April 26, 2020

On the road to Emmaus

Chris Chalmers | Luke 24:13-35 

[Jesus] said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

What a Bible study it must have been for these two travellers on the dusty road out of Jerusalem. Heartbroken at Jesus' death, and now bewildered by reports of his resurrection, the mysterious stranger starts to make sense to them of all they have been through. As Chris explains, we may not even be aware of the risen Jesus walking with us, but he is there, through the highs and lows of life, speaking truth and encouraging us.

This is a slightly edited version of our Sunday morning reflection, introduced by Peter Frere with a reading from Trevor Whitehouse and prayers from Dan Parnell. The full video version can be viewed on YouTube. The song referred to by Chris in her talk can be heard here.

April 19, 2020

Hope in a locked room

Bobbie Frere | John 20:19-29 

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

In lockdown for fear of the dangers outside, and with no idea how it will all end. Does that sound familiar? Into this apparently hopeless situation, Jesus turns up and suddenly everything looks different. Bobbie explains how the presence of Jesus can change us and give us hope today.

This is a shortened form of our Sunday morning reflection, introduced by Susan Haynes with prayers from Adrian Jones. The full video version can be viewed on YouTube.

April 12, 2020

Easter Sunday celebration

Allan Bartlam | John 20:1-18 

Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had got there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

This is an audio version of our online celebration, as coronavirus restrictions prevent us from meeting as we normally would on Easter Sunday. Yet, as Allan explains, Jesus walked out of the tomb into life and freedom on that resurrection day, and we can share that life now even while we live under these temporary constraints.

The full video version can be viewed on YouTube. Thank you to Cathie, Elsie and John for their contributions, and to the congregation of Christ Church for providing the closing hymn via an archive recording.

April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday reflection

Rachel Fasham | Matthew 21:1-11 

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, 'Hosanna to the Son of David!' 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!' 'Hosanna in the highest heaven!'

Jesus' entry into Jerusalem was a moment of wild, triumphant celebration, yet just a few days later Jesus would be led out of the city to be crucified. Throughout the centuries churches have marked Palm Sunday with processions and other celebrations, but how can we celebrate this year, when so much of the world is in isolation due to a pandemic? Rachel has some ideas for how we can symbolically join with the crowd in Jerusalem, and how we can be the church in a time of lockdown.

There's a video version of this recording on YouTube. Thank you to Ann for the reading and prayers.