Welcome to this morning's Worship service.
Worship today is led by Neil Jones (not available via zoom)
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Rev Christine Fox: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to all those who have been part of putting together this weeks service.
Below you can find this weeks Message. Click here to find the whole worship sheet.
Gathered together the followers of Jesus were confused incredulous and frightened. Despite what Jesus had told them they were not expecting a crucified and risen Messiah. These are not unusual reactions to something that is outside our experience and knowledge and the presence of the risen Jesus with him did not reassure them at first. When they accepted the physical reality Jesus started the process of expanding their thinking. He linked their current experience with Scripture. He started to prepare them for the work ahead. In the early part of Acts after the Ascension we read of the coming of the Spirit and the first preaching. One day Peter and John go to the temple to pray. A lame beggar is healed. A crowd gathers and in a moment we will hear of Peter speaking to them.
Peter and the other disciples now understood the messages of a crucified and risen Messiah and of repentance and forgiveness of sins through Jesus that are at the heart of our faith. The understanding changed lives. We read of the young church meeting in fellowship, proclaiming the message, healing and sharing with those in need.
This was the start of the journey for the disciples for there was more they needed to discover. For example, later in Acts 15 the young church wrestles with the question of how to welcome the Gentile believers and this questions runs through the New Testament.
So what about us as the disciples of today following Jesus?
Firstly since it is God who calls us, discipleship embraces all our lives - our personal habits and public commitments, our work lives and home lives, our thoughts and our actions and how we deal with our money. Discipleship is also a life-long process. We are never 'done' with discipleship, as it involves the ongoing formation of our lives into being like Jesus. Although discipleship is always a personal call, it is never a private one. God calls us to be with others, and so 'being Church' is part of following Jesus. What efforts do we make to pray, to read the Bible and be part of fellowship groups so that the lifelong learning process can continue?
Secondly, generations of Christians have wrestled with the question of how to live follow the teachings of Jesus in their own situations and how to understand applications of the values of justice. The Methodist Church is committed to being a growing, evangelistic, inclusive, justice-seeking Church - to living out the unchanging core messages and values in the present age. Around us the world is changing and facing new challenges. The ramifications of COVID, increasing awareness over the environment and climate change and challenges to injustice and prejudice These are some of the examples. How do we as individuals and a church apply God's unchanging core values to the these situations? These issues are complex and I can't offer easy answers. But to take one issue the Circuit has registered an intent to begin the Eco-Circuit Journey and we will be hearing more about this. I pray that through it we will all discover more of what we can do.
We need to understand the eternal truths of God's good news and call for justice and apply them in our situation today.