Blogroll: Sussex Parson

I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading. There are currently 23 posts from the blog 'Sussex Parson.'

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Updated: 1 hour 5 min ago

Acts - The Big Picture

Mon, 03/08/2020 - 06:08
I am preaching my way through the book of Acts. (We are on chapter 16). I was heartened that with a little prompting the congregation could give what seems to me to be a pretty good account of the big picture of the book. 
The words of the risen Jesus to his Apostles set the agenda for the book in 1:8:
"you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Although the Apostles are prominent in the book (especially Peter in the first half and Paul in the second) The Acts of the Apostles is not just about the Twelve or Thirteen. In vv1 and 2, Luke says his former book, his gospel, was about "all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven". Acts is about what the risen Jesus continues to do by his Holy Spirit through his people. This is a book about the mission of God, about what he is doing in his world. 
The Word of God or the gospel might be said to be the main character of he book. Luke frequently gives us little summary statements about the growth and spread of the gospel. There are all sorts of difficulties and persecution, but the mission of God proves unstoppable. The book ends with Paul in chains at the heart of the empire, but the gospel not chained: "Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ."
All this should encourage us to pray for the power of the Holy Spirit that we too might play our part in the mission of God, taking the good news of the risen Lord Jesus to all the nations. Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Acts 15:36-16:15 - A Sermon Outline - ALL CHANGE?

Sat, 01/08/2020 - 10:29
It is debatable whether Acts 15:36-16:15 is the most natural unit, but it seemed a suitable section to preach on without making the next selection of material in the series tricky!
If you are coming to Warbleton tomorrow or watching online, you may care to look away now or prepare by studying what follows!
ALL CHANGE - but God and his powerful gospel mission are unchanged

The mission teams change (15v36-16v5)

A sad disagreement leads to two mission teams rather than one (15vv36-41)


Timothy is willing to change for the sake of the gospel mission (16vv1-4)


Biblical firmness and flexibility:

Unwilling to change the gospel…

… but willing to change for the gospel


Paul says:“To the Jews I became like a Jew,to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.” (1 Corinthians 9v20)


Paul changes his plans as God directs His mission (16vv6-10)


God changes Lydia’s heart – and she demonstrates her changed heart by generous hospitality (16vv11-15)


“ALL CHANGE!?”

Has God changed your heart? And does it show in your changed life?

Are you willing to change for the sake of the gospel?

God and his powerful gospel mission are unchanged

He directs his unstoppable mission and can bring good out of bad  


Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Theopolitan Reading

Tue, 28/07/2020 - 08:10

Peter J. Leithart, Theopolitan Reading (Theopolis Books / Athanasius Press, 2020)

Theopolis Fundamentals Series

116pp pb

ISBN: 9781735169002

£9.71 on Amazon UK today / $11.95 from the publisher

 

Anyone interested in reading the Bible more richly could benefit from spending time with this book.

 

This is not an elaborate hermeneutical text book of rules which allow the reader to insert the correct inputs, grind the machine and chunk out a correct reading. Instead, in an introductory chapter, Dr Leithart offers to serve as a mentor in the art of the Spiritual Reading of Scripture which pays close attention to the letter. Scripture is concerned for our intellectual and moral formation, which is partly achieved by our (sacramental) imaginative and liturgical formation. The church must be soaked in the Scriptures. We should aim to be at least as familiar with the story and detail of the Bible as we are with logos, brands, jingles, personalities and gossip of pop culture. We want to read the cues which the Bible gives us in terms of plot (division and reformation, exile and return, death and resurrection), character or setting (e.g. garden, temple, vineyard, wilderness, city, well) as readily as we can identify the genre or mood of a film from an establishing short or a change in the score. We want to begin to sense the biblical associations of mountains (and High Places and altars), water, trees, birds and animals, stars and all that God has made and spoken about to proclaim his glory.

 

The Bible is seen as a highly patterned (typological), artistic, symbolic, figurative and literal literary text. The end of the Old Covenant world might be described as the “stars falling from heaven”. This does not mean that the astrological bodies will hit the earth, but it does speak of an actual change of rulers and regime with the death and resurrection of the Messiah, which the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 caps, marking the end of the old world order of Temple and Law.  

 

The Bible’s main concern is not simply heaven and the soul but God-and-his-world-and-people, Christ and his body. It speaks of real events in this world (of a polis, a city) but most often in poetic and narrative terms. Scripture is not, in the main, a philosophical Dogmatics about God in himself but a developing drama of God’s dealings with the world, with Adam (and the Last Adam and his people) and Eve (and the Bride of Christ). All human beings are some variation of Adam and Eve, all places more or less Edenic.

 

The bulk of the book thus traces, sometimes lyrically, themes laid out in Genesis 1-3 and the Scriptural riffs on the world, Adam, Eve and Eden as originally created, fallen, redeemed and eschatological. Trained readers can hear allusions (overtones, harmonies, shifts in meter and instrumentation) as they attend to the “connotations, import and implications of what’s written” in all the Scriptures (p16).

 

Even if you worry this is fanciful in places, or you’re not convinced by each individual proposal, the overall approach seems compelling and the attention is worthy of the divine-human masterpiece which is the Bible. I would have liked a Scripture index so that I could more easily go back to the suggestions on the many individual passages that are scattered throughout the text.  

 

Take up and read. Taste and see!


Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Acts 15vv1-35 headings and jottings

Sat, 25/07/2020 - 15:04
A sermon outline:


Black pudding (vv20, 29)

“The Gentile problem”
The issues: - How should Christians live? vv1, 5- Mission to Jews and Gentiles- Fellowship between Jews and Gentiles- The gospel itself / salvation! v1

“The Council of Jerusalem” (vv2-4)

(1) The gospel principle:  God’s actions and the Scriptures show that it was always his plan thatJews and Gentiles alikeshould be saved by grace alonethrough faith alonein Christ alone, not by circumcision nor by keeping the Law of Mosesvv6-19 esp. vv8-9, 11 


Gospel Mathematics
Maybe I should have put the mathematics in inverted commas!I hope this will be a helpful way of putting it and any mathematical pendants can see me afterwards! I was assuming x > 0!
Jewish believers + Gentile believers = One Christian Church
1 + 1 = 1!
One family One body of ChristOne church
Equality – no second-class citizens
V8 – Jews and Gentiles are equally acceptable to God in exactly the same way, on the same terms
Not two ways of salvation (one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles) but one
Grace + Faith àSalvation + Good Works
Not, Grace + Faith + GOOD WORKS à Salvation
Good works are a consequence not a causeof salvation   Christ + x does not equal the Gospel
Or, Christ + x = 0
To add to Christ is to take away the gospel 
We get into the church by graceand we get on within the church by being gracious
(2) A gracious plan: For the sake of fellowship and mission,
the Gentile believers should avoid giving any unnecessary offence to the Jews by having nothing to do with pagan idolatry or immoralityvv19-21 esp. the reason given in v21 vv28-29

So, this passage calls for absolute clarity on the gospel of grace (point 1) but also for:
A loving practical policy (point 2), for kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, sensitivity and empathy.
It calls for:CLARITY and CONSIDERATIONTRUTH and LOVEGRACE and GRACIOUSNESSThe GOSPEL and GENEROSITY SALVATION and SENSITIVITYFAITH and FAMILY
The Gentiles are exhorted to:Servant heartednessGiving up of their rights Going the extra mile
* * * 
I have resisted as absurd more G and P headings like The gathering ponders / pronounces / publishesandThe gospel / glad progress / peace / preaching / proclamation etc.!
* * * 
Other jottings:
Tom Wright, p43, “Basically, James and the conference as a whole were clear on two things. First, the law should not be imposed on Gentile converts. Second, they should be told that they had better keep some significant bits of it just in case. Get it? No?”
“James and the others work out the double principle of no needful circumcision on the one hand and no needfless offence on the other.” (p45)
Perterson: the Gentiles are asked “not to offend Jews by their behaviour in certain critical ways (vv. 19-21, 28-29). Here is an attempt to allow the gospel free course among Jews and Gentiles, maintaining a spiritual and practical unity among believers while showing a particular concern for the sensitivity and scruples of Jews.” (p423f)
Porneia could mean marriage within a relationship approved by Gentiles but not by Jews (Cook, p215)
A way in which Jewish and Gentile Christians can live together is agreed (Peterson)
 Peterson: “The Jerusalem Council acknowledged that Gentile Christians were not obliged to live under the yoke of the law. At the same time, it challenged them to exercise their liberty with wisdom, restraint, and love, recognising the concerns of some Jewish Christians about contamination through any association with idolatrous practices. The requirements commended to Gentile believers… were designed to keep the lines of fellowship open with Jewish believers by giving warning to the Gentiles about any compromise with the idolatry and immorality that was so much part of their world.” (p440)
The decree of the Council “was a warning to abstain from acts that would offend Jewish scruples and hinder social intercourse between Jewish and Gentile believers. But its deeper significance is the implied challenge to break completely with every pagan association and practice (cf. 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1) and to do all things, even eating and drinking, to the glory of God, causing no one to stumble ‘whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God’ (1 Cor. 10:31-32).” (Peterson, p446)
John Stott: The Council “secured a double victory – a victory for truth in confirming the gospel of grace, and a victory of love in preserving the fellowship by sensitive concessions to conscientious Jewish scruples.” (p257)
Spencer quoted in Peterson, p418:Dissension (vv1-5)Discussion (vv6-18)Decision (vv19-29) Dissemination (15v30-16v5)
Some friends on Facebook kindly suggested snappier versions of my headings:

1. Getting in: one gospel for all 2. Getting on: don't make Jews fall
1. We're one family in Jesus 2. So, bear with one another in Jesus.
Saved by grace Saved for grace
Be committed to the gospel of graceBe kind to the church
The principle of graceThe practicalities of love
Wiersbe: 'Don't close the doors!'
Don’t be annoying! Just because you can doesn't mean you should!Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Midweek Meeting 22/7/20 - Philippians 4v10-end

Tue, 21/07/2020 - 12:44
There's no need to prepare, but if you'd like to think about Philippians 4v10-end before our midweek meeting on Wed 22nd July, hopefully you might find some of these questions helpful:

(Some notes to follow after the session too.)


STUDY QUESTIONS:
What gives you / people in general contentment or prevents contentment?
We’ve seen rejoicing / joy as a theme in this letter (1:4, 18; 2:2, 18; 3:1; 4:1, 4). What does Paul rejoice in according to these verses and why?
Paul talks about being content whatever the circumstances in v12. What were Paul’s circumstances when he wrote this letter? (What might the future hold for him?)Do you think this contentment came naturally to Paul? Did he just happen to be a contented sort of person? (v11)What do you think Paul meant by contentment exactly? Presumably he would have liked his circumstances to have been different. And he talked about pressing on and straining towards the goal in 3vv12-14 so presumably this contentment is not a total indifference / apathy / lack of effort. (Could you distinguish right and wrong types / manners of / reasons for contentment?)What do you think the challenges of being in need, or having plenty, or being well fed or hungry or in want might be (v12)? When is it easier / harder to be content?Why do you think Paul could be content?How can we cultivate a godly Biblical contentment?Might anything in the earlier part of chapter 4 (or indeed the rest of the letter) help us with contentment?
V13: I can do everything through Jesus? Really? Can I run the four-minute mile through Jesus? So what is the “everything” I can do which Paul is talking about here?
What do we learn about Christian partnership / fellowship / mutual support / financial giving from this passage?How is the Philippian’s financial gift to Paul described in v18?How does this motivate giving?How might v19 enable us to give generously?How would you describe / value God’s “glorious riches in Christ Jesus?” (v19)
Can you recall the meaning of the word “saints” in the New Testament? (vv21 and 22; see also 1v1) To whom does it refer?
Can you say anything about the main themes or big ideas of the letter?Could you write a summary theme and aim sentence?Is there anything that has stood out for you from the letter which you hope will stay with you?You could perhaps choose a memory verse or two to learn and meditate upon.
Praise and prayer in the light of the passage and letter:
Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Acts 14

