit of God lives in us then we will desire to give. If the Spirit of God does not live in us then we will not desire to give. The more that we allow the Spirit to work in us, the more that we will desire to give. The work of a pastor in a church where people are filled with the Spirit is not to get them to give, but to stop them from giving recklessly.
3. The greatest act of love is not t…