Welcome to this morning's Sunday Worship service, led by Martin Sykes with video sermon by Rev Christine Fox (in church and via Zoom).
We normally worship in church each week and also via Zoom, with a recording of the Zoom meeting published by Monday morning. If you are not currently on our mailing list for Zoom please contact Rev Christine: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click below on the red play button to start this morning's service video.
We apologise for the poor sound quality, caused by technical issues.
The video of the Children's Manifesto referred to in the sermon can be found here:
God Bless x
If you'd like to connect with Grangewood please contact us.
Rev Christine Fox: email@example.com
Thank you to all those who have been part of arranging this week's service.
Below you can find this weeks Message. Click here to find the whole worship sheet.
Love God and love your neighbour just as you love yourself. Here in our readings today are the core instructions that God wants people to follow.
But what do they really mean, in practice? Isn’t that the question that people are asking themselves, and debating with each other in every moment of their lives? Even if they don’t realise it. Think about it – what are people talking about? High on the list of subjects are the pandemic and climate change – and how these are affecting the lives of people. Every action taken by individuals and communities and nations and even world forums such as COP26 starting tomorrow must be questioned as to how it will impact God’s creation; all seas and forests, creatures and even the basic chemical makeup of the earth. How are we to act in each case to show love of Creator and the created – of God and our neighbour. And on these things there will be no end to the debate. And sometimes the answers are so complex that many can feel they can’t contribute to the conversation, and give up and sadly carry on acting as if nothing need be changed.
A bit like the proverbial ostrich hiding its head in the sand when danger is coming!
In Jesus’ day in some ways it was no different – the Gospels often tell us about the debates going on. Jesus is questioned this time because he has answered wisely in the past and maybe he can give the easy-to-understand answer to the big question – ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’
This weekend I had to decide which was the most important place for me to be – at Grangewood church in person or at 3Generate with our young people? And you will make your own minds up as to whether I chose the right one. When you see me speaking to you I will actually be in Birmingham at the NEC having slept (or not slept!) two nights in a tent and be into the third day of what will be one of the memorable times of many young people’s faith journey.
What is 3Generate? 3Generate is the annual children and youth assembly of the Methodist Church in Britain. It exists primarily to hear what those attending have to say about a variety of subjects and issues…
…so doing what God instructed – talking about these commands to love God and love your neighbour, and we will not only be talking but also in our actions loving God with all our hearts, soul, minds and strength, and loving our neighbour as ourselves. For provision is made at 3 generate for young people to eat together, to enjoy the great outdoors, to enjoy sports and creativity as well as to sing and pray together.
Out of 3Generate each year comes a manifesto based on what the young people talk about. From their own discussion on the issues of today come the direction and the actions that they want the Methodist Church to be taking now. Last time they asked for us to be inclusive, eco-friendly and to make sure church isn’t boring! (amongst other things)
And first of all – the children’s manifesto asks - make sure God is in our conversations!
When you heard both readings today did you spot the difference between Jesus’ quote of Deuteronomy and the original? To ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength’ Jesus added ‘love God with all your mind’. Maybe he was challenging those who questioned him to use their minds in a way that is loving– but certainly he is challenging us to keep using our minds. And that’s all of us – to whatever ability we have, to be thoughtful about the impact of our actions at all times ‘when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you wake up’; ask ourselves - is it loving towards my neighbour – (ie. anyone who is in need) to produce more than my share of carbon, or to forget to say thank you… or to buy the cheapest not the fairest, and so on?
We cannot leave it all to the younger generation to try to live with rising sea levels, mountains of stuff made of plastic, and floods and forest fires. We may have impressed upon them the commands to love God and their neighbour as they love themselves but let’s also show by our actions that we too take God seriously!
God gives instructions for a purpose – love God and your neighbour as yourself so that – ‘you, your children and their children may fear (be in awe of) the Lord… so that you may enjoy long life ….so that it may go well with you in a land flowing with milk and honey’.
So let us love God and our neighbour with all our hearts, our souls, our minds and strength – emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically! And along with our young people let’s keep thinking on what it really means in every challenge and decision of life to do so!