Updated: May 2
Thank you for your patience, love & faith, in the strain and curious demand of these times. May the continued peace of God be your experience.
Our ongoing online resources accompanying this weekly blog piece are as follows: 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. Sunday content, a cuppa, conversation & prayer together is just fab!
If you or others you know are struggling, do be in touch with myself as your vicar, Sue at the church office or Pauline Pearson as our Pastoral Care Team leader. Direct any queries if you wish to firstname.lastname@example.org
The CofE have instigated, via Justin Welby, 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!
Revised APCM, Baptism & confirmation dates will 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.
Thank you for the giving, sharing and serving of each of your lives!
David Robertson explaining What the Book of Revelation says about Covid 19, Working from home and other domestic challenges! A sweep of resources from Spring Harvest: available for the next month, LICC Online day event in the book of Ruth, Winter strategies for these times: Andy Crouch & others detail this, Online church and wider CofE thinking for there's no other option atm! a great website for people exploring faith in this time & community in a time of social distancing!
Today in our scattered 1030 online offering, Johnny will speak on 'seeking', from Matthew 13v1-9, 18-23 in our part three Kingdom people message, input from Debbie & David, with Adam & the team leading us in sung worship. The link to this new Kingdom people series resources are here. There are youth resources exploring this parable here, and children's & families resources exploring joy here!
Sowing or rather soil! – Kingdom people pt-3: Matthew 13v1-9, 18-23
Kingdom life is about our attitude to God in us...
What helps or hinders the seed of the Saviour in the soil of your life?
Matthew 13 is a unique bible chapter.
More than ''a earthly story with a heavenly meaning'' the parables are ''something placed along side, a comparison.''
The soil, Jesus says, is anyone who hears the message of the gospel.
Jesus speaks to the whole of human nature…
Soil 1 - A stony heart…
A stubborn heart rejects the word
Soil 2 - A shallow heart…
What is the depth to your heart & your receiving?
The shallow heart which is constantly distracted.
Shallow hearts remove the word.
Soil 3 - A strangled heart…
Strangled Hearts Restrict The Word
Soil 4 - A surrendered heart…
Good Soil in you and me?!
God's grace, can change the stony, shallow, strangled heart into the surrendered Heart.
Surrendered hearts reproduce the Word… and the flow of the Holy Spirit!
Which kind are you? It affects our kingdom life!
Be surrendered… be all in…
Let nothing hinder the seed of the Saviour in the soil of your life…
Study notes for personal or online lifegroup use... Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23
The parable of the sower - This is one of the best-known parables and is one that conjures up a familiar biblical scene of the sower in the fields. It is one that Jesus interprets for us and is often preached on. What does it mean for the seed in todays culture and generation?
1. Read the passage in at least two different versions of the bible – what immediately strikes you from them?
2. This is a familiar parable – when we are honest what is the soil that currently characterises me and my life? What defeats the ‘seed of the Saviour’ in the soil of our lives?
3. V4, what does the seed on the path tell us? Why does this person in the story not understand the message? In what way does this encounter with the Christian message have any affect on a person? t
4. V5 We are told that the plant on stony ground had no roots & so eventually dies. As a church family how can we help to produce good healthy roots for new Christians? V4. Tells us that the sun scorched the young plants on rocky soil. What does the sun represent? See I Peter 4 v 12-14.
5. Paul talks about ‘growing to maturity’ - Hebrews 6 v 1, ‘keeping hold of the deep truths of the faith’ 1 Timothy 3 v9, and being ‘rooted and established in love” - Ephesians 3 v 17.
How are our roots? v5-6 and 20-21?
6. v7 What do weeds do and why? What are the ‘weeds’ you and I have allowed to grow? How do we protect ourselves from those weeds going forward?
7. v8 What is the harvest of your life and mine? Jesus talked of a harvest being 100, 60 or 30 times what was sown but at that time a seven-fold harvest as a good harvest so even a 30-fold harvest would have been miraculous! What type of harvest is seen in our lives and why?
8. Read the passages again in The Message how does this help us better understand the different paths?
9. This is the parable of the sower, not the seed. What does it mean to ‘be the sower’ today?
Point to ponder...
‘Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth or power. Those rewards create almost as many problems as they resolve. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it’. Harold Kershner.