26 April - Saul (Paul)

26 April, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

People on a Journey – Saul (Paul)

LISTEN & WATCH (songs, sermon & video)

Service + Playlist: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkvRvo473R5hSmFo2u2jCHEGkXdR1Wr1P

00:00 - Welcome

1:00 - Prayers of the People

3:00 - Bible Reading

5:56 - Sermon

20:01 - Prayer of Reflection

READ

Acts 9: 1 - 20

Saul was a Jew, born in Tarsus and brought up in Jerusalem. As a Pharisee, he had been taught strict laws and hated followers of Jesus. He tried to destroy the new movement of Jesus followers on behalf of the Jewish authorities and went from house to house searching for believers to throw in jail. Many of these followers were executed and Saul was happy that they were killed. He even travelled abroad to hunt down the followers of Jesus. Saul was a fanatic, a fundamentalist who believed that there was no room for change or other points of view. That all changed on the road to Damascus...

In this passage, we read about Saul’s experience of meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus which leaves him blinded needing care from his friends and healing from Ananias. After his experience he joins the disciples preaching Jesus was the Son of God, amazing everyone who knew him and leading many Gentiles to Christ. Later he was known as Paul and authored many of the letters in the New Testament.

SHARE

About how you are feeling. What is the best/worst thing about last week? When have you felt God close/far away? Where have you seen God at work in your or someone else’s life?

TALK

- How do you think Saul felt when Jesus spoke to him? Scared? Confused? How do you think you would feel if God spoke directly to you in this way?

- Saul seemed to know that it was the voice of Jesus immediately. Is that a surprise?

- Can you describe a time when you think that God might have been speaking to you?

- Do you think the three-day time is significant? If so, why?

- In verse 10-14 God speaks to Ananias. He tells him to go to Straight Street and find Saul.

- How would you feel if you were Ananias?

- Do you think both Saul and Ananias were ‘blind’ to what God could do?

- Saul was not a Jesus believer, was actively persecuting people and having them killed, yet God chose him to do his work. How do you feel about that?

- Do you think it’s possible for people to radically change like this today?

- Do you think there are some people who will never change? If so, why?

- What do you think God might be telling you through this passage?

- What are you going to do about it?

PRAY

Pray about the things that God has spoken to you about today, and how you might do what he calls you to do. Also pray for each other’s sharing points.

You might also like to say this reflective prayer together as a group, or by yourself.

Reflective Prayer

Journeys were never straightforward in your company, Lord.

A bumpy road to Bethlehem, a swift exit to Egypt,

a hard road to a hill of death.

Those journeys your companions would rather not repeat.

But the stumble to a tomb, the long trek to Emmaus, the mountain climb to an eternal promise.

Those we would walk again and again and again.

And this journey, today, Lord, though it is often uneven, often hasty, often tough,

we choose to do it again and again and again.

For we remember how you sent us out with next to nothing for the sake of everything.

We remember how you bid us go with only our faith to win the world for you.

We remember how you promised always to travel with us.

And this journey ahead, Lord, though it will challenge how we act,

change how we serve, transform how we live,

we choose to do it again and again and again.

In your company, Lord,

we go forward.

Amen.

Material adapted from Spill the Beans, Issue 7 © 2013 Spill the Beans Resource Team [www.spillbeans.org.uk](http://www.spillbeans.org.uk/)

FAITH5 © Faith Inkubators. All Rights Reserved [www.faithink.com](http://www.faithink.com/) [www.faith5.org](http://www.faith5.org/)

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April 19 - John 20:19-31

19 April, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

Thomas

Youtube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkvRvo473R5jIizacTmEa-8ljW_leQZm_

Youtube Sermon only: https://youtu.be/Bv_ZA0VGLIY

READ

John 20:19-31

In this passage we read about Jesus appearing to his disciples, and Thomas not believing them until he saw Jesus himself. He tells them “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were… I will not believe”. Jesus then appears to Thomas, and he gets the opportunity to see with his own eyes and touch with his own hands. Jesus responds saying “because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”.