Sat, 18/07/2020 - 09:18
Some jottings / notes on one way of thinking about / preaching Acts 14 might be:


The Bible writers often invite us to play spot the difference:They want us to be alert to similarities and differences: They invite us to make comparisons and contrasts.
And we can see a number in our Bible passage today which I trust we’ll find illuminating.
If you can remember back to last week, some of today’s passage will be familiar. Luke tells us in v1 that “At Iconium, Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue.”One scholar goes so far as to translate it “what happened in Iconium was much the same.” (N. T. Wright)That’s probably rather a stretch as a translation, but it’s a helpful idea, I think. Luke doesn’t repeat himself for the sake of it. He’s deliberately showing us a characteristic pattern.Here’s a norm of gospel ministry:
Iconium is like Pisidian Antioch: a characteristically mixed response to the gospel, which is first for the Jew then for the Gentile.   ...
In Lystra, Paul heals a paralysed man and we find that Paul is like both Jesus and Peter and unlike Herod. Let’s think about those three in turn.
Paul is like Jesus: Jesus continues to work powerfully through his Apostles in the power of the Holy Spirit
In Lystra, Paul heals a paralysed man, like Jesus had done in Luke chapter 5. In fact, there seems to be a deliberate parallel between Jesus in Luke chapters 4 and 5 and Paul Acts chapters 13 and 14.In each case there’s a confrontation with the devil, a synagogue sermon and a response, and the healing of a paralysed man.
The point is the big picture of Acts:Paul is doing Jesus’ work.He’s like Jesus. He’ Jesus’ faithful servant.  The Apostles act as Jesus authorised representatives. Remember that Acts is all about what the risen Jesus continues to do through his people.
...
Its no surprise if Jesus’ people suffer and are rejected because that’s what happened to the Saviour.
Paul is like Peter: all the Apostles preached the same gospel, but the presentation was carefully adapted to their hearers and their needs
The Apostle Peter is prominent in the first half of the book of Acts, as Paul is in the second half. And Peter and John healed a paralysed man in chapter 3, as Paul and Barnabas do in this chapter.
Luke wants us to see that Paul is acting as a faithful, authentic Apostle. That will be important because Paul is the great Apostle to the Gentiles. He took the good news of Jesus to the nations in a big way (which was controversial) but he was continuing what Peter had begun by taking the good news to the Gentile, Cornelius. There was one united Apostolic mission from Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
...
We could add another compare and contrast, then:
The same essential gospel is presented in different ways
...
Paul is unlike Herod: the Apostles are ordinary human beings sharing the good news of Jesus for the good of others and the glory of the only living, loving Creator God  
The Lsytrans’ desire to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods, might remind us of the people who call King Herod a god at the end of chapter 12.
...
Lastly,
All Christians are like Jesus and the Apostles: they can expect the cross then the resurrection, suffering then glory – “we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God”
...
Who will you be like?
Will you be like those who gladly believe the good news of Jesus?
And will you be like Paul in boldly and wisely sharing it with others, though it means opposition?
Let me encourage you to ponder these comparisons and contrasts:The same gospel of Jesus and Peter and Paul, presented in different ways and to different sorts of people. Producing different responses: faith from some and opposition from others. Let us resolve to stick with the good news of Jesus and share it with others, playing our part in the unstoppable mission of God.And so to one living and loving creator God, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit be all honour and power and glory, now and for ever.
Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Should Christians love their temples?

Fri, 17/07/2020 - 16:37
Some may find Calvin's comments on Psalm 27v4 surprising:

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

We should now consider, whether the faithful are to be like-minded under the Christian or Gospel dispensation. [582] I own, indeed, that we are in very different circumstances from the ancient fathers; but so far as God still preserves his people under a certain external order, and draws them to him by earthly instructions, temples have still their beauty, which deservedly ought to draw the affections and desires of the faithful to them. The Word, sacraments, public prayers, and other helps of the same kind, cannot be neglected, without a wicked contempt of God, who manifests himself to us in these ordinances, as in a mirror or image.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/calvin/psalms/27.htmMarc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Some study questions on Philippians

Tue, 14/07/2020 - 16:54
Some study questions on Philippians 4vv2-9 ahead of our midweek meeting on Wed 15th. There's no expectation that people prepare but just in case these are helpful in taking a look in advance:



Presumably Paul doesn’t necessarily want Euodia and Syntyce to agree about everything, so what do you think he is really asking them to do in v2?Is there anything else in the letter that would help / motivate them to “agree with each other in the Lord?”? What have we already seen from our studies that would relevant to the theme of Christian unity / how Christians should relate to one another?What does this passage teach us about how to treat / resolve conflict / fallings out in the church?
Is there a Christian with whom you need to be reconciled?Or Christians whom you might be able to help to be reconciled?What steps might you take in the light of this passage?
What might it mean / look like to “rejoice in the Lord always” (v4)?On rejoicing Cf. 1v18; 2v17-18; 3v1This is a striking command. Why / how can we rejoice whatever our circumstances, even when we don’t feel like it?What reasons do we have for doing so (from the letter)?How might we rejoice in the Lord more fully / often?How can we help one another in this?(How might rejoicing in the Lord always help with the conflict described in v2?)
Are you anxious? What about? Why? (What things threaten your joy or peace?)How do you cope with anxiety?What antidotes to anxiety does the passage suggest? (Why / how so?)
What difference might the nearness of the Lord make? (v5)
Can you think of examples of the things mentioned in v8?(How would you sum them up / put them into your own words?)
How can we “think about such things” more?(What would be the opposite of the stuff listed in v8? Are there ways we can avoid that stuff?)
Think about v9. Do you have any idea of the things Paul might particularly have in mind here? Can you think of things which the letter might have suggested Paul was exemplary in? (cf. 3v17. Arguably he also held up Timothy and Epaphroditus as examples in 2v19ff)
What could we “put into practice” (v9) from this study or from the letter as a whole so far?
How would you sum up this passage?
How might it be turned into praise, thanks and prayer?
Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Acts 13v13-end

Sun, 12/07/2020 - 08:20
For anyone desperate for headings / a sermon outline, it might go something like this:

Paul's synagogue sermon at Pisidian Antioch

Introduction - a selective brief Bible overview - Israel to David

- God chose Israel

- God chose David

Main point(s): Jesus the Messiah, the climax of Israel's story and the centre of the Scriptures

- God chose Jesus the Davidic Messiah

- His death and resurrection in fulfilment of the Scriptures

Application

- The good news of salvation

- Forgiveness of sins

- Justification by faith

- Don't scoff and miss the whole point and perish!

