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<< March 2018

April 2018

Sunday 1st April 2018 Easter Day
09:00Thought for today
James' introduction to todays readings.

Introduction
Good, but unexpected news is difficult to take in and believe. The Resurrection was a world changing, unique event. The women came to the tomb, expecting to find the brutalised, dead body of Jesus. Instead theythey found an empty tomb, and an angeloffering wonderful but unbelievablenews.

Jesus had risen;sin and death have been conquered; evilhad been ultimately defeated; love had won the day. Love, looking defeated,was victorious! But these first witnesses were so shocked. In time, Jesus’ first followers would relate the empty tombto the visions of theprophets, like the one in today’s first reading, of a holy mountain, a community of peace and mutual thriving of all creation, held in God’s love, no more tears, no more death. But for now, they were struck with fear in which hope was beginning to dawn.

By the time when St Peter stood up and witnessed to the Resurrection the good news had had time to sink in. Peter had been forgiven for deserting and denying Jesus, and renewed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. In the reading from the Acts, we hear the transforms Peter boldly proclaim the Good News.

Like Peter, it is the work of the Church to continue to live and proclaim the Good News in word and deed. In our worship today, let us receive the Good News with deepening, empowering joy, in the Lord’s Holy Word, and in the risen life of Jesus coming to us in bread and wine.
10:30Sunday Morning Eucharist at 1030am
Monday 2nd April 201800:00See pictures of Church on Easter Sunday.
Tuesday 3rd April 201809:30Morning Communion Service
Sunday 8th April 201809:00Thought for today
James' introduction to todays readings.

Introduction
An essential element of the way of life of a Christian is to be part of a living, worshiping, serving community, bound together in the love of Jesus. A model of such a community is offered to us in our first reading. Such an arrangement of community served the church well in its early days, and has since manifested in Christian Religious Communities like the Sisters of Hyning. But given the circumstances of ordinary life, a community like that outlined in Acts would not prove practical for the majority of Christians in the long term. But the same principles of love, unity, support, learning, witnessing and sacrificial sharing should apply in the many diverse ways that churches have organised over the centuries. Part of the danger of withdrawal from the community of faith, which is common for western Christians today, is that faith remains fixed and sterile, and absentees miss opportunities to grow. This was the situation with Thomas, who for some reason was absent, and missed the life changing experience of the risen Lord. This proved a huge learning experience for him. Thomas rejoined the group and the following Sunday brought a revelation to Thomas that changed him and his life. In our worship here this morning may we meet with our risen Lord and his help to be a living, worshiping, serving community, bound together in the love of Jesus.

Reflection

If the risen Lord Jesus came and stood amongst us, what would he be glad to find? What would he be sad to find? What would you say to him? What would he say to us?
If he came into your home and stood with you, what would he be glad to find? What would he be sad to find? What would you say to him? What would he say to you?


10:30Sunday Morning Eucharist at 1030am
Tuesday 10th April 201809:30Morning Communion Service
19:00Guided Prayer group meet at St Anne's
Wednesday 11th April 201818:00Back to Brigade
Sunday 15th April 201809:00Thought for today
James' introduction to todays readings.
10:30Sunday Morning Eucharist at 1030am
Tuesday 17th April 201809:30Morning Communion Service
Sunday 22nd April 201809:00Thought for today
James' introduction to todays readings.

Introduction
In today’s Gospel Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd, we the Church are his sheep. Unlike the British shepherd, the middle eastern shepherd leads from the front and hopes his/her flock will follow. Jesus hopes that, we his sheep, will follow. He declares in the Gospel: ‘They will listen to my voice’
Do we: personally, as a church, as the world?

If not, then who or what does lead us? Who or what influences us?

In our first reading we hear a little of the life of the very early Church. Were they listening, hearing, following? We hear about Peter, healed from the devastation of his denials, act with courage and faith in the danger of hostility.

May our worship together open and strengthen us to listen, hear, and follow.

Reflection
Ask, how do I feel when I hear or read these words from Jesus: ‘They will listen to my voice’?
Do I, does St Mark's, does the world listen, hear and follow?
If not, what do I intend to do about it?

In first century Palestine, there were many competing shepherds: Romans, Greeks, Pharisees, Sadducees, social class groupings, family norms, Zealots (Jewish terrorist groups)… in our own day there are also many competing shepherds: our families, our work place, our social class, our national norms, our prejudices, different media, Face book friends and bullies…Ask, who leads me? Where does Jesus stand in me, in the array of potential Shepherds?

What signs can I see, or have felt of Jesus being the shepherd of St Mark's. Are we listening to, and listening to his voice?


10:30Sunday Morning Eucharist at 1030am
Tuesday 24th April 201809:30Morning Communion Service
Sunday 29th April 201809:00Thought for today
James' introduction to todays readings.

Introduction

Our Gospel Reading today describes us as branches of Jesus, the grape vine. We are all joined to Jesus and dependant on him for our life, and feeding. As branches of the one vine, we are also joined to each other; interdependent. Apart from the vine, we wither and die. To thrive we need pruning. To prune people means clearingall that blocks out the life of Christ, and the activities that sap our energy, attention andtime away from loving andserving him. Freed, we can then bear spiritual fruit like kindness, gentleness, generosity, humility… and the all important love that St John describes in our second reading. Such a focus in loving and serving Christ meant that when the infant church in Jerusalem was ravaged and dispersed, followers like Philip kept oncourageouslyloving and serving. His love for all and desire to serve led to him accompanying the Ethiopian along his journey of faith, and the foundation of the Ethiopian church.

Reflection

What might be the clutter of your life, that comes between you and Jesus, preventing you from receiving his life through worship, the sacraments, prayer, scripture and fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ?
What is disabling you from loving and serving Christ? Common impediments to us serving and loving Christ include the love of money,worldly ambition and status, self-centredness, jealousy and envy, but there are many others…

10:30Sunday Morning Eucharist at 1030am
<< March 2018