TALK

- What is something that you have had to see or experience to believe?

- Why were the disciples hiding?

- Are there times you feel like that?

- When the disciples met Jesus they rejoiced. Why?

- What are things you rejoice about ?

- What did Jesus offer his disciples?

- Is doubt the opposite of belief or a part of belief?

- Why does John say that he wrote down these signs?

- What do you believe about Jesus?

- What do you have doubts about?

- What do you think the Lord is telling you today? What are you going to do about it?

PRAY

Pray with and for each other

BLESS

Use the below prayer of blessing as a communal prayer of blessing for and with each other

Prayer of Blessing

When we are closed door people passive and inert.

When we are doubting people full of ‘mights’ and ‘maybes’.

When we are dubious people suspicious of change.

Bless us, Lord, and believe in us.

When we dismiss the bleeding of those we do not recognise.

When we seek a quick fix for the world while covering up our own wounds.

When we exclude others through our own ignorance.

Bless us, Lord, and believe in us.

When we demand hard evidence and concrete signs.

When we can’t see the ‘would’ for a tree of death.

When it takes all our effort to suspend belief.

Bless us, Lord, and believe in us.

And when the penny drops and realisation dawns

and seeing and touching and hearing and knowing

and accepting and declaring becomes believing.

Bless us, Lord, and believe in us.

Amen.

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April 12 - John 20:1-18

12 April, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/WKETQ4jTGfE

Youtube + Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtkEYMS3ECEYwWAbUmcLkEKh7pG2536P6

I have Seen the Lord

READ

John 20:1-18

In this passage, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb and finds the stone removed and Jesus body not there. While crying in the garden, she encounters Jesus and then goes to tell the others that she has seen the Lord.

TALK

- How do you think Mary would have felt in the garden when she found the empty tomb? And after her encounter with Jesus?

- What do you think the other disciples thought when they heard what Mary told them? How do you think they celebrated?

- What do you usually do in your house to celebrate Easter?

- What stands out for you in this passage?

- What do you think this passage tells us about God/Jesus?

- Who will you share this story with today? How? What will you tell them?

Alleluia poster

This activity reflects the Alleluia chorus in the Statement of Faith in today’s sermon recording.

What you'll need: printed alleluia poster sheets, colouring pens, pencils or crayons, sticky tape.

Print out the attached pages for the Alleluia Poster. Have one person colour each part of the poster and then cut and stick the pieces together to create a communal art piece. Hand the artwork in a window or on a wall so that you or your neighbours can see it. Say together the Statement of Faith, and remember that Jesus is risen, Alleluia!

Statement of Faith, Alleluia Chorus

Leader: We believe before birds begin to sing God can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Leader: We believe when tombstones roll God can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Leader: We believe when dawn breaks God can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Leader: We believe when resurrection comes God can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Leader: We believe when the gardener returns to the garden Mary can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Leader: We believe when the angel folds the grave-clothes Peter can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Leader: We believe when Jesus enters the room Andrew can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Leader: We believe when Jesus shows his wounds Thomas can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Leader: We believe when Emmaus is reached Cleopas can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Leader: We believe when there are no other words to use Heaven can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Leader: We believe when Easter day arrives, we can only shout

All: Alleluia!

Alleluia Poster © 2020 Illustrated Ministry, LLC. All rights reserved. [www.illustratedministry.com](http://www.illustratedministry.com/)

Prayer of Confession and Statement of Faith from Spill the Beans, Issue 7 © 2013 Spill the Beans Resource Team [www.spillbeans.org.uk](http://www.spillbeans.org.uk/)

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5 April 2020 - Luke 19:28-40

30 March, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

The Stones will Cry

Sermon Link on Youtube

https://youtu.be/Y5tgGyMEwtY

Youtube Playlist + Sermon

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtkEYMS3ECEZOOapD98EC5BAn7pAmIqKp

Read: Luke 19:28-40

Here’s what happens…

In this passage, we read about the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem one week before his crucifixion and death. Jesus of Nazareth enters Jerusalem riding on a borrowed donkey while a crowd of disciples spread their cloaks on the road and call out “Blessed is the king who come in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in Heaven and glory in the highest!”