Responses

- Some want to find out more

- Some believe and need to continue in the grace of God - all appointed for eternal life believe

- Some reject and oppose

Consequences

- Paul and Barnabas turn to the Gentiles

Our responses

- Believe in Jesus!

- Share Jesus appropriately - be lights, shine for him

- Joy in the Holy Spirit even if persecuted / rejected

* * *
John Stott, Bible Speaks Today:
The sermon’s introduction: the Old Testament preparation (vv16-25)The sermon’s focus: the death and resurrection of Jesus (vv26-37)The sermon’s conclusion: the choice between life and death (vv38-41)The sermon’s consequences: a mixed reaction (vv42-52)
* * *
David Peterson’s headings, Pillar New Testament Commentary:
The election of Israel and the election of David (vv17-23)Jesus the fulfiller of the promise to David (vv24-37)The challenge not to miss out on the salvation available through Jesus (vv38-43)
Turning to the Gentiles: Fulfilling the Servant’s Role (vv44-52)

Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Barnabas Piper, The Pastor's Kid - jottings

Wed, 08/07/2020 - 13:06
Barnabas Piper, The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity (David C Cook / Kingsway Communications, 2014)
152pp

(Foreword by John Piper)

Obviously my kids are all delightful and well-behaved geniuses at all times and our family life is idyllic, but we were reading this book for a minister’s book group, so a few random jottings / a record of some lessons:

(I’m not sure I found much to disagree with here so what follows is mostly summary:)

I am not the eminent American Baptist pastor of an enormous mega church. So my context is pretty different from the Pipers’. I guess there’s a fair amount of translation and cross-cultural application to do with this highly readable and engaging book, but I think there’s lots here worth pondering and praying over. The pastor (and spouse), pastor’s kid and church may not always like what they read, but it should not be too hastily dismissed by any of the parties to this complex triadic relationship.

Piper is surely right that there are privileges and challenges particular to the lives of the clergy and their families, as there are with other professions too. Every single family is made up of sinners and has its own issues. Clergy families might well have moved away from their relatives. Hopefully they have a decent house (maybe in a desirable postcode), but finances might be tight. Likely the minister works from home and the vicarage is often used for ministry. The pastor’s job might be little understood and esteemed and the hours odd. When many parents are getting home, he might often be heading out. But of course he has the blessing of not having to commute. He can often have lunch with his family. There are, of course, many pros and cons to all callings.

Although the book explores some hard and painful things at times, Piper is surely right that a sense of victimhood and blame is most often unhelpful. Clergy families do well to cultivate both gratitude and realism. They and their church families all have their sins and foibles. Likely there is a need for repentance and doing better but love covers a multitude of sins and it seems to me there are times when it would be good to cut everyone some slack. We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously.

Churches sometimes want pastors to be practically perfect in every way and pastors can collude in this by pretending that they are. Of course, the spouse and kids know differently! A measure of openness and vulnerability is healthy (if hard) both in vicarage and church.

One of the strengths of this book is its emphasis on grace and the priority of trusting and following Jesus. Much else is detail – some of it somewhat important. No one is up to the job of being the perfect pastor, or parent, or PK, or church member, but God’s grace is sufficient. Thankfully Jesus loves and means to make use of broken people. He can deal with our guilt and shame and we would do well to hand them over to him. 

Pastor’s kids tend to see the good, the bad and the ugly of church life. They cannot really be sheltered from this and so, whilst respecting confidences, it is probably best to involve them in ministry and church life as appropriate. Their no-illusions perspective on church can be a real advantage to them e. g. in future ministry. But for them, faith can be weirdly bound up with their parent’s job. A wild and disobedient child could in some cases lead to unemployment and homelessness (1 Timothy 3:4) so everyone can feel under pressure. Maybe God is their parents’ profession, ministry, vocation and hobby. This is another reminder that the preacher does well to cultivate other interests in addition to the importance and fun of reading theological tomes.

We are called to love one another where we are, but the truth is that the pastor’s family may not have chosen this church and this location if they had a totally free hand! And they have to put up with their parent as preacher: maybe those stories and jokes which weren’t funny the first time!

It can be hard going for the kids if there aren’t a number of Christian friends their own age at church. They can feel a bit weird when they realise that church isn’t a big part of life for most of those at school. (Christian summer camps can perhaps play a helpful role here).

The Pastor’s child can feel watched. Even in a loving, harmonious church family, there can be a sense that he is under scrutiny. They might be expected to win the Bible trivia quiz, but are folk also on the look out for teenage rebellion?! Most clergy families will have experienced a tut tut or some uninvited parenting advice at one time or another.

The PK might feel known about, but not really known. The preacher must take care with his sermons, his conversation and his social media use. He should share his life and be known by the people, but the family may have different boundaries to him and the children may care both for some privacy and for deep relationships with church folk. As is so often the case, there are ditches on either side.

Good well-intentioned people can make assumptions. The PK wants to be allowed to be himself. As Piper puts it, the PK might find himself put in a nice little box with a label on it with little room to breathe inside (p. 63). The Pastor should encourage wonder (and a sense of the mystery of God) and perhaps should not panic even if there is a little wandering from the pastor’s well-defined way. 

