Skip to content

Christ the King – 22nd November 2020

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional, more modern and kids). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on the services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

A Holy Communion for Christ the King, let by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

 

A Sermon for Christ the King, from Lindy Ellis

Music links for Christ the King (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

More Modern:

The least of these

Endless Hallelujah

Taizé

Nada te turbo (Nothing can trouble)

Kids:
Sermon Text

Today, we are celebrating the Feast of Christ the King, and the scene is set at the beginning of today’s gospel, when Jesus talks about how the son of man, meaning himself, will come in his glory with his angels and he will sit on his glorious throne.

Christ is our King: the king of peace, and the king of love; he has brought salvation to all who repent and who do their utmost to follow his ways, but today’s gospel reminds us that our king is also our judge and that he will judge each one of us. He will separate the sheep and the goats and the goats will be condemned. I have always worried about that reading because secretly inside myself I know just how much of a goat I am.

I am reminded of all those doom paintings that were painted on church walls in mediaeval times to frighten people into being good Christians. One of the best of these, with its bright colours, is at Wenhaston just across the border in Suffolk. The souls of the dead, stand naked, so that all are equal in the sight of God, and they wait to have their sins weighed against their good deeds, before being either admitted to heaven or dragged off to hell. The message is just as scary today as it was when it was painted.

As I was thinking about this, I was struck by a fresh question. Why did the shepherds regularly separate the sheep and the goats, as Jesus implies in this reading? I did a little research and apparently, goats are less hardy than sheep, so they are taken in to be kept sheltered at night-time.

How wonderful is that? Special care is taken of the despised goats. As a goat, God takes special care of me. Yes, now, of course, I remember all Jesus’ parables about lost items. There was the lost lamb – the shepherd went off into the dangerous wilderness and searched until he found that lamb. There was the lost silver coin – the woman lit a lamp, swept the whole house, and kept looking until she found it, and then she had a party for her friends and neighbours. There was the prodigal son – he went off with half his father’s money, and spent it all disgracefully, but all the time the father was longing for him to come back and was continually looking out for him to return, and was so delighted when he did that he hugged him and kissed him, dressed him in new clothes and killed the fatted calf to celebrate. Jesus says in conclusion, ‘ I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.’

We have a king who will never give up on us. He knows that we keep failing him, but each time he gently comes to us and guides us back to his kingdom. He is always there, waiting for us to turn back to him and to ask for his help. Yes, he is our judge and we will have to face him finally, but he is also our God of love and that love will never fail us – he is a faithful God, who will keep all his promises and will never give up on us.

St Paul understood this and wrote in his letter to the Christians at Philippi, ‘I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.’ Those words apply to me and to you today as much as they did to the early church.

So let us pray:

Great King in Heaven, we thank you for your faithfulness towards us, we thank you for never giving up on us, and for always catching us when it seems that we are falling yet again. Help each one of us to keep on running and struggling to win your eternal prize, through Jesus Christ our King and our Redeemer. Amen.

Compline – Wednesday 18th November 2020

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by Lindy Ellis

God bless…

Compline for Wednesday 4th November

2nd Sunday before Advent – 15th November 2020

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional, more modern and kids). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on the services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

A Holy Communion for The Second Sunday before Advent, let by The Revd. Sue Auckland

A Sermon for The Second Sunday before Advent, from John Taylor

Music links for Trinity 19 (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

More Modern:

Remembrance

With all I am

Kids:
Sermon Text

Virtual Sermon November 15th 2020

At first sight the parable of the worthless slave may seem difficult and out of place. Taking away what little someone has whilst adding to the wealth of those who are already rich might be said to be against everything which Jesus stands for. So what is actually going on here? I would like to suggest one theme of the parable is; Who are we thinking about?

Our starting point is to realise that when Jesus first told this storey his listeners would have quickly recognised the master who gave instructions and then departs as being God and the slaves who are to use what he has given them as teachers and leaders.

