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.

November 1, 2020

The army of God

John Lanchbury | 2 Timothy 2:1-7 | Ephesians 6:10-20 

Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

It's easy to forget that we are in a battle, says John, but it's real all the same and we need to be well equipped to take part. Fortunately the Commander provides everything we need, and we fight together, not on our own. The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service introduced by Martin Garrod with a reading from Alison Cooper and prayers from Phil Ennis.

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

October 25, 2020

The building of Christ

Peter Frere | 1 Corinthians 3:9-17 

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

As Peter explains, this is one of the big themes of the Bible. The place where God meets with his people is no longer a physical building, but instead is made of living stones - that's each of us today. How can we live that out, even when we are separated by coronavirus restrictions? The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service introduced by Susan Haynes with a reading from John Mason and prayers from one of our home groups.

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

October 18, 2020

The body of Christ

Chris Turner | 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body - whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. And so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

This is one of the most familiar images of the church, says Chris. Each of us has our own unique role, working together for a common purpose. What happens in a time of stress such as we are experiencing at the moment? The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service introduced by Dan Parnell with a reading from Alison Cooper and prayers from Dave Lucking.

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

October 11, 2020

The family of God

Susan Haynes | Romans 8:15-17 

God's Spirit doesn't make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father. God's Spirit makes us sure that we are his children. His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him.

This week's recording begins with Susan introducing our new series "Being church in a COVID world", and then she explains some of the implications of being a family: complicated relationships yet a sense of belonging. How can we live out our lives as the family of God when we are separated by pandemic restrictions? The recording also includes a reading from Susan Mole, prayers from Phil Ennis and closing prayers from John Lanchbury.

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

October 4, 2020

All-In Service: Harvest

Dan Parnell | Deuteronomy 8:7-11 | Ruth 2:14b-18 

[Moses said,] 'The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land - a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig-trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.'

As [Ruth] got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, 'Let her gather among the sheaves and don't reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.' So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening.

Harvest in lockdown: while we couldn't celebrate in the normal way, we were still able to give thanks for God's provision for us and remember the need to share what we have with those in need. This livestreamed service includes a talk from Dan and contributions from other members of the All-In team and extra helpers.

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

Allan Bartlam | Matthew 7:24-29 

[Jesus said,] 'Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.'

This livestreamed service brings us to the end of our series looking at Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. Allan explains the consequences of the choices we make, and how we can go about that long, slow task of building our lives on a firm foundation. Janet Chalmers introduces the service, with a reading from Val Hanson and prayers from Cathie Bartlam.

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

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