Sometimes the PK can be adept at acting like a politician or chameleon – avoiding revealing too much, or giving the right answers or fitting in. He may be rather different in church on Sunday and at school on Monday. Like an onion, Piper argues the PK has layers! (Ch. 4)

Our most important prayer for our children must be that the love Jesus and love others. We are seeking God not just for right answers or outward conformity, but for an inner reality of knowing Jesus and a sense of identity as dearly loved children of the Father. Though they have always been familiar with Jesus, the kids need to know that he is far from mundane and that he is more than their parent’s boss! PKs will likely benefit more from principles than rigid and unexplained rules. There can sometimes be some yes and nos, some ifs and maybe’s rather than the preacher’s black-and-white always right and pre-packaged answers to everything.

Likely there’s a whole load of things we need to lighten up about. We do well to distinguish between God’s standards (which apply to us all) and the cultural expectations of our church, which we might seek to accommodate for the sake of mission (or to avoid parental embarrassment!), but which come into a whole different category.

We want to make space for our kids’ doubts and questions and remember that we are all works in progress. It is no surprise if they don’t have it all figured out at 13 or 18 or…. Some of us might too easily forgive and forget our own past mistake whilst coming down like a ton of bricks on or feeling overly anxious about our children’s.

It might be nice if our kids agreed with us on everything we hold dear, but we would do well to remember that the goal of parents is actually to make themselves redundant. We want to give our children increasing freedom, which we hope they will have the maturity to use well. We pray for them to grow in independence and that might mean taking different exceptions from the Westminster Standards to us!

Sure, the PK needs a pastor, but he also needs a parent! They want a “normal” relationship with their parents (whatever that is!) not appointments! (p. 115) And that requires time, energy, commitment and wisdom. We do well to talk with them, not always to preach at them, or even given them pastoral counselling! We are helpfully reminded here of the need to spend time with our children, to listen to them and to know them. As Piper says, they may be less into Jonathan Edwards than we are, and we ought to take an interest in their video games and their sports teams. He commends the pursuit of empathy: “We need parents who strive to put themselves in our heads and “get” us.” (p. 85) All Christians are called to self-sacrificial loving service of other, but we would be fools to sacrifice our families on the altar of ministry. Our kids didn’t choose to be born into the Vicarage.

We might be critical of someone who works too long in the City to the detriment of his family, and the same must apply to the pastor who is ever locked in his study or out at meetings or pastoral visits. We don’t want our families to see the church as a rival, nor to feel that we only ever give our best at church and our leftovers at home.

Likely the kids will also have a well-attuned hypocrisy sensor which they will feel free to use on their parents and their church! Our actions will speak louder than our words. Piper helpfully stresses that it is not sufficient for the minister to admit that we are all sinners. It would be great if he could find some actual specific sins of his own to confess to his kids, to apologise for, and if they could see him battling for godliness and maybe even making progress. Yes, you were right and indignant, but that doesn’t mean your indignation was entirely righteous. Perhaps you could say sorry to the kids for losing your temper, even if your shouting in their faces was entirely understandable (p. 79)!

Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Midweek Meeting Philippians 3v12-4v1

Mon, 06/07/2020 - 20:44

Some study questions kindly prepared by a member of our congregation for our discussion of Philippians 3v12-4v1 on Wed 8th July:
(I think the numbering below may have gone a bit weird but I trust you get the idea! 
The Olympic Athlete. 
2020 should have been an Olympic year.  Olympians often dedicate most of their lives training, paying attention to their sleep, their food and their mental strength in order to reach their goal of winning the race and gaining their prize, an Olympic medal.  In Philippians 3 v 12 ff Paul describes his goal and longed for prize, and his pursuit of it. He encourages the Philippians to follow his example.
Verses 12-14 1.     What does Paul not yet have? 2.    What is he doing about it?3.    Is this a self-made goal? 4.    In what ways is Paul like an Olympian?5.    Why would Paul want to forget what is behind? 6.    What is it that keeps him going?
Verses 15 -167.    What is Paul getting at in these verses?
Verses 17-208.    Which aspects of Paul’s life make him a good example?9.    What is the danger the Philippians face if they do not follow such an example? 10.   How do the enemies of the cross live?11.   What is Paul’s attitude to the enemies of the cross?12.  What do they have to look forward to after death?13.  How should Christians be living?14.  What do Christians have to look forward to?
Chapter 4 v 1 15.  How do we see Paul’s affection for the Philippians?16.  What is he telling them to do?
How should we respond to this passage? Whose examples should we be following? How can we encourage each other to pursue Christ above everything?
Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Priest / Presbyter (Elder)

Mon, 06/07/2020 - 11:07
Something people don’t always realise on the origin of the English word, “priest”:
Word Origin “priest”
Old English prēost, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch priester, German Priester, based on ecclesiastical Latin presbyter ‘elder’, from Greek presbuteros ‘elder’ (used in the New Testament to denote an elder of the early church), comparative of presbus ‘old (man)’.
https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/priest?q=priestMarc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Pleasing the Impassible God

Mon, 06/07/2020 - 09:22

I thought this a very helpful talk from The Revd Dr Lee Gatiss, which is worth 30 minutes of your time. It could help us not only with the issue at hand but also how to read and understand what the Bible says about anything:
https://churchsociety.org/blog/entry/pleasing_the_impassible_god
God does not have passions, as Article One of the Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England testifies.
God does not have emotions as we have. He has no body, no chemical reactions in his brain.
He is timelessly eternal.
He does not change.
He has no moods. He does not sulk or fly off the handle. He is never sleepy or hungry or sick and therefore grumpy.  
He is not acted upon from outside against his will as we are. We cannot force or blackmail God or make him feel bad.
The Triune God is always perfectly full and happy, entirely rich and satisfied. He has a complete and perfect inner life which he has from himself. As the uncreated creator of all things, we should never imagine him as needy, helplessly longing for our love. Creation is an overflow of the generous grace and goodness of God. It does not flow from any lack in God but rather, we might say, from a kind of excess. God’s life loves to spread and grow and bless.  
The Bible uses accommodated, metaphorical, analogical language to speak of God, rather as parent or nanny might speak to a child. What God’s word says is true and flawless communication but never totally literal or univocal. The Bible is clear and effective in its communication, but we need to take it as a whole and not press one part against another (Article 20).
God is ineffable and incomprehensible to us. We cannot know him fully. Yet he has chosen to reveal himself and be known by us.
Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Communion: Where should we look?

