Allan Bartlam | Matthew 21:28-32
[Jesus said,] 'What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, "Son, go and work today in the vineyard." "I will not," he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.'
'Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, "I will, sir," but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted?'
It's a simple story and the crowd have no difficulty in coming up with the right answer. But when Jesus goes on to identify who each of the sons might represent, things get a lot more uncomfortable. This is the first of a series in which we look at some of Jesus' parables and how they apply, not just to Jesus' hearers but also to us today. Which "son" is each of us more like?
The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service. It is introduced by John Lanchbury, with a reading by Dave Lucking and prayers from Margaret Tucker.
For copyright reasons we can't include the music in the recording, but the songs used in the service were "Loved before the dawn of time" and "Hear the call of the kingdom".
Chris Turner | Mark 6:30-34, Mark 6:53-56
The apostles gathered round Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.‘
Having returned from the spiritual adventure of a lifetime, Jesus' followers now find themselves surrounded by a demanding crowd - as does Jesus himself. How to balance the desire to show genuine compassion with the need to recharge and find new strength? Chris points to ways in which we can apply Jesus' instructions to our lives today, and especially to the situation we find ourselves in as we prepare to be joined by our new vicar, Ben Green.
The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service. It is introduced by Martin Garrod with a reading by Susan Mole and prayers from Susan Haynes. The full video version of the service, including music and a celebration of Holy Communion, can be viewed on YouTube.
John Lanchbury | Mark 6:14-29
On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.’ And he promised her with an oath, ‘Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ ‘The head of John the Baptist,’ she answered.
In this grisly story we discover how the life of John the Baptist came to an end, as Herod's wife, whom he had denounced, took advantage of Herod's vanity and folly. The cost of being a true disciple of Jesus can be high, says John Lanchbury, even to the extent of our physical lives, and indeed we are all called to die to ourselves.
The recording is an edited version of our Sunday service. It is introduced by Bobbie Frere, with prayers from Elsie Lanchbury and a reading by Trevor Whitehouse. The full video version of the service, including music, can be viewed on YouTube.
During the service a video "Chu in Vietnam: No Turning Back" was shown. This can be viewed on the Open Doors Vimeo channel.
All-In Service Team | Mark 6:1-13
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. These were his instructions: ‘Take nothing for the journey except a staff - no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’
After being rejected in his home town, Jesus challenges his disciples to step out in faith and join him in taking the Good News to the surrounding villages. In this extract from our All-In Service Janet Chalmers, Susan Haynes, Dan Parnell and Rachel Fasham explore how we can share in Jesus' outreach today, and how some of our partners around the world are living out these values. The service also includes a reading and prayers from Ann Fasham.
The game Rachel refers to in her talk was a challenge to identify common objects just from extreme close-up photos, and the sketch showed a young person about to set out on a venture with fully-laden rucksack. The full video version of this service, including these visual items as well as music, can be viewed on YouTube. All the links to the various follow-up activities are on our website.