When the Pharisees ask Jesus to rebuke his disciples, he simply replies “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out”.

Talk About…

- · What do you notice in this passage?

- · How do you picture the scene in v 35-38? What do you see, hear, feel?

- · What do you think Jesus reply to the Pharisees in v 39-40 implies?

- · What does this passage teach us about God? What does this teach about us?

- · What do you think God is saying to you through this?

- · What are you going to do about it? Who are you going to tell?

Prayer

Take turns saying a line, or paragraph of this prayer as a communal prayer of Praise

Hosanna!

Hosanna!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the Highest.

Lord we praise your holy name,

lifting high our supporters’ scarfs

emblazoned with Jesus,

to honour him,

to worship him

and to glorify your name.

Jesus,

Jesus,

we raise our flags and banners

to proclaim your greatness,

to crown you as king of our hearts

and to bring glory to your name.

Hosanna,

hosanna,

we shout your praises,

we declare our songs of victory,

and experience joy

in our triumphal march

toward your kingdom,

to bring peace in your name.

Jesus,

Jesus,

we enjoy this moment of togetherness,

united as one people of God,

declaring your name without fear,

to bring about your kingdom here on

earth.

Hosanna!

Hosanna!

Blessed is he

who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the Highest.

Amen.

Prayer from Spill the Beans, Issue 7, Palm Sunday © 2013 Spill the Beans Resource Team [www.spillbeans.org.uk](http://www.spillbeans.org.uk/)

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29 March 2020 - John 12:1-8

29 March, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

Heaven Scent

Read: John 12:1-8

Here’s what happens…

Here in the house of Lazarus, who Jesus previously raised from the dead, we are invited to witness a model of discipleship beyond words and understanding. Mary, sister of Martha, anoints Jesus with expensive perfume and wipes his feet with her hair. When Judas rebukes her wasteful actions, Jesus tells him to leave her alone saying “you will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me”.

Mary’s unusual action offers a very clear picture of her deep and extravagant love for Jesus. Mary seemed to know what was coming. Maybe she had been paying attention to what Jesus had been saying or maybe she just knew that it was time. Whatever was happening, spending time with Jesus had changed her, and it showed in her actions.

Talk About…

Do you think Mary’s actions were wasteful? Why?

How do you think Jesus might have felt at this time?

How would you have felt if you had been in Jesus’ place? In Mary’s place? In Judas’ place?

What would you happily spend a year’s wages on?

What could you give up to devote something of equal significance to God?

What do you think God is saying to you through this? What are you going to do about it?

Prayer

Take turns saying a line, or paragraph of this prayer as a communal prayer of thanksgiving and intercession

God, for the powerful aroma of coffee that brings us gently into the world, or kick-starts our day, we thank and praise you.

Yet we are reminded of those who toiled in the fields for us, who harvested the beans for next to nothing.

We pray for those who exploited the vulnerable to give us our awakening.

May you, O God, arouse in us a heart for justice that we might fight for fair trade in our world.

God, we thank you for the smell of freshly baked bread, that reaches out into the streets,

warming us, tempting us to taste and eat more than we know is good for us.

We thank you for the variety of choices we have and for giving to us our daily bread.

Yet we understand there are those who have no bread: people who are hungry, destitute, or refugees.

We think of those in places where harvests have failed and famine prevails, where war and terrorism stops supplies,

or raging inflation makes bread a rich man’s food.

May you, O God, arouse in us a heart of compassion, that we might share what we have,

and be willing to feed the hungry as you challenged us to do.

