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Bible reading: Mark 16:1-8 (NIVUK) Jesus has risen 16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?’ 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”’ 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
This sermon is part of the series Jesus in the wilderness – a Lent Journey. Bible reading: Matthew 21:1-11 (NIVUK) Jesus comes to Jerusalem as king 21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.’ 4 This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet: 5 ‘Say to Daughter Zion,     “See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey,     and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”’ 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 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!’ 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’ 11 The crowds answered, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’
A sacrificial journey

A sacrificial journey

2021-03-21--:--

This sermon is part of the series Jesus in the wilderness – a Lent Journey. Bible readings: Isaiah 53 (NIVUK) 53 Who has believed our message     and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,     and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,     nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,     a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces     he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain     and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God,     stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,     he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him,     and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,     each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him     the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted,     yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,     and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,     so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.     Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living;     for the transgression of my people he was punished. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,     and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence,     nor was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,     and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days,     and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 11 After he has suffered,     he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,     and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,     and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death,     and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many,     and made intercession for the transgressors. Matthew 14:13-14 (NIVUK) Jesus feeds the five thousand 13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed those who were ill.
This sermon is part of the series Jesus in the wilderness – a Lent Journey. Bible readings: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NIVUK) The valley of dry bones 37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me to and fro among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘Sovereign Lord, you alone know.’ 4 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”’ 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.”’ 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: ‘Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.” 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.”’ Matthew 4:1-10 (NIVUK) Jesus is tested in the wilderness 4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ 4 Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’ 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the highest point of the temple. 6 ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘“He will command his angels concerning you,     and they will lift you up in their hands,     so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”’ 7 Jesus answered him, ‘It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’ 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. 9 ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ 10 Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”’
This sermon is part of the series Jesus in the wilderness – a Lent Journey. Bible reading: Exodus 3:1-12 (NIVUK) Moses and the burning bush 3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, ‘I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.’ 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’ 5 ‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ 6 Then he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. 7 The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey – the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’ 11 But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ 12 And God said, ‘I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.’ Colossians 1:15-20 (NIVUK) The supremacy of the Son of God 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
This sermon is part of the series Jesus in the wilderness – a Lent Journey. Bible reading: Luke 4:1-14 (NIVUK) Jesus is tested in the wilderness 4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’ 4 Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone.”’ 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.’ 8 Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”’ 9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: ‘“He will command his angels concerning you     to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands,     so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”’ 12 Jesus answered, ‘It is said: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’ 13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Jesus rejected at Nazareth 14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
This sermon is part of the series Jesus in the wilderness – a Lent Journey. Bible readings: Deuteronomy 8:1-5 & 15-18 (NIVUK) Do not forget the Lord 8 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. Mark 1:9-13 (NIVUK) The baptism and testing of Jesus 9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ 12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Resources and more information about the “honest questions” sermon series can be found on our website. Bible reading: John 11:1-45 (NIVUK) The death of Lazarus 11 Now a man named Lazarus was ill. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay ill, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is ill.’ 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This illness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’ 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea.’ 8 ‘But Rabbi,’ they said, ‘a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?’ 9 Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the day-time will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.’ 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.’ 12 His disciples replied, ‘Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.’ 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’ Jesus comforts the sisters of Lazarus 17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 ‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’ 23 Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ 24 Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ 25 Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ 27 ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’ 28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. ‘The Teacher is here,’ she said, ‘and is asking for you.’ 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ 37 But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’ Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 ‘Take away the stone,’ he said. ‘But, Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.’ 40 Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’ 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.’ 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’ 45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
Resources and more information about the “honest questions” sermon series can be found on our website. Bible reading: 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (NIVUK) 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
In this latest episode of Learning to Live the Life the podcast, Rev Aidan and Anita meet to discuss questions around our current sermon series considering Honest Questions. As part of the episode, Anita interviews her friend Rosie Button, a former missionary who has been teaching at Redcliffe College, now part of All Nations Christian college. If you enjoyed this episode of Learning to Live the Life, please do subscribe, share it with your friends and rate us 5* so that more people get recommended it!  
Resources and more information about the “honest questions” sermon series can be found on our website. Psalm 62:5-8 (NIVUK) 5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;     my hope comes from him. 6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;     he is my fortress, I shall not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honour depend on God;     he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, you people;     pour out your hearts to him,     for God is our refuge. Philippians 4:4-9 (NIVUK) Final exhortations 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
In this service Paul and Aidan recommended a series of resources for people to discover more and engage further with the series. These resources and more information about the series can be found by following this link: http://christchurchdownend.com/asking-honest-questions/ Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12-26, 50-58 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[h] 55 “Where, O death, is your victory?     Where, O death, is your sting?”[i] 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Bible readings: Psalm 13 (NIVUK) For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me for ever?     How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts     and day after day have sorrow in my heart?     How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.     Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, 4 and my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’     and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 5 But I trust in your unfailing love;     my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,     for he has been good to me. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NIVUK) 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
There is a video recording of this service on our YouTube channel. Bible readings: Genesis 1:1-5 (NIVUK) The beginning 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light ‘day’, and the darkness he called ‘night’. And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day. Mark 1:4-11 (NIVUK) 4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptised by him in the River Jordan. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: ‘After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’ The baptism and testing of Jesus 9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’
If you enjoyed this episode of Learning to Live the Life, please do subscribe, share it with your friends and rate us 5* so that more people get recommended it! In this very special episode of the podcast, Rev Aidan is joined by Rev Denis Adide. Denis is the vicar of St Stephens and St Thomas’ church in Shepherds Bush. The focus of the discussion is around the idea of what does it mean to pick up your cross and follow Jesus in 2021. The discussion focuses on what this challenging command from Jesus looks like in light of lockdowns and in response to racial injustice, 6 months on from the Black Lives Matter protests of the summer. Above all Denis helps us see how following Jesus is the best decision anyone can possibly make! Find Denis’ podcast series with the Rev Richard Moy called By this they shall know here:- Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/ADIDEFILMSinc/videos Listen as a podcast – https://podpoint.com/feed/9896 https://podpoint.com/its-complicated?utm_source=listennotes.com&utm_campaign=Listen+Notes&utm_medium=website Also here is Denis’ blog post on Bishop Graham Tomlin’s blog – https://grahamtomlin.blogspot.com/2020/06/a-wounded-realist-guest-blog-by-denis.html    
What is God like?