Jesus is drawing a distinction between those in authority who think of others, who do as God wishes them to and those who do not.

The wicked and lazy slave who has everything taken away from him and is then thrown out represents those teachers who do not use Gods words, laws and instructions to build people up, to encourage them to grow and prosper but use them to put and keep people down. The only people they are really thinking about are themselves.

The slaves who used Gods gifts to bring about growth and prosperity are those teachers and leaders who do look after the people, who do care for and nurture them. They are really thinking about others

It is perhaps overly simplistic to classify the wicked slave as the Pharisees and the good slaves as Jesus’ own followers. Nicodemus, a pharisee, was shown to have been a good man. He genuinely wanted to discuss Jesus’ teachings with him and he told the Jewish high council that they should not condemn Jesus out of hand but listen to him first and finally he supplied the spices and helped Joseph of Arimathea in caring for the dead body of Jesus. That last act would have been expensive and must have taken a very considerable degree of courage. A corpse would have rendered any Jew unclean let alone a pharisee and to be seen caring for the cadaver of an executed blasphemer, well imagine the outcry.

On the other hand not all of Jesus’ followers were beyond reproach. Apart from the obvious example of Judas two early Christians, Ananias and Sapphira died not because they had stolen from the church but because they had not given everything to the church. They had simply kept some of their own for themselves and they suffered for it.

The point of the parable rather than being obscure as we might think is very simple and clear. As Christians we do have a duty to use our talents, our gifts and our skills for the benefit of everyone. We do have to teach, encourage and help all those we come into contact with. It is similar to another parable in that we should not hide our lights under a bushel. We have to get out there and do what we can to help others.

In uncertain times such as where we find ourselves now it can be difficult to know what we can and can’t do. Helping others might come at a potential cost, there may well be risks involved. We do not have to be foolish or reckless. We do have to be sensible and prudent but we do have to make the effort.

At the very least we need to be praying for each other and doing what we can to let people know we are thinking of them and not just about ourselves.

Amen

 

Compline for Remembrance Day – Wednesday 11th November 2020

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell.

God bless…

Compline for Remembrance Day

Remembrance Sunday – 8th November 2020

Thank you for joining our online worship including our service of Holy Communion for Remembrance Sunday and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional, more modern and kids). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on the services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

A Service for Remembrance Sunday, let by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

A Sermon for Remembrance Sunday, from Lynda Mansfield

Music links for Remembrance Sunday (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

More Modern:

God is our strength

Beauty for Brokenness

Wisdom Song

Kids:
Also:
Sermon Text

Psalm 46

Wisdom 6:12-16 & 21

Ps. 46 v. 1 : God is our refuge and strength – an ever present help in trouble.

Wisdom 6 v.21 : Therefore if you delight in thrones and sceptres, O monarchs over the peoples, honour wisdom, so that you may reign for ever.

One of the readings appointed for today is from the book of Wisdom, which is in the Apocrypha – a group of books which is not always included within our Bibles. In this reading we are being told to be ready to live every day as if it were our last. We should follow all God’s lessons, which is not always easy to do – we are human, we make mistakes; we can be cruel and lazy; but we are also kind and hardworking, and we are promised Wisdom will be there when we look for it. We need to seek it out and we can think of no better way to remember the fallen of war than by seeking wisdom and hopefully finding a way to end all wars.

Once again today we are remembering those who have lost their lives serving their country; together with the 1,000’s of civilian casualties, during past wars. However, this year our Remembrance Sunday services have been very different. We have been asked to have just a simple Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial, or outside the Church, abiding by the rules and regulations laid down regarding social distancing, risk assessments, etc.

We are at war with this virus – this horrid Covid19 that will not go away. It is our enemy. But if we feel trapped or isolated; scared (as some are) or even angry, we must remember the thousands of men in the trenches, cold and wet, being shot at by another enemy. No warmth or food for them; no green fields to walk in or contact by ‘phone with their loved ones. No choice….. all those whom we have remembered today – the names of those read from the War Memorial, and those known to us in subsequent battles, did what had to be done – to overcome sin and evil. In the second WW they knew they had to do everything in their power to stop Germany from taking over the world (for that was the ultimate aim) They had to fight for peace and freedom.

