Sunday Worship - 20th June 2021 - Come Together on Sunday

Welcome to this morning's CTS Worship service.

Worship today is led by Martin Sykes (in church and online this week)


Our Zoom services are every other week and if you are not currently on our mailing list please contact Rev Christine: christineamfox@gmail.com


Click below on the red play button to start this morning's service video. You can also find the service on YouTube here if it isn’t working on the blog.


God Bless x



If you'd like to connect with Grangewood please contact us.

Rev Christine Fox: christineamfox@gmail.com


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.


Message

When Franklin D. Roosevelt was first elected president of the United States, in 1933, the nation was in the depth of an economic depression.

People were frightened. They were afraid of the future, they were afraid that the remaining Banks would fail, that businesses would fail, and that life would become unbearable.

President Roosevelt began a series of Fireside Chats, by radio with the American people.

In one of the earlier fireside chats, the president said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.

This optimistic expression helped to restore the confidence of the American people, helped them put everything into perspective.


Our theme today is “Freedom from Fear” and as we reflect on our Gospel reading, we will discover lessons for us all to learn from.

Jesus has Power over the storms of the elements and the storms of life, and experiences them alongside us, loves us, and wants us to Trust him, more than we do, so we can experience Freedom from our Fears which will help restore and build our Faith and Confidence in Him, and love for Him.

We read in Mark 4, verse 35; that “when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples. “Let's go over to the other side”.

Leaving the crowd behind, they took Jesus along, just as He was, in the boat and there were also other boats with them.

That day, as usual, Jesus had hardly had time even to eat - He’d been giving of himself all day, until there was little left, He was exhausted, and when He got into that boat, almost straight away, with His head on a cushion, He was in a deep sleep in the stern.

The disciples set sail, but when they were out on the water, Peter looked up at the sky and didn't like the like what he saw.

The wind was rising - the sea was becoming restless and then suddenly, the wind descended with tremendous force.

Now, fishermen are no strangers to storms on the Sea of Galilee, but this one was worse than most, and when it hit their little boat there’s little the disciples could do.

They couldn’t escape and their boat was filling with water and Jesus continues to sleep peacefully in the midst of the chaos all around them.

Like many before them, it seems that they could be lost at sea.

They’re fighting for survival, and so they wake Jesus up in a panic and say.

” Teacher, don't you care if we drown?”

Jesus gets up, rebukes the wind, and says to the wave’s “Quiet, Be Still”.

The wind died down and it was completely calm.

Jesus turns to his disciples and says, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were still terrified, but not at the storm, but at what Jesus had just done and they asked each other, “Who is this, that even the wind and the waves obey Him.

There are Four things that we can take from the story of Jesus calming the storm.


1. Firstly - Why did the disciples wake Jesus up? - because they were terrified and frightened, but I do wonder if they woke Him up, because deep down, they knew, and even expected that He would do something, but maybe they had no idea what.

You see, the disciples knew Jesus had power, they had seen Him heal the sick, turn water into wine and so much more, but they seemed to be unsure if, and how He could help, but they found out very quickly when He calmed that storm.

We know that storms don’t worry Jesus at all, and we know He’s with us during them, but he's perfectly calm about them. He isn't terrified; He isn't impatient; He isn't worried, in fact, he's so calm, he's asleep.

In our times of crisis, there are times when Jesus seems to be asleep, and we wonder why on earth He doesn’t get up and do something to help us. We start to wonder if He even knows the trouble, we’re in.

Whether He cares. Whether He can do anything about it.

Whether He’s really all He's cracked up to be.

But as our knowledge and understanding of who Jesus truly is, grows, so our knowledge and understanding of His ever-present Presence and Power also grows, so our Faith, Love and Confidence in Him matures as we walk with Him, as His first disciples did and that’s our first lesson today.


2. Our second lesson is not so obvious - simply this, In the middle of that storm, Jesus was just as much in control, and the disciples were just as safe in His hands while He was asleep, as while He was awake.

Most of the time, for us, life may seem like a relentless voyage, moving from one crisis storm to the next.

I suspect that many have found this during this ongoing Pandemic.

One thing I've learned about myself is that during storms, I may be expected to be strong in my faith, but often I’m like a scared rabbit, just like the disciples were.

Today is Father’s Day, and a memory I will always associate with this day, with being a father is that our son Philip was always a sickly baby because he had a big problem keeping food down and was sick constantly.

He was eventually admitted to hospital, as he had lost so much weight, and on one of the many occasion when I visited him, there he was in this small ward sitting up in his tiny chair in a cot, looking at me with those big eyes of his, wanting me to do something to help him and I felt like a rubbish father, totally helpless and frightened and cried so much and all Elizabeth & I could do was love him, pray for him and the Doctors and nurses who cared for him.

