May 31, 2020

Pentecost Sunday

Graham Romp | Acts 2:1-12 

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Within just a few weeks Jesus had died, been raised again and ascended into heaven. What now? Uncertain and anxious, Jesus' disciples are waiting as he had commanded them. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit comes and gives them power to proclaim the Good News to everyone. Graham reminds us that the Holy Spirit is still working in us, making God known and breaking down barriers even as we continue to experience physical lockdown.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection, including music, can be viewed on YouTube. The recording is introduced by John Lanchbury and includes a reading from Elsie Lanchbury and prayers from Chris Chalmers.

May 24, 2020

The God of eternity

Susan Haynes | Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 | Revelation 21:1-7 

God is not bound by times and seasons as we are. He existed before time and will exist for ever - and he wants to share that eternity with us. But as Susan explains, eternal life is very much about what happens here and now, and we have a part to play in bringing heaven to earth.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection can be viewed on YouTube. The recording is introduced by Bobbie Frere and includes prayers from the members of her home group.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'

May 17, 2020

The God of provision

Chris Turner | Genesis 22:9-14 | Acts 17:24-28 

The angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, 'Abraham! Abraham!... Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.' Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place "The Lord Will Provide". And to this day it is said, 'On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.'

[Paul said,] 'The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. "For in him we live and move and have our being."'

Abraham's journey of faith, of learning over many years to wait for God to keep his promises, is put to the supreme test when it appears that his son Isaac - through whom the promises were to be fulfilled - is to be sacrificed. Once again, at the right time, God provides. Chris encourages us to remember our own experiences of God's faithfulness, to learn from our failures and to recognise once again the riches of what God has provided for us, supremely through the sacrifice of his own Son.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection can be viewed on YouTube. The recording is introduced by Dan Parnell and also includes prayers from Fred, Helen, James, Elsie and John.

May 10, 2020

The God of creativity

Allan Bartlam | Genesis 1:1-5 | John 1:1-4 | Psalm 8:1-5 | Revelation 4:11 

We go on location this week as Cathie introduces our weekly reflection, accompanied by the sound of birdsong. The signs of God's creative power are all around us, says Allan, and even within us because God has given the gift of creativity to each of us. The recording ends with our musicians demonstrating their creativity by singing and playing "How great Thou art" in virtual choir fashion.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection, including a slideshow of photos to accompany the song, can be viewed on YouTube

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

'You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.'

May 3, 2020

The God of mystery

Bobbie Frere | Isaiah 40:10-14 | Romans 11:33-35 | Jeremiah 9:23-24 

This week we begin a new series thinking about who God is. His nature is unchanging, beyond all that we can imagine, a rock on which we can stand in a time of crisis. Bobbie and Peter lead this reflection, which also includes readings and prayers from Graham and Jacky Romp and a song from our "virtual" musicians.

The full video version of this Sunday morning reflection can be viewed on YouTube. The Tearfund article "Decoding coronavirus" that Bobbie refers to in her talk can be found here.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
'Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counsellor?'
'Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?'

'Let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,'
declares the Lord.

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