Sunday, 25 October 2020

Prophetic Art - Ezekiel 4 & 5

Normally we think of a prophet as someone bursting into a room calling 'Thus says the Lord' and speaking their message. Yet in Ezekiel 4 he is called to deliver a message ... by way of making a clay model, complete with props like saucepans! He builds the model to deliver a warning of a siege of Jerusalem (which actually happens a few years later). For passers-by it was something that would be intriguing, something to stop and talk about. Hopefully for people to ponder, and understand for themselves the message God was trying to get through. Yet if you think that was weird, then read on!

Sunday, 11 October 2020

In too Deep - Ezekiel 8

 In chapter 8 Ezekiel has another vision where he is carried off and shown various things. In this case to the temple of Jerusalem, but what he is shown is not good. For a start there is the idol of Asherah set up in the temple area (see 2 Kings 21:7). He is shown the elders (who should know better) worshipping other gods, with carvings of unclean animals (the primitive gods of the Egyptians), and more ...

[IN] How is God Refining Us?

 Challenge: Evaluate what to keep, what to leave behind

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Every Person Countes - Ezekiel 18

A natural question people ask is 'Who is to blame?'. We see it in society and on the news when anything has gone wrong - people want to hold someone responsible. In Ezekiel's vision he is reminded of a proverb that was in wide circulation at the time: "The parents eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge". The saying basically means that the parents do something and the children suffer for it. It raises the question "Should children suffer for their parent's sins?".

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Ezekiel as Watchman - Ezekiel 3 and 33

Ezekiel chapter 3 talks about a 'watchman', with the instructions to look out and warn the people of impending danger. It spells out: 'if I make you a watchman, and you don't warn the people, and disaster comes ... then it is on your head'. In other words it spells out responsibility - which is placed firmly on the watchman, holding him responsible for the people's lives.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Holiness of God - Snippets from Ezekiel

Last week we looked at the 'otherness' of God - the fact that He is beyond us, with the difference between God in the spiritual and us in the physical. This is related to the theme of the 'holiness' of God, which occurs in various ways through the writings of Ezekiel.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

God is God, We are Not - Ezekiel 1

After the introduction about Ezekiel in chapter 1 it gets straight into his first vision in verse 4. Immediately it is over-whelming: a violent storm, immense cloud, flashes of lightning, brilliant light. We know that there is nothing like the ferocity of nature to stop us in our tracks and remind us of the awesomeness of God - be it a hurricane from the Atlantic, huge waves, the shock of hail stones bouncing up from the pavement or the crash of thunder. They all remind us that there are forces bigger than us.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Ezekiel - An Introduction

We are told that Ezekiel was a priest, brought up to honour and serve in the religious rituals of Israel. From verse 1 we reckon his age to be 30 - which was the typical age for a priest to commence their full duties. We also get from the book of Ezekiel clear markers in time and history: verse 2 sets a date which relates to 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles - the surrender of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 597BC. That led to royalty, officers, fighting men and skilled workers being led off to exile in Babylon.

[UP] What does it mean for us to foster resilient discipleship?

Challenge: Review where you were at in terms of your personal walk with God in January, at the end of March … and compare it to now

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Prayer Simplicity - Matthew 6:5 - 13

Prayer seems to many a mystery: both to people who haven't discovered Christ and those who have. The fact is that we are all lifelong learners when it comes to prayer - none of us have it sussed. For those of no faith they may mistakenly believe they can't pray, or that they need someone to pray for them. That's why as a church we have put some simple resources on our new 'Help Me' page to help get people started.