Sat, 04/07/2020 - 22:34
A reflection on Holy Communion for the Church Society blog:

https://churchsociety.org/blog/entry/communion_where_should_we_look

My previous previous posts in the series:

Coronavirus and Communion
Communion at Home
The Necessity of Word and Sacrament
Visible and Edible WordMarc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Service Notes for 5/7/20

Sat, 04/07/2020 - 08:49


SERVICE NOTES
God-willing our church services will available on Facebook on Sunday at 9:30am at: https://www.facebook.com/malloyd
This week the service will be “as live” because there will be a service of Morning Prayer at Bodle Street at 9:30am.

After that you can catch up there or on the churches Facebook pages or Warbleton Church You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPBFrhqP5nL6QnmkZKfP5yw
 Our weekly notice sheet is available here: https://www.warbletonchurch.org.uk/
ORDER OF SERVICE
Before the service we’ll play the music to the hymn Amazing Grace, How Sweet The Sound
Words: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/313
Welcome, notices and introduction
Next Sunday:
We are planning services at Bodle Street at 9:30am and Book of Common Prayer Evening Prayer at Dallington at 6:30pm.
I am hoping we’ll be able to meet at Warbleton at 11am but the PCC is meeting again on Monday evening via Zoom to discuss that.
We’ll confirm details as soon as we can.
Lots more detail will be on the church website and here: https://marclloyd.blogspot.com/
We intend to continue online provision, hopefully live from the church building, but again, we will have to see!
Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you(and also with you.)                          This is the day that the Lord has made.Let us rejoice and be glad in it.                          Jesus says, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.' So let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in penitence and faith.                         Lord God, we have sinned against you; we have done evil in your sight. We are sorry and repent. Have mercy on us according to your love. Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin. Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.                          May the Father of all mercies cleanse you from your sins, and restore you in his image to the praise and glory of his name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.                         Blessed is the Lord,for he has heard the voice of our prayer;                         therefore shall our hearts dance for joyand in our song will we praise our God.
Hymn: Speak, O Lord, As We Come To You               Bible reading
(We use the New International Version (NIV) 1984 in church. You can find the latest version of the NIV here: https://www.biblegateway.com/)
Acts 13:1-12 (read by Yvonne)
This is the word of the Lord.Thanks be to God.
Matthew 28:16-end (read by Matthew)       
This is the word of the Lord.Thanks be to God.
Sermon                                      The Apostles’ Creed                                                    I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.             I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.             I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.                                      Prayers                                    Intercessions
Using the response:
Lord in your mercy:Hear our prayer!
Concluding:
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.                          The Collect
O God, the protector of all who trust in you,without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:increase and multiply upon us your mercy;that with you as our ruler and guidewe may so pass through things temporalthat we lose not our hold on things eternal;grant this, heavenly Father,for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,who is alive and reigns with you,in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:                         Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever.  Amen.                                      The Blessing   
After the service we will play I Stand Amazed In The Presence of Jesus The Nazarene
Please feel free to like, comment, share etc.
Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Bodle Street Green Church Sun 5th July

Fri, 03/07/2020 - 09:00


The government has said that churches can re-open for public worship from Saturday 4th July if they can do so safely. We are very much looking forward to being able to welcome you. 
At Bodle Street we are able to comply with the law, guidance from the government, The Church of England and the Diocese so that some of us can meet safely for a relatively short service of said Morning Prayer this Sunday 5th July and we hope to continue with Sunday services thereafter. (We will release further information about this in due course).
We recognise that some people will not want to join us for public worship at the moment. There is no pressure for anyone to do so until they feel ready and can do so safely.
Some who are clinically extremely vulnerable will have been given government guidance on shielding or will have received a letter from their GP and are not currently advised to attend places of worship. We would strongly discourage you from doing so. Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) should not attend. You should not attend if you are self-isolating due to a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your household, or because they have been requested to so by NHS Test & Trace. Further details can be found via: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Those aged over 70 or with a particular vulnerability are encouraged to be especially conscious of the current stay alert and social distancing guidance and may choose not to attend. We respect your personal decision and encourage everyone to stay safe.  
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing
In addition to the audio sermon available online and over the phone, we will continue to have services available online. Details are here: https://www.warbletonchurch.org.uk/
We want to explain a bit about some of the safety measures we have in place and what the service will be like.
We will have the church well cleaned. To reduce the risk of infection, the church will normally be locked for 72 hours before and after the service.
If you plan to attend, please wash your thoroughly hands at home before and after the service. We would also ask you to use your own 70% plus alcohol hand gel or the hand gel we provide on arriving and departing in the required way.
Please try to avoid touching your face. Cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into the crook of your sleeved arm if a tissue is not available.
We ask you to maintain a safe distance of at least 2 metres at all times between households(social bubbles count as part of one household for these purposes). The church building will be set out for social distancing with pews blocked off as appropriate.
It will be one pew per household.
In the unlikely event that we reach the maximum safe capacity, those who arrive last will be asked to leave. If we find this is an issue, we will look at introducing a booking system.
Please respect any requests from stewards and church officers.
Please seek to minimise what you touch and avoid moving around the building unnecessarily.
The evidence is not strong for face coverings. It seems they provide some protection to others if used correctly but not to the wearer. The use of a face covering should not be thought to justify laxity with regard to other precautions. You may wish to use a well-fitting face covering over your mouth and nose. This is a matter of personal choice.  If you choose to use a face covering, we recommend reading the government advice about their design and use.
Once the service is over, the government advice is that, “participants should be encouraged to move on promptly, to minimise the risk of contact and spread of infection.” If you want to speak to others, it would be better to do that outside rather than lingering in the building. You will recall that when you are outside you can meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines but it is safer to keep this to a minimum.
We would of course encourage you to continue to keep in touch online and over the phone.
Unless numbers attending are very low, I will ask different sections of the church to leave in order, sanitising your hands again at the exit and avoiding congestion.
We will not be giving out or making available any hymn books or Bibles. You may wish to bring your own Bible from home and take it away with you afterwards. We will not be singing as this is an infection risk. We will also avoid raising our voices and we will not play loud music so that no one is likely to try to shout over it. The responses in the service should be said with a slightly quiet voice, not a raised one, please.

