Updated: May 17
Thank you for your engagement, love & prayers. We pray on for you, as we continue to learn new patience, grace & stamina in these times! Here are some further links and detail for this weekend: Quarantine Fatigue explored by Walter Brueggemann, Mary DeMuth's free eBook on how to pursue joy!, How we should pray during a pandemic, The churches guide to resources & life in Covid times, and this about overcoming irritability & more!
Gathered church regrettably still remains a long time off...
Our ongoing online resources accompanying this weekly blog piece continue: Wednesday Worship with Adam at 6pm on our church Facebook page, Sunday word & worship at 1030 on our church facebook page for all, and daily Encouragements from Ephesians at 12noon on Johnny's personal Facebook page, This Sunday we'll continue our 'hospitality at home ' after church via an 1115 Zoom group church conversation; sign-in details are in the church family email sent by Sue.
If you or others you know are struggling, do be in touch with Pauline Pearson our Pastoral Care Team leader. Direct any queries if you wish to firstname.lastname@example.org
The CofE offer a free-phone whereby older, non-techy people can dial-up for a sermon, hymn or prayer. It’s refreshed daily. 0800 804 8044.
Adam's spotify 'Kingdom people' worship list: use it & sing out to it!
Release the pressure - is a new helpline from Kent County Council, particularly seeking to serve well-being at this time. This offers a 24/7 access to a highly trained and experienced team, to provide expert support no matter what a person is going through. People are encouraged not to suffer in silence and to text the word Kent to 85258 or call the number 0800 107 0160, for free confidential support. This has been added to our go-to-location with practical COVID-19 helps.
Revised date for this years APCM is set for 18th October, with Baptism & confirmation dates to follow.
Here are the details for your giving: the bank details are Swanley St. Paul PCC Acc: 80859710 Sort code 20-25-42. Please email Sue at email@example.com with any questions and we will gladly assist. Although our church buildings continue to be closed, God is very much on the move in our communities and we are here to support, encourage and resource many more at this time.
Keep recording your thankfulness daily at home.
Today in our scattered 1030 online offering, Johnny will speak on 'growing', from Matthew 13v31-35 in our next Kingdom people message, input from Anna & Andy also, with Adam & the team leading us in sung worship. The link to this Kingdom people series resources are here, youth resources are here for use, and wider children & family resources about peace!
Growing – Kingdom people pt-5, Matthew 13v31-35
Jesus is explaining the unexplainable, the indescribable, or the incomprehensible?
Jesus resorted to telling parables, earthly stories with heavenly meanings.
1 The kingdom is small, like a mustard seed.
Keep in mind that the theme of this parable is the comparison between a small seed and a 10-12 foot tree. Beware of ‘bigger is always better’ chat!
Matthew’s fascination with the kingdom of heaven is reflected 37 times in his gospel record!
2 The kingdom is silent, like yeast in bread
How silently, how silently the Kingdom of God is given. And in our noisy world we would be smart to listen. Let those who have ears to hear, hear!
3 The kingdom is surprising, like a buried treasure that a farmer found in the field.
The Kingdom of Heaven is the greatest treasure on earth…
Do you feel and know its worth?!
4 The kingdom is priceless, like a fine pearl.
5 The kingdom is mixed, like a net of fish.
Jesus is wanting us to discover the truth, live the truth & share the truth!
Growing: Matthew 13v31-35
The parable of the mustard seed and yeast.
1. Read the passage in at least two different versions of the bible – what immediately strikes you from them?
2. These are familiar parables to us but Jesus does not interpret them – why is that?
3. The smallness and seeming insignificance of the mustard seed is in stark contrast to the expectation that when the kingdom of God came, it would be great and powerful; how does God use the ordinary to become extraordinary in your life and mine?
4. Think of other examples in Scripture of the small things being used… does size matter in the eyes of God?
5. What is needed for the mustard seed to grow? What is needed for yeast to do what yeast does? How are these ‘conditions’ the same or different?
6. Think about how seeds or plants in the garden grow – what is the preparation that needs to take place? How is my heart being prepared for more of the Spirit of God?
7. Preparation and planting come after plowing. How are we preparing our lives and what is being planted in them and by what?
8. Think about making bread – what is the point of yeast and how significant is the kneading?
9. After kneading comes the proving, a rest period, what does this look like in your life and mine and why might this be important to the Kingdom of God growing within us?
10. What is God saying afresh to you and I through this passage?
Point to ponder: “May God give you - and me- the courage, the wisdom, the strength always to hold the kingdom of God as the number one priority of our lives. To do so is to live in simplicity.” Richard Foster.