Pete doesn't talk about guinea pigs, but about sporting grand finals and the race that God has already run for us.
Our society puts enormous pressure on us to have more and more possessions, consuming them in order to find contentment and security. Jesus - through Paul - invites us to beware the lure of worldly wealth and to take seriously his promise that we can have treasure in heaven, finding contentment and richness in lives of love and generosity.
Can these bones live? They were the words God asked Ezekiel the prophet when He looked on the corrupt state of Israel. Some may be asking the same of the church today. Yet God told Ezekiel to speak his Word over the dry bones and they miraculously came to life. Even today God is bringing new life to people through the words about Jesus risen from the dead. It is because of such a hope for the world that Jesus sends the church out to preach good news. There is much rejoicing to come.
On this Father’s Day you may be one of the fortunate who receive a hand-made card or gift from your child. Kids bring joy to us with their unself-conscious creativity and their earnest desire to give tokens of love.
When did the rest of us stop doing this? And why?
Could it be that in this area, too, we can learn from the children and experience God’s Kingdom in fresh ways?
Its is a joy for us to baptise Joshua Trainor this morning.
It’s not the first time people have brought children to Jesus asking them him to bless them. Indeed Jesus illustrates that is how we all must come to him. Not with our power, our goodness, or our credentials.
The kingdom of God belongs to the least, the lost and the little.
It’s for those who have nothing to give to it.
It’s what Jesus gives that matters.
Adi and Jim talk about how our words have the potential to bring life or to take life. God leads us to bless others with our words and thoughts. Jim talks about his journey and how God has washed away the effects that words and circumstances have had on his life.
From the earliest days of his ministry Jesus called followers.
He gathered people around him to learn what he was doing so that they might continue his ministry of the Kingdom of God.
It was however never apart from him because Jesus knew that his followers didn’t just need training - they also need power. He has promised to be that power for the church if we abide in him. Jesus calls lifelong worshipers, but he also says I will be with you even to the ends of the age. Listening to his voice is the key to discipleship.
Caring for the poor is one of the major themes of the Bible. God showed Moses that He ‘defends the cause of the fatherless, the widows and foreigner living among you” (Deut 10:18). It is one of the identifying markers of the church that Jesus built. Jesus even used our care for the poor as a indicator of our faith in him in his end-time parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt 25:31-46). Today we will hear about the ministry of Mukti Australia, and meet Malvika Akhade and Chhaya Mhankale from the Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission (PRMM) in India. We will see how Jesus transforms lives and communities through the care of his people. May it inspire us to be a people who really do care for the poor.
Reading through the Bible we discover that the church is a very different community from those around them. The early church saw themselves as aliens and exiles in the world (1 Peter 2:11) but citizen of heaven (Phil 3:20) with a deep love for God’s world and the people around them. They saw themselves as Spirit empowered servants of God, a sign of the kingdom of God, and ministers of reconciliation and justice.
Which makes me think? Is what we do, what we call church today what Jesus has in mind?
I think Yes and No.
We live in different days and although we have the same Spirit and the mind of Christ we need to let him constantly renew us. And he will as we continue to be a people focused on Jesus.