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Showing posts from May, 2013

Jesus wept: a talk for a town memorial service

Jesus raises Lazarus. Ravenna John 11:17-37 listen to ‘Jesus wept: town memorial service’ on Audioboo It is good, although it is also painful, to come to remember, to give thanks, but also to be here with many other people who are grieving Grief can be a lonely experience. Our society does not do death well. People are good for a few weeks, but then they forget and for them life goes on as usual. But we cannot forget, we will not forget and life, if you can call it that, will never be the same again. So it is good to know that we are not on our own. The verses above tell of the death of a dear friend of Jesus. His name was Lazarus. And the passage tells us that when he turns up and sees the grief of Martha and Mary (the dead man's sisters), 'Jesus wept' . Those two words combine to make the shortest verse in the bible; they have also become swear words - but they also tell us something about the heart of God for people who grieve. Jesus does not weep for Lazarus When

What happens when the Spirit comes?

Acts 2:1-21 There is something very special about Christ followers meeting together, especially when we meet together to worship God. That is what happened on this first Pentecost: ‘They were all together in one place’ (v1). And the Spirit comes. This was the Spirit who Jesus promised his disciples that he would send. He is the Spirit of God the Father and he is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It was a unique event: it is THE fulfilling of the promise that Jesus would give his Spirit. It is THE day when a group of people who had seen the risen Jesus and who worshipped him were transformed from being individuals who were fans of Jesus into being the body of Christ. And all subsequent men and women, when we become Christians, are added into this body. This is when it began. This really is the birth-day of the Church. It was a unique, one off, event. The Spirit has come, the body of Christ has been formed. But the Spirit of God still comes. He comes on individuals to make us

Bury St Edmunds Town Pastors: a talk on their 5th birthday

You are heroes. I shadowed Jo and Chris, Luke and Hazel on their rounds a week last Friday. It was a quiet night (I think 'peaceful' is the correct word), but it was an eye-opener. I hadn't quite realised what being a pastor involves. For those who don't know, they begin about 9:30, go on to 4:30 and work what is almost a full night shift for some, but as volunteers who have a day job. I have to confess that I gave up and went home at 2:15 I also saw just how much the pastors are appreciated - by the door staff: who feel a lot happier about chucking someone who is drunk out because the town pastors are around! - by the club owners: who don't want trouble, because they don’t want to lose their licence!  - by local residents - by people who are out for the night on the town (and some of them are very young). They love the Freddos, the water and the banter; but they also do appreciate that there are people who don’t have an axe to grind, who are keeping a wat