January 17, 2021

Challenging prayers

Peter Frere | Ephesians 1:15-23 | Ephesians 3:14-21 

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

 I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

These are big prayers, but if - like Paul - we truly believe that the power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, everything becomes possible. Peter explains how our outlook can change as we absorb these truths, and as an example, Bobbie Frere interviews Dee to find out about a recent change in her life. The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service, with readings from Sarah Trinder and prayers from Susan Haynes.

The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

January 10, 2021

Riches in Christ

Graham Romp | Ephesians 1:1-14 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

The words tumble out of Paul as he proceeds to list those spiritual blessings - or as many as he can before running out of breath. Graham reflects on what makes these gifts so valuable, in this, the first of our series on Paul's letter to the Ephesians. The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service, introduced by Dan Parnell with a reading from Matt Fox and prayers from James Howley.

The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

January 3, 2021

Epiphany 2021

Rachel Fasham | Matthew 2:1-12 

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.' ... On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

As Rachel says, these don't seem the most appropriate gifts for a child, but they served to represent who Jesus was and his destiny. What gifts can we offer to Jesus and to his family - the church? This livestreamed service includes a talk from Rachel and is introduced by Susan Haynes with prayers from Ann Fasham.

The full video version of this service, including music and much more, can be viewed on YouTube. All the links to the various follow-up activities are on our website

December 20, 2020

Mystery revealed

Jenny Tomlinson | Romans 16:25-27 

Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith – to the only wise God be glory for ever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

It's only obvious when you've seen it: until then, it's a mystery. As Jenny explains, the coming of Jesus revealed God to the world in a way that had never happened before, but we still have to respond in each generation. In her role as Archdeacon of Birmingham Jenny has supported Christ Church unstintingly as we have searched for a new vicar, and we were delighted to welcome her to speak and lead a celebration of Holy Communion. The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service, introduced by Bobbie Frere with a reading from Susan Mole and prayers from Phil Ennis.

The full video version of the service, including music and Communion, can be viewed on YouTube.

December 13, 2020

Peace in waiting

Graham Romp | 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

In all circumstances? Yet, as Graham points out, Paul's hearers had suffered persecution and confusion, and had plenty to not be thankful for. Graham tells us about a recent painful experience and how he, by God's grace, was able to find some peace during it. The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service, introduced by Dan Parnell with a reading from Kate Routley and prayers from Cathie Bartlam.

The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

December 6, 2020

Patience in waiting

John Lanchbury | 2 Peter 3:8-15a 

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

At some unknown future time, says Peter, Jesus will return and bring all of present human experience to an end. Yet we see no sign of it yet, so how then should we live? In his talk John encourages us to live in the present but look to the future. The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service, introduced by Susan Haynes with contributions from Pat Clayton, Dave Lucking and others.

The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

November 29, 2020

Ambassadors of God

Bobbie Frere | 2 Corinthians 5 

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

In this chapter Paul speaks of us as being citizens of heaven, yet living as its representatives in our world. Bobbie explains what this means for our values and lifestyle. The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service introduced by Martin Garrod with a reading from Dilys Garrod.

The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

November 22, 2020

The flock of God

Allan Bartlam | John 10:11-30 

[Jesus said,] "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."

This would have been a very familiar image to Jesus' listeners, and even today's city dwellers understand something of the relationship between the sheep and the shepherd. Allan explains some of the implications for us as followers of Jesus - the benefits of that relationship, and the dangers of wandering away.

The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service introduced by Peter Frere with a reading from Trevor Whitehouse and prayers from Dan Parnell.

The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

November 15, 2020

The bride of Christ

Chris Turner | Isaiah 62:4-5 | Ephesians 5:25-27 | Revelation 19:6-9 

As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.

The wedding feast is something for the future, when the universal church is finally united with Christ. Before that can happen, though, the company of believers has to be made perfect - and that brings us to the present day. Chris explains what Jesus is looking for in his people and how he is at work to bring it about. 

The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service introduced by Janet Chalmers with readings from Matt Fox and prayers from Susan Haynes.

The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.

November 8, 2020

Remembrance Sunday 2020

Chris Turner | Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23  

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

On Remembrance Sunday, when we focus especially on those who lost their lives in war, Chris reminds us of God's call to care for refugees, many of whom are driven from their homelands by war and persecution. That call goes back to the times of the ancient nation of Israel which was itself born out of exile. The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service introduced by Rachel Fasham with a reading from Sarah Trinder and prayers from the Brownies and Guides.

The full video version of the service, including music and more contributions from the Christ Church Guide and Scout groups, can be viewed on YouTube.

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