Updated: Mar 29
Some thoughts, resources, links & content to support Sunday life... remembering that tomorrow gives us time changes, and a lost hour & bright morning light: sign in at 1030 on our church facebook if you can. COVID-19 keys into our deepest fears: what seems beautiful, the bright days, the blue skies, the beauty of creation is really not how it is. We cannot escape a virally infected & deeply affected world. Know our church family love, prayers & engagement for each other and our wider community.
Remember there's a midday facebook live stream 'Encouragement from Ephesians', the weekly Sunday offering on facebook at1030 pt1, pt2 & pt3, and stored up here if easier. On Facebook live stream, if you join in late, you can't start at the beginning, so be on time, or catch up later! Engage, question, affirm, comment & cheer on others...
This and every week, we will get printed resources to the nine across our parish without online access.
Johnny our vicar, would value your prayers for the funerals of Betty Smith on Tuesday and John King on Thursday, in these very limited & restricted times.
Baby Cherry who've been all been praying for lots, has been moved to Darrenth Valley Hospital! She will hopefully be home soon, with her own oxygen tank - she has come so far. We rejoice with the Gregory & Walsh families.
It's been thrilling to hear of Ron coming home to Annie, on Thursday past: pray for them in these precious & fragile times in light of his diagnosis.
Regrettably due to the age of the majority of the local Foodbank volunteers, local provision at Swanley has had to be reduced. So, from Tuesday, 31st March it will be open between 10.30 - 3pm each week until the Government's restrictions on movement are lifted. There is also no need for volunteers or food at present.
Andrew Wilson speaks wisely on how COVID-19 is making us more New Testament, Tim Keller's helpful video message on times of uncertainty, Sam Wells Pandemic Lament, Isolation and community by Helen Thorne, other youth resources from our Methodist friends, the Drakes leading Family Worship at 4pm, this stunning blessing, peace & sung prayer by Cody Carnes, a brilliant spoken word piece by Dai and this beautiful playlist put together by the late Kath Gower
Today in our scattered life we'll explore God's peace rooted in Philippians 4. The recording from our live stream service at 1030, the soundcloud audio recording with Adam singing 'One thing remains' as part of a worship set & EJ's resources for our young people on peace, and children and family resources here. Here's some questions and quotes to reflect on alongside Johnny's message...
Does your life prove the can-do of God?
The 'can-do' of God: strengthened by God...
False bravery only get us into trouble
In Paul there is weakness and strength, courage and hope, dependence and freedom, humility and aspiration.
In all circumstances Paul went right on steadily doing his work and serving Christ!
"I am sufficient in Christ's sufficiency!" Philippians 4:13 in the Amplified Bible
What is our consistency even in all this change?
In this chapter Paul names all the resources that God gives us...
Philippians 4:10, God's providence: He is sovereign over us... not accidental but appointed.
Philippians 4:10-13, God's power see also 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
Philippians 4:7, God's peace... God is enough & this is the root of peace.
We pursue peace by fixing on external things
In the bible 'shalom' means peace; the way things ought to be.
To wish 'shalom' is to wish for all that is good to flow into your life. In the world we will have trouble, Philippians 3:18, so without God we can only have a pale reflection of peace.
Taking hold of God: seeking Jesus Christ moment by moment, & know life in the Holy Spirit
Peace is harmony with God restored, made possible by Christ’s reconciling death ,which we enter by faith....Romans 5:1
"I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him." CS Lewis
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love & self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:17
"Get busy living or get busy dying!"
Courage comes from the "I can of Christ!"
Godly peace comes from life in Christ.
"Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong. Everything you do should be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13
Questions for discussion
1. Read Philippians 4 in two different versions of the Bible. What strikes you from this?
2. We are looking at the subject of peace in a difficult time in our nation and world. What are your go-to Scriptures at this time and why?
3. What does the world mean by peace? On an individual basis, in relationships, in family or between nations. In what way does God’s peace differ from that which the world offers? See Isaiah 26:3, Hebrews 12 v 14 and 1 Peter 3:11.
4. What are the four areas Paul highlights Christ’s transforming influence in Phil 4 v 2-7
5. There's a caution here in v 6 about making exceptions for worry? Johnny talks about concern being ok, but worry being wrong... what do you make of this?
6. Why does Jesus say the reason for worry is our little faith? See more in Matthew 6:30?
7. There's an old chorus that says, ‘Why worry when you can pray’. Does this work in your life? Is your worry proportionate to your lack of prayer?
8. Scripture has much to say about how we can know the peace of God in every situation see more in these places: Isaiah 54 v 10; Psalm 29 v 11 and Matt 11 v 28-30. What will you pray for yourself and others this week?
9. Write a 'trust plan' in two sentences - your personal antedote to worry?
10. Eph 6 v 13-15 in the message seems to sum up our current situation. How do we apply peace in these days?
11. What three things are we going to do differently this week in the light of this study of scripture?
13. Reflect as you listen to 'It is well - At the cross'
ps. way back in the mid 1800's there was something captured called the Heidelberg Catechism that I find myself returning to lots at the moment...
Question one asks this, What is your only comfort in life and death? Answer: That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him!