We are also remembering not only those who died or were seriously injured, but the families who were left behind to mourn – and some of those people have never recovered from their loss. For some Remembrance Sunday is too painful to bear, but to others it is a time when they can join together to remember, with pride and gratitude, that the losses and injuries sustained meant that ultimately our lives would be free.

It is 80 years since Hitler invaded Britain and what followed was known as the Blitz. London was bombed on 57 consecutive nights; incredibly St Paul’s Cathedral, whilst surrounded by smoke and chaos, stood firm. Some said it was like the hand of God standing in the midst of darkness and hopelessness. It was a symbol of hope.

Anniversaries will continue with the start and end of other conflicts – the Faulklands War, the two conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the NI troubles which rumbled for two decades. This year the 75th anniversaries of VE Day and VJ Day were held very differently than planned, but this Virus cannot stop us from remembering – wherever, whenever and however.

One of the hymns chosen for today is ‘God is our strength and refuge’ which is the metrical version of Psalm 46. How clever and appropriate was it for the writer of the hymn to fit the words to the Dambusters March. In the context of the threats to the Allied countries fighting for their existence, the words of this Psalm would be comforting.

When God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for our freedom – our freedom from sin – he knew that he would suffer, but he also knew that ultimately the world would be saved and our joy would be complete. God’s love was sacrificial and that was how our many men showed their love and loyalty for our country – by sacrificing their lives to save millions of others.

We can be sure that Jesus lives – and we can be sure that our loved ones – those who were lost in the many wars and conflicts and those who have died as a result of this Virus – still live as long as they remain in our hearts and our minds.

May we take to heart the words of another of the hymns chosen for today – All my hope on God is founded – and may we trust God for wisdom and healing.

God bless you and keep you all safe. Amen.

Lockdown Guidance for Redenhall with Scole Benefice

Issued: 7th November 2020

Public Worship: Public worship will be continuing throughout the current restrictions. Services will be recorded and published here on the Worship page of this blog: https://nigeltuffnell.wordpress.com/category/worship/. Details of our worship are published here: http://www.7churches.org.uk/services.

Call to Prayer: The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have called upon each member of the Church of England to pray for our nation during this lockdown. They are asking us to pray throughout the country at 6pm each day, if possible. However, if 6pm is not possible, please just pray when you can, wherever you are.

A booklet has been provided giving prayers and prayer themes for each day. The booklet may be downloaded from here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/15348%20PftN%20Booklet_6th%20PROOF.pdf

Further prayer resources are available here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches/call-prayer-nation

Church Buildings: Our seven buildings are closed except for Foodbank and for Funerals. They may also open for Private Prayer, on request.

Private Prayer: The government have stated that if we open our buildings for Private Prayer we would have to put in place “Precautions to stop people arriving at the same time should be taken, no matter the size of the building.” With this in mind, our buildings are only open for Private Prayer on request. Please contact Nigel in the first instance.

Foodbank: Foodbank will continue to open at St. John’s Harleston on Tuesdays between 14.00-14.45 and on Fridays between 15.00-15.45. People needing food should simply turn up at these times.

Funerals: Funerals can continue, in church, in churchyards and at the crematorium. Whatever the venue Funerals will be limited to 30 mourners. This number may be reduced if the venue cannot contain 30 mourners while also maintaining safe distancing.

72 Hour gap now 48 Hour gap: The time between a building being used and it being considered safe for use without being sanitised has been reduced to 48 hours.

