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.

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