What is God like?

2021-01-03--:--

Bible Reading John 1:10-18 (NIV) 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
A video of the whole service is available on our YouTube channel. Bible reading: Luke 2:1-20 (NIVUK) The birth of Jesus 2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,     and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Normally we are settling into a pattern of releasing one discussion podcast a month but as an early Christmas present this month we have a bonus episode because with its subject matter it felt like if we waited till next month it would be out of date! In this episode Rev Aidan and Anita meetup again, this time with Ian Freestone to discuss the emotive question that many have been asking this year: Where are you Lord? We really pray this and all our episodes bless you in your journey with Jesus. If you have any questions or topics for us to discuss, please send us a message podcast@christchurchdownend.com or leave us a message on the facebook page or YouTube channel. The next episode should be released on New Years day and is a truly special episode with the Rev. Denis Adide, Vicar of St Stephen’s and St Thomas’ in Shepherds Bush, London.
A video of the whole service is available on our YouTube channel. Bible readings: John 1:6-8 (NIVUK) 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. John 1:19-28 (NIVUK) John the Baptist denies being the Messiah 19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ 21 They asked him, ‘Then who are you? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ 22 Finally they said, ‘Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Make straight the way for the Lord.”’ 24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, ‘Why then do you baptise if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?’ 26 ‘I baptise with water,’ John replied, ‘but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’ 28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.
Learning to Live the Life the podcast is available on many major podcast platforms, if it isn’t on yours yet let us know. It is also available to listen to over the telephone on 0117 456 2304 for those who don’t have access to technology. As well as weekly sermons, on the first of every month we are releasing discussion episodes looking at various topics to help people in their Christian discipleship.   In this episode Rev Aidan Watson meets with Diane Paddon, head of youth ministry at Christ Church Downend, and two of our young people to find out what has been going on in CCD youthwork, but also to discuss the challenges faced by young people in our communities. Within the discussion there are clear encouragements for people of all ages in their own Christian journeys!   The video version of this episode can be viewed here:-
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