28 March - Jesus the Lord: Humble and riding a donkey.

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28 March, 2021Rev Brian Hoole

Jesus's entry into Jerusalem is recorded in all four gospels and marks the beginning of Easter week.  


READ: Mark 11:1-11 

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 


Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, 

“Hosanna! 

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 

Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! 

Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 

Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.  


 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 Jesus? 
  5. What does this passage tell us about the Father? 
  6. What does it tell us about our relationship with Him? 
  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 


Lord Jesus Christ, we praise you with heart and life and voice, not only with outward signs such as palm branches or the occasional “Hosanna”, but with lives truly turned towards you. It seems such a distance from this Palm Sunday in Australia to that day when you entered Jerusalem with the shouts of the crowd ringing in your ears. Welcomed as a king, yet riding on a lowly donkey. Greeted with cheers and acclamations that were so soon to turn to jeers and condemnation. From this side of the resurrection, we confidently believe that we could never have been part of the jeering crowd - but would we, if we had been there? 

silent reflection  

Lord Jesus Christ, when our words and actions reflect a reluctance to confess you publicly as Lord of our lives: 

   Forgive us. 

When we fear that humbling ourselves, would be seen by others as weakness, some kind of defect in our character: 

    Forgive us.                 

When we have betrayed your love for us through our lack of love for you, for others, and for ourselves: 

    Forgive us.                 

When we find ourselves glossing over the events of your passion and death because we look forward to Easter as a time to enjoy holidays and have fun. 

   Forgive us.                  

 Lord Jesus Christ, fix your mind in us;  

   remake us in your likeness; 

empty us of all that hinders us from following you to where pain and suffering, exploitation and injustice exist. 

Gracious and loving God, empower us with the Holy Spirit so that our lives continually glorify you and 

   our tongues forever confess Jesus as Lord.  

This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen  




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11 April - We are God's Children

11 April, 2021 Rev Peter Armstrong

READ: JOHN 20:19-31

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe." 26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

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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 Jesus?

5. What does this passage tell us about the disciples?

6. What does it tell us about our relationship with Him?

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

We gather here as a fellowship of people who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord. One of the major marks of this fellowship is the sense of joy we experience as we gather to worship God, to give thanks for Jesus Christ and to witness to the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Yet, we admit that there are times when we feel afraid, abandoned, and lonely; when faith leads to doubt and questions rather than a sense of joy or peace of mind. Lord Jesus Christ, unlike those first disciples, we cannot touch you or see you, and so it is all too easy to become downcast and given to despair.

Forgive us when, like the disciples, we find the truth of Easter hard to believe.

Come to us, risen Christ, come through the closed doors of our hearts and minds and take away our fears and doubts; Come to us, risen Christ, breathe on us and fill us with the joy and peace of your presence.

Bless us all as people who have not seen you, but who believe that you are truly the risen Christ, Son of God. Amen

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18 April - God Calls Us into Community

10 April, 2021 Rev 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

- How has your week been?

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

- Read the passage again.

- What does this passage tell us about God?

- What do you think ‘the calling’ is? What are the signs or attributes?

- What does this passage tell us about unity?

- 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 

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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4th April - Easter Sunday.

4 April, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ: Mark 16:1-8

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

DISCUSS

- How has your week been?

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

- Read the passage again.

- What does this passage tell us about Jesus?

- What does this passage tell us about the Father?

- What does it tell us about our relationship with Him?

- 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

Let us pray

Yours is the glory, O God, for raising Jesus from the darkness of death.

Yours is the glory, O Christ, for being prepared, to conquer death and give us the gift of eternal life.

And, as if that were not enough, you greet us by name, as you greeted Mary in the garden, and transform our lives forever with your Easter life.

Risen Lord, we worship and adore you; and we pray that the Holy Spirit, your life in us, will so transform us to your image, that we radiate your glory here, through our rejoicing and praise, and in all the places where people's lives are still affected by the powers of death and sin.

Yours is the glory, O God, for showing us the human face of your love in Jesus, your Son, our risen Lord.

Yours is the glory, risen Lord Jesus, and we rejoice that 'endless is the victory that you over death have won'. Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Christ is risen indeed! Amen

Connect with the Sermon and our Worship Service on our YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3FKu0AdcO-Y4nR_BgxZC4A/

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