God, we thank you for the sweet smell of perfume and aftershave, as it titillates our senses, arouses our desires,

and makes us feel confident and luxurious.

Yet, Lord, we know of its extravagant cost, and what other things the money could have been used for:

an increase in our offerings, a charitable donation, a meal for the homeless people we try to ignore?

Help us Lord, to be as extravagant with our love, as Mary was, who gave her all for you.

These things we ask in Jesus name.

Amen.

Material adapted from Spill the Beans, Issue 7, Lent 5 © 2013 Spill the Beans Resource Team www.spillbeans.org.uk

Sing...

Access this weeks worship playlist on:

[Sermon on Youtube](https://youtu.be/LmkLUvCwkhE)

[Contemporary Worship Playlist with Sermon](https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtkEYMS3ECEYD6CFp77lXOxXSjqpXGtc1)

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22 March 2020 – Luke 15:1-32

22 March, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

Lost and Found

Read: Luke 15:1-32

Here’s what happens…

In these parables, Jesus is giving pictures of God. In the first, the shepherd leaves the rest of his sheep to diligently search for the one that is lost. In the second, a woman spends her days earnestly searching for a coin. In the last, a son stays home with his father and tends the farm, while the other goes off and squanders his inheritance. When he returns, he is welcomed with open arms, in spite of his previous behaviour. Through these, Jesus shows us that God yearns for us to be in relationship with him. Like the shepherd, woman and father, He won’t stop at anything to find us, draw us back, and welcome us home.

Talk About…

- Have you ever found something precious that was lost? Did you celebrate, and how?

- Choose a character and identify what they might have been thinking and feeling at each point of these stories?

- Which character do you most identify with?

- How do the parables of the Lost sheep, and lost Coin compare to the Lost son? Which role does God play in each?

- What do you think God is saying to you through this? What are you going to do about it?

Sing...

Access this weeks worship playlist on [YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvouGOM9n4jhiASKwdfbzoc-BWw9q78Rj&fbclid=IwAR2nK4_WdR3EhyMVoRxEEuklv5mxT2REnk-Lrf_yLP-WfDrxcwU8g9m0K2M) or [Spotify](https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0O1kbFp3AOQKLVVu2tSdYm?fbclid=IwAR32xcjqD38Z1gTjBSKuglAshtp5x9IEVnVWkJruKjTBDtp-47Qf6YmRjdU)

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8 March 2020 - Lent 1

8 March, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

Read: Luke 4:1-13

Here’s what happens…

Luke’s account of Jesus’ temptation makes it clear that Jesus was a great leader who deliberately went to the place of testing, who stood up to severe temptation and won! Jesus the Messiah was not in it for himself: he was in it for God and for the people, for us.

Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness. That’s five weeks. On his own. All alone. The conversation Jesus had with Satan during this time is all about power. Satan tells Jesus “You could have all this…” Power was the root of the temptation Jesus faced. But instead of being swayed by Satan (as we may be), Jesus spent his time in the wilderness listening to God and working out what God wanted him to do. God has plans for all of us. He has things for us to do.

Lent is often a time when people give up something they enjoy, like chocolate, to share a little in Jesus’ experience of 40 days in the wilderness with nothing. Jesus’ time alone wasn’t just about giving things up, it was about getting ready and listening to God.

Talk About…

- Share about a time that you have been alone. (Asleep in bed does not really count!)

- What is the longest time you have been alone?

- What would you do if you ruled the world? What would you change? And why? Do you think this would make the world a better place or a worse place? Why?

- Have you ever been tempted?

- What helped you to overcome the temptation, or what made you succumb?

- What do you think you could do during Lent that would help you be more aware of God? Or help other people?

- What could you ‘give up’ or ‘start doing’ during lent, to help you focus on getting ready and listening to God?

- What do you think God is saying to you through this? What are you going to do about it?

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