Sunday, 9 December 2018
The summary sheet covering this series used this morning can be downloaed here!
Recall last week considered the journey up the mountain, to the heavenly city in reverence and not fear. This week we continue on up in worship. Yet we can't worship without it changing us, for example our attitude to others. Hence the call to love others, to show hospitality even to strangers, and identify with the prisoner. We cannot truly worship without it affecting our life, how we are with others, and this becoming action. That's why we have the slogan Seeking to Worship, Seeking to Serve. The two go together: our worship leads us to serve, and we cannot go on serving without ongoing worship.
Sunday, 2 December 2018
Imagine a mountain. It could be in the Lake District or the Alps. But now imagine that above it is a mysterious cloud, there seems to fire burning around - for the glory of God is on the mountain. It is a holy place, you dare not set foot on it without express permission. From the mountain you hear the voice of God and it scares you witless - so you never want to go up. But will it have to be this way forever?
Challenge: Rise up daily in worship
Sunday, 11 November 2018
Today as we think about the 100 years since the end of WWI, I want to focus on the last 100 days of the war in which victory was finally won. The reasons for the breakthrough included technology and strategy. Yet at ground level the deal was the same: when the whistle blew you went over the top and ran into enemy machine gun fire - it was insane! How did the weary soldiers summon enthusiasm for these attacks? One reason was morale - attrition had taken its toll but the allies had fresh supplies. Morale goes a long way - I guess that is why our reading today talks of (chapter 12 verse 1) 'a great cloud of witnesses'.
Sunday, 28 October 2018
Life is full of examples where someone says "The old deal isn't working, can we have a new one?". Think of rail franchises, health provision contracts at the national level, but maybe you've personally had to go back to someone to ask for new terms yourself.
Challenge: Extend that same new deal of forgiveness to someone this week
Sunday, 14 October 2018
A frustration many a pastor may face can be the desire to press forward with a new initiative, only to be told that people want 'more teaching first'. It raises the legitimate question 'what about applying the teaching you already have?'. Also what about learning on the job? In Hebrews the author seems to have that same frustration, and pleads with the readers to 'Grow Up - move to solid food from the initial milk diet!'.
Sunday, 7 October 2018
God speaks! God is not silent, He lets us know. We heard that back in 1:1 and now the author skilfully weaves that same theme through v12. The word of God is what God speaks - sometimes that reaches us written down, sometimes as a direct message to people, but ultimately in the form of a person - a messenger of God - His Son Jesus.
Sunday, 23 September 2018
We all do pecking orders. Put is in a room of new people and sub-consciously we start working out who is head of the pack and where we fit. The author gives a pecking order by quoting Psalm 8: it's God - angels - humankind - animals/plants/rocks etc. But the much bigger ad more important point is that in this amazing creation is the fact that God intended humankind (i.e. us!) to be in charge over the rest of creation! We are to look after it, to steward it. This includes creation care, it includes wise looking after of animals, but we should also realise that it is a spiritual thing.