- Who we are
- What we do
It is hard to imagine what it must have been like for Christians before the Bible was readily available as a printed book.
Until the invention of the printing press in 1450, most people didn’t have their own copy of the Bible, and they wouldn’t have had ‘pew’ Bibles like we enjoy.
This Sunday in our church we will be using for the first time our new Bibles, 50 large-print copies of the 2011 version of the New International Version (NIV11). These were purchased using some of the gift to our church from the estate of our late sister, Doreen Orange, and we give thanks to God for her generosity to us.
Our Parish Council has also decided to donate our old Bibles to Christians in Africa, through the ministry of the ‘Mission Aid Group’, an organisation championed in our parish by Gordon Orange.
Praise God for his word throughout the world!
No matter how much progress we make, there are still so many areas in which we are still powerless.
We make advancements in medicine and science, but our hospitals are still overflowing with dying people; we make advancements in education and welfare, but people continue to perform acts of evil; we make advancements in meteorology, but we still can’t change the weather.
In these three areas, we remain essentially powerless… and that’s what makes Jesus’ power so extraordinary.
In Mark 4:35 to 5:43 we see his power over weather, over demons and over sickness. He was like no other man who ever walked the earth… and he is certainly unlike any king who has ever ruled any kingdom.
This week as we look at the topic, ‘The King’s Power’, we will see again why following Jesus makes so much sense.
The kingdom of God is quite unlike other kingdoms. It’s more subversive, more underground, more radical than other kingdoms of this world.
We see this clearly in this week’s passage from Mark’s Gospel, in Chapter Four, verses 21 to 34, in our talk ‘The King’s Kingdom’.
The kingdom is likened to a little lamp, to scattered seed, and even to the tiny mustard seed.
If we’re to understand what it’s like to be in Jesus’ kingdom, and how it is that it grows and expands, we need to listen clearly to what Jesus says about it, and prepared to be challenged by how it works.
And above all, we should not be surprised when it seems small and unimpressive… because in this case the saying is true: from little things big things grow!
The health of a society is nearly always connected to the health of its families.
The Bible gives clear advice about how to have healthy families, and one of the best places to find it is in Ephesians chapter 6, verses 1 to 4:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.“Honour your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
Children should aim to obey their parents, and fathers should aim to patiently and gently bring up their kids in how to know and follow God.
But we all know this is impossible to achieve due to our constant struggles with sin. And this is what makes us eternally grateful for the forgiveness God gives us for when we miss that mark.
Let’s keep praying for our families… and keep praising God for his forgiveness through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Leadership challenges are normal for leaders, especially those who have a high place in public office.
This is particularly the case after times of conflict and unsettledness in the ranks of an organisation.
For Jesus, he experienced challenges from both likely and unlikely sources as he went around the country showing his authority as the king of all kings.
In this week’s section from Jesus’ life story as told by Mark, we see that his authority is challenged by the religious leaders, who think that his supernatural authority must be coming from the forces of evil.
Yet, it’s also challenged by his very own family–his own mother and brothers–who accuse him of being insane.
Jesus rises above their challenges, and shows that he is mentally healthy and that his supernatural power comes not from evil, but from himself, as the true God of the universe.
In this leadership challenge, make sure you back the winner… Jesus Christ.