We will not be taking a collection during the service. There will be a plate available for cash donations (which you should avoid touching) but we would prefer people to give by Standing Order. Please contact us if you would like to set this up. You can also send us a cheque.
Children and young people are always very welcome at our services. Children should be supervised by their parent or guardian at all times. Please explain the social distancing and hygiene precautions to your children and ensure that they comply with them. We are sorry that it is unlikely we can make any special provision for children.
Although this is not mandatory, in line with government guidance, and so that we can assist the NHS Test and Trace service, like other venues including in the retail and hospitality sector, we will seek to keep an accurate temporary record of those who attend for 21 days, in a way that is manageable us. We will aim to comply with data protection legislation. We will ask you for your name and surname and a contact phone number if we do not already have this information. We will not use this information for any other purpose.
Government guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-4-july
The latest Church of England guidance can be found at: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches
We will of course keep what we are doing under review and we may be able to learn from experience and adapt. We will also make any necessary changes if the guidance changes.
If you have any other queries, please do contact me.
I very much look forward to seeing those of you who are able to join us.
The Revd Marc Lloydmarc_lloyd@hotmail.com01435 830421 / 07812 054820 (My day off is normally a Friday)
Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Church Service Plans Update (1/7/20)

Wed, 01/07/2020 - 22:23

Church Service Plans Update (1/7/2020)
We are very much looking forward to the time when at least some of us can meet again physically for worship.
I can give a brief update on our plans so far for the recommencing of public services in the benefice of Warbleton, Bodle Street Green and Dallington as soon as we can do so safely complying with the law and government, Church of England and diocesan guidance.
We are working hard on the necessary procedures, risk assessments and precautions around social distancing and hygiene and so on, and before services resume will share further details of what we expect services to be like and what we would ask worshippers to do to help to keep themselves and others safe.
We recognise that some people will not join us again physically for the foreseeable future and we will aim to continue to provide online services, ideally by live streaming from the church building in due course but certainly by video later.
This coming Sunday 5th July, we hope to make a service available on Facebook at 9:30am and afterwards and also on You Tube later, as has become normal for us during lock down. Details are here: warbletonchurch.org.uk/
At Warbleton, we have decided not to meet physically on Sunday 5th July. The Parochial Church Council will meet again via Zoom on Monday 6th July when we hope to be able to decide that we will be ready to meet again safely for public worship on Sunday 12th July. We will confirm this as soon as possible after our PCC meeting. If the service is able to take place, we expect it to be at 11am as was normal before lockdown.
At Dallington, we hope to meet again for a traditional relatively short said service of Book of Common Prayer (BCP) 1662 Evening Prayer at 6:30pm on Saturday 12th July. After that we will look to resume our normal pattern of services as far as possible.
At Bodle Street, we are still considering whether or not it is possible for some of us to meet physically at 9:30am on Sunday 5thJuly.
I am sorry for the disappointment our decision not to open at Warbleton and Dallington this week may cause to some. I regret that we have not been able to get back to meeting physically in all three churches at the earliest opportunity, but I trust you will understand that we are in unique and rapidly changing times, and that we will take a cautious approach and will not resume physical services until we are confident it is safe to do so.
With my prayers and best wishes,

Marc
The Revd Marc Lloyd (Rector)

Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Paul's Missionary Journeys

Wed, 01/07/2020 - 14:04
No doubt such things are available all over the interweb but:


Paul’s Missionary Journeys
It usual to speak of Paul’s three missionary journeys as recorded in Acts 13ff. Some think there was a fourth missionary journey which took place after the events recorded in Acts.
Here’ a quick summary adapted from here: https://bethanygu.edu/news/missionary-journey/(which also includes maps).
(1)   Acts 13 and 14. Paul and Barnabas set sail with John as their helper from about 46 to 48 A.D. and their first stop was Cyprus. They visited Pathos and then Perga in Pamphylia where John left them to go back to Jerusalem. They went from there to Pisidian Antioch. Then on to Lystra and Derbe, where the Galatian church was planted. After visiting Lystra, Iconium, and Attalia, then they returned to the church in Antioch
(2)   Paul’s second missionary journey lasted from 49 to 52 A.D. and is recorded in Acts chapters 16-18. Paul and Silas first came to Derbe and Lystra where they met Timothy, who they decided to bring with them on their journey. They travelled through the region of Phrygia and Galatia and eventually on to Troas where Paul had a vision in the night calling him and his companions to travel to Damascus and preach the Gospel there. They planted the churches in Philippi and Thessalonica. From Thessalonica they went to Brea, Athens, Corinth, and Ephesus, then to Jerusalem and finally back to Antioch for a short time. Paul probably wrote 1 and 2 Thessalonians during this mission.
(3)   Paul travelled again to the region of Galatia and Phrygia, with the intent of strengthening the churches. This third missionary journey lasted from 53 to 57 A.D. and is found in Acts chapters 18:23-21:14. It lasted longer than the previous two, and he spent his time visiting the churches he had planted on his first two journeys. Acts tells us that he spent a significant portion of his time in Ephesus, about 2-3 years. He left for Macedonia, accompanied by Sopaterm Aristarchus, Secundus, Galius, Timothy, Tychicus, and Trophimus. They visited the churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea before he made his way to Corinth. Paul then retraced his steps back through Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, stopping in Troas. Led by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem, and eager to be there for Pentecost, Paul bypassed Ephesus calling the Ephesian elders to come and meet him in Miletus. In about 55 A.D. Paul made his way to Jerusalem. While in Ephesus on this third journey, Paul probably wrote 1st and 2nd Corinthians in about 53-55 A.D
(4?) Some think that Paul’s letters to Timothy point to his being imprisoned in Rome twice and that after the first release he embarked on a fourth journey, possibly to Spain, though there isn’t solid evidence for this.

Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Midweek Meeting Notes 1/7/20 Philippians 3vv1-11

Tue, 30/06/2020 - 08:51
In our midweek meeting on Wednesday 1st July, we're planning to look at Philippians 3vv1-11. There's no expectation that people prepare, but if you wanted to look at the passage in advance, you might find these study questions helpful.

(These notes may evolve and I might add to them after the meeting)

STUDY QUESTIONS


Do you think Christians should have self-confidence? Why / why not?
Before studying the passage, think about things that someone might “rejoice in” / “glory in” or “put confidence in”? Why might they do that?
V1: Where in the letter has Paul already referred to rejoicing? Do you think that sheds any light on this passage?
What do you think it means / looks like to “rejoice in the Lord”?(How is it different from just “rejoice!” or seeking to be happy?)Do you find it striking that we are commanded to rejoice? What reasons do we have for rejoicing? (Can you think of any from Philippians or from this passage?)How could we deliberately and consciously rejoice in the Lord more fully / often?
Could you relate the rest of the section to Paul’s command to rejoice at all? How does this command fit with the rest of the chapter? Why does Paul go on to say this other stuff?
Who do you think Paul is talking about in v2?What do you think their views / approach might have been?Why does Paul warn so strongly against this stuff? Doesn’t it seem a bit harsh and over the top? Why do you think Paul would say this matters so much?
What was the significance of circumcision in Old Testament times? (v3, v5)What does the phrase “we … are the circumcision” mean? (v3)
What are the characteristics of Christians according to v3?What do you think these things mean? How would you put these things into your own word?How can we do these things more?
What do you think it means to “put confidence in the flesh”? (v3, v4)
What reasons does Paul say he might have for confidence in the flesh? (vv4-6)What do each of these things mean?What’s the significance of the details? Why mention the 8thday? (v5) What’s special about the tribe of Benjamin? (v5)What’s relevant about the Pharisees? (v5)Why might someone put his or her confidence in those things? In what ways do they seem good qualifications?
What things might we be tempted to put our confidence in and why?What might someone think of as their Christian credentials?(How might someone imagine the ideal superbly qualified Christian?)
How does Paul evaluate those things now? Vv7-8.Why?(Why do you think its wrong to put confidence in the flesh?)What are his priorities? Vv7-10What is he contrasting with what and why?Do you think these things are really mutually exclusive like this? Why?
Where’s Paul’s new confidence now? (v3, vv7-11)
In what sense has Paul “lost all things”? (v8)
Do you really think we have to consider all these things “dung” / rubbish? (v8)What does this mean / look like in practice?
According to Paul how can and how can’t a person be “righteous”? V9(What does righteousness mean here?)What would be the problem with “a righteousness of my own which comes from the law”? (v9)(What law is Paul thinking of here?)
In what sense does Paul welcome suffering (v10)? And why?How would these verses encourage us if we suffer for Christ’s sake?
What do you think has caused Paul’s radical re-evaluation and why?
Do you agree with Paul about what really matters? How would our thinking and lives be different if we took these things to heart?
How would you sum up this passage?Is there a big idea? Can you suggest theme and aim sentences for the preacher? (What is the main message and how should we respond to it?)What changes does this passage call for in our thinking or living?Are there any practical steps we might consider in the light of this passage?
How would this passage inform our praises and prayers?(What have we seen that we could rejoice in and give thanks for?)
Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Service Notes for 28/6/20

Sat, 27/06/2020 - 10:24


SERVICE NOTES
God-willing our church services will be live on Facebook on a Sunday at 9:30am at: https://www.facebook.com/malloyd

After that you can catch up there or on the churches Facebook pages or Warbleton Church You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPBFrhqP5nL6QnmkZKfP5yw
 Our weekly notice sheet is available here: https://www.warbletonchurch.org.uk/
ORDER OF SERVICE
Before the service we’ll play the music to the hymn O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Words: https://hymnary.org/text/o_for_a_thousand_tongues_to_sing_my
Welcome, notices and introduction
Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you(and also with you.)                          This is the day that the Lord has made.Let us rejoice and be glad in it.                          Jesus says, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.' So let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in penitence and faith.                         Lord God, we have sinned against you; we have done evil in your sight. We are sorry and repent. Have mercy on us according to your love. Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin. Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.                          May the Father of all mercies cleanse you from your sins, and restore you in his image to the praise and glory of his name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.                         Blessed is the Lord,for he has heard the voice of our prayer;                         therefore shall our hearts dance for joyand in our song will we praise our God.
Hymn: Salvation Belongs To Our God              Bible reading
(We use the New International Version (NIV) 1984 in church. You can find the latest version of the NIV here: https://www.biblegateway.com/)
Acts Chapter 12 (read by Gail and Tony)
This is the word of the Lord.Thanks be to God.            Sermon                                      The Apostles’ Creed                                                    I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.             I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.             I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.                                      Prayers                                    Intercessions (led by Meryl)
Using the response:
Lord, hear us!Lord, graciously hear us!
Concluding:
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.                           The Collect
Almighty God,you have broken the tyranny of sinand have sent the Spirit of your Son into our heartswhereby we call you Father:give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,that we and all creation may be broughtto the glorious liberty of the children of God;through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,who is alive and reigns with you,in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:                         Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever.  Amen.                                      The Blessing   
After the service we will play We Have A Gospel To Proclaim
Please feel free to like, comment, share etc.
Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

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