September 13, 2020

Learning not to judge

Chris Turner | Matthew 7:1-12 

[Jesus said,] 'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.'

Criticism is easy to give, but hard to receive. Yet, as Chris reminds us, criticism given in the right spirit and for the right motives can be beneficial, even essential if we are to grow as followers of Jesus. This recorded talk forms part of a service livestreamed from our building, with an introduction from Dan Parnell and contributions from James Howley, Judy Ward and Ann and Richard Fasham.

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

September 6, 2020

Learning not to worry

John Lanchbury | Matthew 6:25-34 

[Jesus said,] 'So do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.'

Jesus was speaking to people who mainly lived a hand to mouth existence. How does his teaching work out in our far more complex world, that is currently beset by anxiety? John points us to the eternal principles of the kingdom of God, and has practical suggestions for handling the worry that we all encounter. The recording is introduced by Martin Garrod with contributions from Dilys Garrod, Pat Clayton and Phil Ennis.

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

Peter Frere | Matthew 6:19-24 

[Jesus said,] 'Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'

Two ways to live, two priorities to live by. What should be our attitude to material wealth? How can we find true fulfilment? Graham helps us to work out the answers with help from Susan Haynes, Margaret Tucker, the Rose family and others. We also hear from Helen and Fred Collin about their experience of 'deaccumulation'.

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

August 23, 2020

Learning to live humbly

Peter Frere | Matthew 6:1-18 

[Jesus said,] 'Be careful not to practise your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.'

'So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.'

It's the same with prayer and fasting, said Jesus: if you do it to receive the praise of others, that praise is all the reward you will get. How can we get our hearts in the right place? Peter points to Jesus' own teaching as a means of developing a God-centred attitude. The recording is introduced by Bobbie Frere and we also hear a powerful piece of drama from Phil Smith and Peter to illustrate the reading, plus contributions from Jeanne and Amanda.

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

 

August 16, 2020

Loving those who oppose us

Chris Turner | Matthew 5:38-48 

[Jesus said,] 'You have heard that it was said, "Love your neighbour and hate your enemy." But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.'

Once again Jesus raises the bar, commanding us to transform our attitude to those who oppose us. Chris explains why we should do this and gives us pointers to how we can overcome our natural desire for retribution. The recording is introduced by John Lanchbury.

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

Allan Bartlam | Matthew 5:27-30 

[Jesus said,] 'You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery." But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

It's not just about the outward appearance, but what goes on in the heart. And what a challenge this is! Money, sex, power and many more things have the ability to fill us with passion and drive us to irresponsible actions. Allan points the way to finding freedom and restoring balance in our lives. The recording is introduced by Cathie and includes feedback from Ellie on her experience of a 24 hour media fast.

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

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.

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