18 April - God Calls Us into Community

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10 April, 2021Rev Brian Hoole

READ:  Ephesians 4:1-6 

Unity in the Body of Christ 

Chapter 4 

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. 

DISCUSS 

  1. How has your week been?   
  2. How have you seen God at work in your life this week? 
  3. Read the passage again.   
  4. What does this passage tell us about God? 
  5. What do you think ‘the calling’ is? What are the signs or attributes? 
  6. What does this passage tell us about unity? 
  7. What is challenging in this passage? 
  8. Is there anything else the passage is saying to me? 
  9. What am I going to do about it? 
  10.  Who am I going to share it with? 
  11.  Be prepared to share back next week. 

PRAY  

Let us pray 

Father, give me the grace to eagerly seek to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Or to not forget that there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and Father of all. Help me to not forget that you alone are over all, and through all and in all. Lord give me the humility and gentleness, and patience to treat other Christians of any denomination as brothers and sisters in Christ.  

Amen  



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More From 'Sermons'

13th June - God's Commandments.

13 June, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

Exodus 20:2-3;

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

Acts 17:16-34 Paul in Athens

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So, he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Also, some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.” (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) So, they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live-in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortal's life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’

Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” At that point Paul left them. But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

DISCUSS

- How has your week been?

- How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

- Read the passages again.

- What do the passages tell us about God?

- What do the passages tell us about people?

- What do the passages tell us about our relationship with God?

- What is challenging in this passage?

- Is there anything else the passage is saying to me?

- What am I going to do about it?

- Who am I going to share it with?

- Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY 

God the Father, God beyond us, we adore you.You are the depth of all that is.You are the ground of our being.We can never grasp you, yet you grasp us.The universe speaks of you,and your love comes to us through Jesus.God the Son, God beside us, we adore you.You are the perfection of humanity.You have shown us what human life should be like.In you we see divine love and human greatness combined.God the Spirit, God around us, we adore you.You draw us to Jesus and the Father.You are the power within us.You give us abundant lifeand can make us the people we are meant to be.Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:God, beyond, besides, and around us;we adore you. Amen.

from Uniting in Worship 2 (UCA Publications)

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6 June - Girls' lives transformed, God's world enriched.

6 June, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Girls Brigade Vision

GIRLS’ LIVES TRANSFORMED; GOD’S WORLD ENRICHED

[Diagram

Description automatically generated]

The crest is a registered trademark of Girls' Brigade England & Wales. However, all Girls' Brigade companies around the world have the right to use it.

In the centre is a Cross, the symbol of Christ and his Church. Below the cross is a Lamp, which represents the light of the Girls' Brigade shining upon the World. Above it is a Crown, of Christ as King. Behind it all, is a Torch, the flame of Christ's living spirit.

The badge incorporates symbols from the three original organizations and is, therefore, in itself a symbol of union, as well as faith and allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Girls Brigade which formed in Ireland in 1893, brought in the Cross. The Girls' Guildry which formed in 1900 in Scotland, brought in the Lamp. Lastly, the Girls' Life Brigade, which formed in 1902 in England, brought in the Crown. They amalgamated in 1965. A competition was held to design the crest for the amalgamated organisation, it was won by Constance Fasham.

DISCUSS

- How has your week been?

- How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

- Read the passage again.

- How do you relate the reading and the Girls brigade vision?

- The crest helps us understand what it is that transforms lives. What are the parts of crest?

- How do they relate to transformed lives?

- What does this passage tell us about God?

- What does this passage tell us about people?

- What is challenging in this passage?

- Is there anything else the passage is saying to me?

- What am I going to do about it?

- Who am I going to share it with?

- Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY

Oh God who prepared the disciples for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Make our hearts and minds ready, we beseech you, for the indwelling presence of your son Christ our Lord. Grant that the Officers and members of the Girls Brigade may be True and just in all their dealings, modest and Gentle in all their Word's and always loving and kind. Bless all others who Work for the extension of Christ kingdom in the lives of young people, so that finally we may all come to the blessed home through Christ our Lord. Amen

A prayer from the Girl’s Brigade in Zambia

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30th May - We Need Each Other

30 May, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honourable we clothe with greater honour, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honour to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

DISCUSS

- How has your week been?

- How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

- Read the passage again.

- What do you understand by the phrase ‘Christ is like a single body’?

- If you were a body part, what part would it be?

- What does this passage tell us about God?

- What does this passage tell us about the body of Christ?

- What does this passage tell us about people?

- What is challenging in this passage?

- Is there anything else the passage is saying to me?

- What am I going to do about it?

- Who am I going to share it with?

- Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY 

Dear Father, great, good and generous giver,

Thank you for making me part of the body of Christ, his church.

Thank you that there are no unimportant parts to the body.

Thank you that all of us are interconnected and interdependent.

We have a variety of gifts from you, but all have the same spirit.

We have varieties of service, but all have the same Lord, Jesus Christ.

We have various ways of working, but it is you, O God, who inspires all of it. Your spirit apportions your gifts as he wishes.

Thank you for every sign of your power and goodness.

And thank you for every graciousness shown to me personally.

In the name of Jesus, the head of the body, I pray.

Amen.

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