Welcome to this morning's service.
Worship today is led by Rev Christine Fox
Our Zoom services are every other week and if you are not currently on our mailing list please contact Rev Christine: email@example.com
Click below on the red play button to start the 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children's and Family worker - Jessica Bullett: Jessicagrangewood@outlook.com
Thank you to all those who have been part of putting together this weeks service.
Thanks especially to Matthew Stoodley who has put together this morning's video service.
Below you can find this weeks Message. Click here to find the whole worship sheet.
Message - Rev Christine Fox
After years of wandering, the people of God had something concrete to hold onto. First God’s law – ten rules for them to live by – written in stone – there for all to see – ‘No other Gods, no idols, no misusing God’s name. Keep the Sabbath holy, honour your parents. No murder, no adultery, no stealing, no lies about others, and no desiring someone else’s wife or possessions’. Good solid guidelines for a healthy society. And next they had the temple – built in stone, centre of religious life. Both of these were materially important in the Jewish faith.
And then Jesus came along, often appearing to hold the law lightly, and now it seemed he was even encouraging them to tear down the stones of the temple. No wonder the disciples didn’t understand! With hindsight though both they and we can see that Jesus didn’t come to destroy either the law or the temple building, but he just wanted them to sit up and see that neither of these were to be the foundation of faith.
It took a while for it to dawn on the disciples that Jesus was talking about his own body when he said ‘destroy it and I will raise it in 3 days’. We can identify with them surely – it’s not easy to see the different logic of another person – particularly when they’re as radical as Jesus! St Paul wrote much later on that ‘the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom’. Every Easter we remember this foolishness as Jesus’ body was destroyed – on the cross – and every Easter we also remember that he raised it to life again, in 3 days. Jesus himself - the living God is to be the foundation of our faith! I don’t know which is more fantastic, the idea of someone single-handedly rebuilding a huge stone temple, or coming back to life again...? Maybe the wonder of it has worn off a bit for those who have recounted it so often.
But I want to suggest that something wonderful is happening again, inspired by the living God. The people of God, even today, though you maybe haven’t realised it, have remembered the foundation of their faith. The stones of church buildings have been very important in their faith, and the rules of living set out in the Ten Commandments a foundation for their way of life, but it has been as if a sleeping giant that had been covered in stones is waking from sleep. The church of Christ has stretched and with a burst of energy has sent rays of God’s light out shining into the world.
Has it dawned on you yet that the restrictions that have changed the way the world works have actually acted as a catalyst for the power of God’s Spirit to energise the church into making a quantum leap? Many people have channelled huge amounts of energy into finding new ways of getting the message of the Good News of God to the faithful who were not now able to gather in the church buildings; it is slowly dawning on us that the message is also suddenly available to a much wider audience – to people who would never have come into our church buildings! Who knew that this would be the result of all the prayer and the long hours learning new technology, the encouragement and the forbearance, the writing and the videoing, the patience and the legwork, and so much more - each individual faithfully following the call to keep the message going out!
As we hope for the lifting of restrictions – for the joys of meeting physically again with friends and loved ones and for times of worship, singing together again – let us not close ourselves back in, let us not be bound by the law that was intended for freedom. There is nothing wrong with church buildings as long as we hold them lightly, as part of the generosity of a message of Good News in keeping with a belief in a God whose ‘foolishness is wiser than human wisdom’. We don’t really want to return to normal - rather to a new reality that is even more open to sharing this loving, foolish, all wise God with ever more folk who are just waiting to discover that Jesus alone is the foundation of this faith.