Sermons

Our Easter Message

March 27, 2016
27 Mar 2016

Luke 24:1-12
Jesus has risen

24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”’ 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

The Message for Holy Week

March 20, 2016
20 Mar 2016

Jesus returns to Jerusalem seated not on the white horse of a king or emperor but on a donkey. Many believed that he would ride into Jerusalem and seize the city from the Roman occupiers but indtead he sees the bigger picture and arrives in peace to face what is coming and what was predicted by the scriptures. In this way he fulfils his purpose on Earth and absolves mankind of their sins.

John 12:12-19
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:

15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.

17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

The weekly Message

March 13, 2016
13 Mar 2016

This week our reading was when Mary annonted Jesus at Bethany and a short play re-enacting this scene was performed by members of our congregation. The motives of Judas were however driven not by caring for the poor which would  have been admirable but by his own greed and self interest.

John 12:1-8
Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany

12 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

Our Weekly Message

March 6, 2016
06 Mar 2016

Today our reading was from The parable of the Lost Son also known as The Prodigal Son. Here is shown the unconditional love that a parent has for a child and the forgiveness that is given without question. This is like the love of God for his people. If we have seemed lost to God and then turn to him we shall be accepted and forgiven.

As today was Mothering Sunday we examined what parenting involves – for fathers too – and this unconditional love is central to it. All the adults wrote a message of committment on cards for the children who in turn each handed out rose petals to all the adults; the whole congregation as one Church Family before God.

Luke 15:11-24
The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Weekly Message… Sun 28th Feb

February 28, 2016
28 Feb 2016

This week our reading was again from Nehemiah and gave details on the people who helped him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem or specifically the gates – well done to Tommy for the reading with all the old Hebrew names! Each person who was involved had a part to play and the finished result was from a joint effor of all of them working together to a common goal. We see this with the body; eyes, head, feet and hands can do nothing alone but must co-exist with the rest of the body to perform their function. It is the same with God’s Creation in that everything is interlinked with its part to play. We will help to build God’s Kingdom and bring about a better World by working together towards that goal. We each have our part to play but all are equally important…

Nehemiah 3:1-6:16
Builders of the Wall

3 Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel. 2 The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zakkur son of Imri built next to them.

3 The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. 4 Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs. 5 The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.

6 The Jeshanah Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place.

The Weekly Message

February 21, 2016
21 Feb 2016

This week our readings were from Nehemiah and were on the time when he inspected and then rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. Before starting work he walked around the walls in prayer to reclaim the place for God in preparation. When he began to rebuild the walls he had thus prepared the way and the people were ready to help him. Yet even then there were those who mocked and wanted his plan to fail – look at how the recent plan for a lasting peace in Syria was received by the World’s media – but his answer to them was that the servants of God would rebuild the walls and those who wished them failure would have no part of the finished City. The work of God is blessed by God and shall not fail by the words of man!

The children built a lego model of the City of Jerusalem and made a picture of the wall with the qualities of the Kingdom of God written on the stones; faith, hope, love, peace and sharing were among the qualities they came up with. Finally when you have finished reading this try something Tim asked us to do in the service… Take your mobile phone, open the address book and send a text to one of your contacts saying I’m praying for you or I’m thinking about you or a similar message. The reaction is almost always a good one!

Nehemiah 2:11-16 and 17-20
Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls

11 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days 12 I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on. 13 By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through; 15 so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”

20 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”

 

Weekly Message

February 15, 2016
15 Feb 2016

For the first Sunday in Lent our reading was about Jesus being tempted in the Wilderness. He was tempted with the promise of food when he was hungry, with the offer of great wealth and power, and finally asked to put God to the test.  If the devil had succeeded then Jesus could not have died in our place, sinless for our sins and the Christian Faith would have come crashing down like a building built on weak foundations. Instead Jesus remained strong and the devil failed in his plan.

During Lent we reflect on the cross and the strong foundation it is to our faith – an unshakable cornerstone. This week there’scouple of videos to watch too.

Luke 4:1-13
Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

 

Our Weekly Message

February 7, 2016
07 Feb 2016

This week our message was about prayer and the power of prayer with a reading from Nehemiah who cofessed the sins of the people and prayed for God to forgive them and help them restore the City and repair what was broken. Our children also made “prayer boxes” containing prayers for the World (for an end to war and poverty), our leaders (to work together towards this aim) and our family and church family (that they be free of illness and unhappiness).

Nehemiah 1 1-11
Nehemiah’s Prayer

1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:

In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:

“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. 8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ 10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.

Our Weekly Message

January 31, 2016
31 Jan 2016

This week our service was centred around Vision 2026 which has the aims of making disciples of, being witnesses to and growing leaders for Jesus Christ under the mission statement of Healthy Churches Transforming Communities. That is something we feel we are doing already here at St James’ with our many events and activities to bring in more people and take the Good News of Jesus out to pastures new. Friday Night Special and the House Groups are just two examples of our work here. At the end of the service cards were given out with the Diocese Prayer printed on them which is a prayer asking God to guide and help us to fulfil these aims. You can download the Vision Prayer Card here.

Heavenly Father we embrace
Your call for us to make
disciples, to be witnesses and
to grow leaders. Give us the
eyes to see your vision, ears to
hear the prompting of Your
Spirit and courage to follow in
the footsteps of your Son, our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

Our Weekly Message

September 20, 2015
20 Sep 2015

This week’s reading was about when Jesus took up his Ministery and proclaimed to all in the Synagogue that they were seeing the fulfillment of this scripture – with which they would have been familiar – that very day. The words meant that Jesus brought hope to the poor and repressed but also to the poor of spirit to bring them closer to God.

Luke 4:14-21

Jesus Begins His Ministry

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

 

 

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