Praise God, that the doctors eventually found the right medication to treat him with, and that coupled with bucketloads of love and prayer, meant that he gradually grew out his condition and today is a big, strong, healthy strapping lad.

I've learnt that no matter what storm I may be going through in life, that I can take heart knowing that I’m not alone, that Jesus is with me, and He’s not scared, He’s not depressed. He might be asleep, or He might not be, but either way, like the song says, “He's got the whole world in his hands.”

Even if he doesn't wake up and still the storm, I'm safe with him.

And if he does wake up and stills the storm, He’s probably going to say “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

And you know. I can live with that, and that’s our second, not so obvious lesson that we can learn from this story, that whatever happens to us, Jesus is just as much in control, and we are just as safe in His hands while He’s asleep, as while He’s awake.


3. Our third lesson is, what would have happened if those disciples had been strong in their Faith.

Jesus is in the boat with His disciples, who had clearly forgotten that whatever happened, their fate would be His fate.

Suppose their faith in Jesus and Gods care and love had been strong - what would they have done?

One thing’s for certain, I don’t think they’d have woken Him up; they’d have let him rest. He was weary and tired and needed rest badly.

They’d let Him rest because their Faith would have reminded them of two great facts:

I. One, the boat won’t sink - it can’t sink when the master of the Ocean, the Earth and the Sky is on board.

II. And two; The storm won’t last forever.

Our prayer is that as our understanding of Jesus grows, so our Faith will grow and we will remember those two facts about the boat and the storm when storms break out in their lives - that the boat won’t sink, and the storm won’t last forever.

Jesus put his finger on the reason for the disciple’s fear – they were afraid, because of their lack of faith.

The disciples had clearly forgotten Jesus words in the Sermon on the Mount, in which He tells them about the extent of God’s love and care for them.

“You are more valuable than the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. Yes, God cares for them; but will He much more care for you? O you of little faith? Matthew 6 verse 30.

The significance of this event for us is that Faith is the answer to Fear.

Faith in the Goodness, the Care, and the Love of God in our lives.

Faith that He loves us and is able to work in our midst, and above all remember that the boat won’t sink, and the storm won’t last forever and that’s our Third lesson.


4. But the final lesson is that Failure in Faith is often the doorway to greater vision.

Jesus asked the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified, and overwhelmed with fear and Awe, as it says in the Passion Bible, and they said to one another? “Who is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him?”

The word “Awe” can be translated as “reverence, admiration & Fear”.

When the disciples thought their boat was sinking, and that they might drown, theirs was a cowardly fear.

But when they had seen what Jesus had done, there is now deep respect, admiration, and wonder.

Thus, out of the failure of their Faith, emerged this deeper respect and understating of who Jesus truly was.

The wonderful thing about this incident is that even though the disciples failed that test of their faith, this failure opened the possibility for a new expression of faith to come, and I believe that this is the way the Jesus works in our lives today.

And as our faith grows stronger, we will see that He can handle any problem, because He knows how to.

But even if our faith is weak, He still won’t let us down - He will hold us up, and see us through and somehow in the process, lay the foundation of a fresh new glimpse of His might and power, which will enable our faith to grow stronger for the next time. There are times when we may struggle on alone and are often overwhelmed because we don't call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in the storms our lives and then fear can overwhelm us. We need to know and understand and embrace the presence and the power of our God - we need to know again that God can bring order out of chaos, and that Jesus can give us his peace.

In Call the Midwife, Sister Monica Jones once said. “We are none of us cast adrift if we have faith!”

Your ABAA’s Arms

There was a man, who with his daughter spent several days in the old City of Jerusalem. One afternoon, as they were leaving the Jaffa Gate, they found themselves behind an Orthodox Jewish family - a father and his three small girls.

One of the daughters, who was perhaps four or five years of age, fell a few steps behind and couldn't see her father. “Abba!” she called to him. He stopped and looked. Only then did he realise he was separated from his daughter.

“Abba!” she called again. He spotted her and immediately extended his hand. She took it, and the man took a mental note as they continued. He wanted to see the actions of an Abba. He held her hand tightly in his as they descended the ramp. When he stopped at a busy street, she stepped off the curb, so he pulled her back. When the signal changed, he led her and her sisters through the intersection. In the middle of the street, he reached down and swung her up into his strong arms and continued their journey. Isn't that what we all need? An Abba, who will hear when we call? Who will take our hand when we’re weak? Who will guide us through the hectic intersections of life? Don’t we all will need an Abba who will swing us into his strong arms and carry us home. We all need a father and there’s a God in heaven who wants us to call him our Abba, and that’s a wonderful message for Father’s Day, that our God and Father has shown us how much He loves us by sending His son Jesus into the world, to be our Lord, Saviour and friend who loves us so much and offers us Freedom from Fear.

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