August 2, 2020

Learning to be honest

Susan Haynes | Matthew 5:33-37 

[Jesus said,] 'You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “Do not break your oath, but fulfil to the Lord the oaths you have made.” But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all... All you need to say is simply “Yes,” or “No”; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.'

It may not be a matter of outright lying - more bending or obscuring the truth - but Jesus sets a typically high standard in the transparent way we should speak to others. In this shortened version of an All-In service, Janet Chalmers explains how and why we lie, and Susan encourages us to tell the truth in love. The recording is introduced by Rachel Fasham and includes contributions from several young people. Some of the sections were recorded outdoors which means that there is a bit of wind noise in places.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection can be viewed on YouTube.

July 29, 2020

Farewell to Daniel

Daniel's story is one of tragedy, hope and inspiration. When he first joined Christ Church he spoke little English and faced a long and difficult battle to obtain refugee status having fled a civil war which engulfed his family. He went on to gain a first-class degree and teaching qualification, and is about to start a new job at a school in Worcester. Cath Wheeler interviewed him about his move and the recording ends with prayers from members of his home group.

Due to Daniel's status we can't present this as a video interview but if you picture a smiling face that will sum up Daniel! We will miss him so much. The interview was conducted via Zoom so sorry the audio quality isn't quite up to our usual standard.

Books given to Daniel as a leaving gift

Books given to Daniel as a leaving gift

Home group prayers for Daniel

Home group prayers for Daniel

Bobbie Frere | Matthew 5:21-26 

[Jesus said:] 'You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, "You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment." But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment... And anyone who says, "You fool!" will be in danger of the fire of hell.'

Ideally we would only get angry about the things that anger God, but unfortunately... Bobbie explores the reasons for our anger and the resources God has provided to help us deal with it. Dan Parnell introduces the recording which also includes prayers and an explosion!

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

Mixing baking soda with vinegar

Adding baking soda to vinegar starts a chemical reaction...

The chemical reaction causes an explosion!

... which leads to an explosion!

July 19, 2020

The open invitation

Peter Frere | Matthew 5:1-12 

[Jesus said:]
'Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.'

At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus goes on to list many more people whose state of blessedness seems, well, unlikely. As Peter explains, this is an open invitation to everyone - no matter what life may have thrown at them - to be part of the kingdom of God and find their deepest needs met. The recording is introduced by Bobbie and we also hear about a project that puts these values of open welcome into practice.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

Allan Bartlam | Matthew 4:23-5.2 | Matthew 7:24-29 

For the next few weeks we'll be focusing on "the greatest sermon ever preached". In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus set out the values of the Kingdom of God and challenged his followers to set out on an adventure of faith. Martin and Allan introduce the series and encourage us too to live life to the full.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him. Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

[Jesus said,] 'Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.'

Rachel Fasham | Matthew 13:31-33 

There have been some pretty awful monarchs thought history, in Bible times as well as in the last few centuries, but the kingdom of God has a perfect King and works in an entirely different way to any earthly kingdom. Together with Susan Haynes, who also introduces the recording, Rachel explores what it means for us to live under the sovereignty of God.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection, including music, can be viewed on YouTube

[Jesus] told them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.' He told them still another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about thirty kilograms of flour until it worked all through the dough.'

 

John Lanchbury | Isaiah 40:12-31 

The Bible leaves us in no doubt about the absolute sovereignty of God: that he is the Creator of the universe and he can choose to do anything he wants. But in that case, why doesn't he step in and prevent many of the bad things that happen in our world? John discusses this question from his own experience as well as from a biblical perspective.

The book John mentions in his talk is Where is God in a coronavirus world? by John Lennox.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection, including music, can be viewed on YouTube. The recording is introduced by Dan Parnell.

Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
'My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God'?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.

Chris Turner | Psalm 139:1-6 

You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.

If God knows us completely, why would anyone try to hide from him? Yet, says Chris, our shame makes us fearful to open up to him and, indeed, others. Chris has a challenge for us as a church.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection, including music, can be viewed on YouTube. The recording is introduced by Bobbie Frere and includes an interview with Chris Chalmers as she leaves us to begin ordained ministry.

Allan Bartlam | Psalm 62 | Matthew 7:24-27 

The events of the first few months of this year have been a painful reminder that we live in a fast-changing world. People and communities change too as we grow and learn. Yet, as Allan reminds us, God does not change. We can rely on his nature and promises, just as a house built on a rock is secure. How can we put that into practice in our daily lives?

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection, including music, can be viewed on YouTube. The recording is introduced by Susan Haynes and includes other voices from Christ Church.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I shall not be shaken.
My salvation and my honour depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

[Jesus said,] 'Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.'

Chris Chalmers | Psalm 139:7-12 

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there...
If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,'
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

If God is everywhere, that includes our darkest places - even when he feels furthest away - as well as the times when we really feel his presence. Chris describes some occasions when this has been true in her life, and encourages us to think of our own examples.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection can be viewed on YouTube. The recording is introduced by Susan Haynes and includes a reading from Ann Fasham and contributions from many more Christ Church people and families. This is an online version of an All-In Service, with a range of activities for us to continue the theme in different ways. All the details are in the YouTube video description.

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