June 2019

Sunday 2nd June:  Easter 7:  John 17 20-23

I am not asking on behalf of them alone, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.  I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that you sent me and have loved them just as You have loved me.

These verses come from the third part of Jesus’ prayer before his arrest.  In it he prayed for himself, his disciples and for all who would become his followers throughout the ages – including us.  He prayed that we ‘may all be one’.  Christian unity doesn’t mean uniformity.  There are many ways of worshipping God.  Jesus was praying that we are at one in our belief in the saving power of his death an d resurrection, our commitment to spread that good news and our love for one another.  That kind of love wants the best for all and transcends earthly divisions.

How can we become more united in our Christian relationships?   How can we best show our love for one another?

 

Sunday June 9th: Pentecost:  Acts 2 1-8

When the day of Pentecost came, the believers were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.  And when this sound rang out, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking his own language.  Astounded and amazed, they asked, “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?  How is it then that each of us hears them in his own native language?

Ten days after Jesus’ ascension into heaven the disciples received the coming of his Holy Spirit.  It was an amazing experience which changed them from frightened men into people who could proclaim the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to the world, convincing people that Jesus came to save each one of them.  Jesus promised to send that Holy Spirit to each of us, giving us the gifts we need to do God’s work here.

What gifts has the Holy Spirit given you?  Ask him to reveal them to you and give you the strength and guidance to use them in his service.

 

16th June:  Trinity Sunday:  John 16 12-15

I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come.  He will glorify me by taking from what is mine and disclosing it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is mine and disclose it to you.

 Last week we heard how the Holy Spirit came to the disciples. The Spirit is alive and active in our world today and comes to different people in different ways.  He gives his truth to us through our prayer, worship and bible study, but also in nature, art, music, poetry and in the words of other people.  When Handel wrote the Alleluia Chorus he says ‘I saw the heavens opened and God sitting on the throne’

How has God’s truth been revealed to you?  How can we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal his truth to others through us?

 

23th June:  Trinity 1:  Luke 9 23-25

Then Jesus said to all of them, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose or forfeit his very self?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels

Jesus calls us to “take up our cross” and follow him.  We are to follow him with total commitment, trusting him whatever may happen to us.  We must deny ‘self’ and give our all to him.  It is about what we can put into our Christianity and not what we can get out of it.  We are also called not to be ashamed of our faith, but proud to follow Christ.

What must you deny yourself to follow Jesus?  Ask him to help you surrender it all to him.  Have you ever been ashamed (or embarrassed) to be a Christian?

 

30th June:  Trinity 2:  Luke 9 57-62

As they were walking along the road, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”  Then He said to another man, “Follow Me.” The man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  But Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. You, however, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”  Still another said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first let me bid farewell to my family. “Then Jesus declared, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Some of Jesus’ words here sound harsh, so what did he mean?  To the first man he was stressing that to be a Christian entails a cost.  Never think it will be easy!  The second man was probably looking ahead to the end of his father’s life.  He was putting off making a commitment to Jesus.  The longer we put off a decision, the less likely we are to make it!  Jesus said to the third man that once he had made a decision to follow him, there was no looking back.

How committed are you

  • To accepting the cost of Christian discipleship?
  • To making a commitment now and meaning it?
  • To sticking to your decision throughout your life?




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