Resurrection Stories. 4. 29 April 2018

Reinstated John 21: 15-19

There is the neat counter-balancing of Peter being asked three times by Jesus against the three times that Peter denies Jesus prior to His death. And there is the prophetic bit about the way Peter will be martyred because of his faith. But what always gets me as being so very beautiful about this passage is that Jesus not only wipes the slate clean for Peter but He gives him a crucial job in (“Feed my sheep” v.7) and this is based on love. Jesus trusts Peter. He believes in him.
He believes in us.
Peter messed up. We mess up.
Peter is forgiven. We are forgiven.
Peter says he loves Jesus. Do we love Jesus in the same way?
Peter is restored in this way because he has work to do. We are restored in
this way because we have work to do.
And by the way – notice this all happens after they have eaten together.

Resurrection Stories 3. 22 April 2018

“Believing” Thomas. John 20: 19-29

Usually we call him doubting Thomas. And yet he cries “My Lord and my God!”. He needs a different way to encounter the risen Jesus. Jesus offers him a multi-sensory/touchy-feely/scientific way of finding out for himself. So, read this and permit yourself to believe in the way that works for you so that you can say with Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”
Are there any areas in your faith where you need to explore a little bit more/where you need more proof?
And then look at what the object of our faith has to say when He arrives in the room! Jesus “stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” (v.26).

What greetings do we offer to people? What do we bring into each situation? Is it peace?

Resurrection Stories 2. 15 April 2018

Welcome the Risen Lord. Luke 24:13-43

I find this episode so exciting and yet at the same time quite baffling. How did they not recognise him? The question intrigues me but I think it is of more importance for us to concern ourselves with the question of why we don’t recognise Jesus in our lives and the lives around us.
I believe that what happens here between Jesus and his friends can help us to do this. What can we pick up on here?
– first of all Jesus listens.
– second he is able to give a Bible explanation.
– hospitality leads to revelation. In the breaking of bread and the eating of fish they see Jesus for who he is. They get a glimpse of Him as He breaks bread. Simple and sudden, surprising.
– and there is a continuing theme of disbelief on the part of Jesus’ followers. We should not let our doubts cloud our vision.

In response to what this passage is saying it would be great if we gave more importance to food fellowship as a time when we might glimpse Jesus. When did you last invite someone to eat/drink with you?

And finally, a powerful factor for the Emmaus disciples is hindsight (verse 32).
Look back and be spurred on by high points, heart burning moments, on your
walk with Jesus.

Resurrection Stories: 1. 8 April 2018

Mary and the gardener. John 20:11-18

Mistaken identity is the stuff of comedies and mystery drama. But here it is a profound expression of grief and confusion and maybe also a sign of the awesome mystery of God.
According to John, Mary Magdalene is first to meet the risen Jesus.
As you read these verses, try to imagine how Mary must have been feeling. How have you felt when experiencing a deep sense of loss? Is it hard then to recognise even some familiar things?
Mary is grief-stricken, she has lost a friend and mentor who has enabled her to feel part of things, enabled her to feel fulfilment and self-worth. But when all is lost and she can’t think straight she hears Jesus utter her name. She is once again, affirmed; she once again has hope. Mary is “resurrected” by the resurrected Jesus.

Think about how important it is to know that we are called by God, as individuals, by name. And how important it is that we call others by their name, that we show that concern and recognition that we see in Jesus.

Learning from Micah: Chapter 7

Week 6 Sunday 18th March
Chapter 7.

What are we like?

  • Dissatisfied and unfulfilled (verse 1)
  • Good people can seem scarce (verse 2)
  • Full of enmity (verse 2)
  • We are good at doing the wrong thing (verse 3)
  • Corrupt (verse 3)
  • We abuse power (verse 3)
  • Not to be trusted (verse 5)
  • Our families are full of disharmony (verse 6)

What is God like?

  • Our light (verse 8)
  • He judges (verse 9)
  •  He makes a fair assessment of our lives (verse 9)
  • He deals with the wicked (verse 10)
  •  He restores and brings added value (verse 11)
  • He is to be feared and respected (verses 14-17)
  • He is incomparable (verse 18)
  • He forgives (verse 18)
  • His anger does not last (verse 18)
  • He prefers to show mercy (verse 18)
  • He is compassionate (verse 19)

What should we be like?

  • Trusting in God and waiting, safe in the knowledge that he loves us and will save us from ourselves and others (verse 7).

Micah says:
“But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.”