I've got the rare opportunity to do a 2-part series with one of the churches in the circuit. They're a smaller congregation, but the are faithful, and active, and proved to be excellent company yesterday morning.
Part one, yesterday, was titled "Mountain High", and in a few weeks I'll be back to do part two "Valley Low."
Let us take a moment to thank Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell for the title:
This morning's sermon for my trial service to become a Methodist Local Preacher "On Trial".
While I have been preaching for a while, I'm not officially qualified to preach within the Methodist Church. This is the second level (should I pass following reflection on today's service.).
Tried to do something different with this one. No point in staying with what's safe, or sticking to what I'm good at... The chance for feedback was too good!
It's embarrassing. I have no idea what I'm supposed to be asking for forgiveness for!
It was a simple enough question really.
"In Jesus' encounter with the woman of Samaria at the well, what does Jesus mean when he talks of worshipping 'in spirit and in truth'? What does that look like for us?"
It's been a while since I played a proper game of poker.
I have only ever properly played Texas Hold-em, and whilst I rarely walked away the victor, I wouldn't say I was bad at it.
The problem I have is that I'm unpredictable, and because of that I risked too much. Maybe my character means I am guilty of going "All-in" too often, and the problem comes when someone calls your bluff, or the cards don't fall your way, or you misread your cards, or you are just outdone by someone else.
Some of you might not be aware that I've started the journey into becoming a certified Methodist Local Preacher. It really is as exciting as it sounds.
I met with my tutor earlier this week, and one of our discussion topics was the following quote from John Killinger (1985; Fundamentals of Preaching, London:SCM):
It's been a while since I wrote my Honours dissertation, and nearly as long since I read it, but from memory, I'm still committed to the baseline principle:
We all watch things, and we all need to be able to understand what we're watching.
note: people will have got here before me…
I present thoughts as they come from my head, without having consciously borrowed anyone else’s thinking!
It came to me in a meeting the other day. It’s only a partial revelation, but here it is:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Did you see it too? In case you missed it:
Shepherds went to see Jesus.
But you knew that right? How about reading it this way:
Shepherds went to see the Son of God.
And? OK, let’s try one more time:
Shepherds went to see the Lamb of God.
But why does that matter? Does it matter? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, maybe you’ve thought this through already, but here’s my train of thought…
Today was an induction day to the District along with all the other newbies, and the Chair of the District kicked off the day with a reflection on the following story from the New Testament (The Message version, Matthew 9-10):
DISCLAIMER: I am a huge believer in the power of God to speak to each of us through contemporary culture. I believe he uses the things that the world offers us to allow us a "Thin Place" to meet with him: that through these cultural moments he shows us glimpses of Himself, our potential, and of His purpose and Kingdom.
As far as music goes, I'm a Spotify kind of guy. I have been for a while now. The wife and I don't even own a CD player, though we're recently upgraded to a car that has one... Yes, you read that right... We had a cassette player in the old one! In fact, due to the fact that we were struggling to find cassettes with new music on, we found that it was easiest to plug in Spotify through my phone.
Remarcable is one man blogging about Youth Work, Theology, Family, Life and those other random things that come to mind.