Updates: The latest updates from this benefice will be posted here: http://www.7churches.org.uk/covid-19

Compline – Wednesday 4th November 2020

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by Lindy Ellis

God bless…

Compline for Wednesday 4th November

All Saints – Sunday 1st November 2020

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional, more modern and kids). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on the services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

A Holy Communion for All Saints, let by The Revd. Sue Auckland

A Sermon for All Saints, from Ann Cork

Music links for All Saints (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

Make me a channel of your peace

More Modern:

Speak, O Lord

Praise, my soul

Kids:
Sermon Text

Compline – Wednesday 28th October 2020

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by Lindy Ellis

God bless…

Compline for Wednesday 28th October

Bible Sunday – Sunday 25th October 2020

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Bible Sunday Service and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional, more modern and kids). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on the services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

A Service for Bible Sunday, let by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

 

A Sermon for Bible Sunday, from John Taylor

Music links for Bible Sunday (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

More Modern:

Ancient words

From the breaking of the dawn (every promise)

Kids:
Little Kids:
Sermon Text

A sermon for Bible Sunday.

it is very rare that any two people will have the exact same reaction to any book. Different passages will strike a different chord. This goes some way to explaining why the film version of a book you have read is always different to the mental picture you had formed. Bits of the book will be left out and other bits put in. This is also why an abbreviated version of a book can only give a flavour of what the original is about. The subtleties and details will be left out. If we only read a condensed version we can never get the full picture.

The bigger and more complex the book the greater the difference in people’s reactions to it and the more different the film will be.

The Bible is a big book, there are approximately 783,137 words in the King James Authorised Version and an average contemporary version has roughly 807,370.

Any film version of the Bible will fail to do it complete justice. Different films have been very good in parts and usefully provoked thought and discussion but no film can ever take the place of the book itself.

No two people can read the Bible from cover to cover and have exactly the same reaction to it. Anyone who reads the Bible in whole or in part will take something different from it and that will change as their circumstances change. That is not to say that the Bible changes it does not it stays the same. We change around it.

The Bible speaks to us but what it says alters as we and our circumstances alter. If a close friend or family member has died it can speak to us of consolation and hope. It can remind us of the Christian promise of resurrection. Sometimes it can give us hope at other times it reminds us of what we should be doing, how we should act. It can very forcefully spell out our duty of forgiveness or charity as well as explaining how God is always willing and wanting to forgive us.

In order to hear what the Bible is saying to us we have to read it but not just the favourite bits we like. We have to read it as a whole, a complete package (or listen to an unabbreviated version).

I am not suggesting that we should sit down, open the book at page 1 and read straight through. It is such a big book it is easy to get lost without a guide. The Lectionary has a pattern of readings for each day which leads us in way that is simple to follow rather than just jumping straight in. There are also any number of study guides work through which make life much easier.

However we approach the Bible is up to us but if we are to benefit from it we have to read or listen to it, to all of it. Only by doing this can we really understand what it is saying and how it is helping us.

It took me a long time to learn that the Bible is also there for us to enjoy. I hope and pray that the more you read it the more you enjoy it as well.

Amen

 

Compline – Wednesday 21st October 2020

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

God bless…

Compline for Wednesday 21st October

Trinity 19 – Sunday 18th October 2020

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional, more modern and kids). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on the services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

A Holy Communion for Trinity 19, let by The Revd. Sue Auckland

 

A Sermon for Trinity 19, from Lynda Mansfield

 

Music links for Trinity 19 (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

More Modern:

My Jesus, my saviour

I will offer up my life (This thankful heart)

Kids:
Sermon Text

Matthew 22:15-22

Then he said to them, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”. (v.21)

Trick questions that put people on the spot have been around as long as there have been public issues and leaders offering new programmes or manifestos.

Think of our own Prime Minister as he prepares for Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Commons. He and his advisers have to try to second-guess what issues might be raised, and prepare answers to all the potential questions the Leader of the Opposition and others might fire at him – especially now…

And whilst the Prime Minister is being briefed at No 10, not far away the Opposition Leader and his team are teasing out the questions to test the Prime Minister – arming themselves with questions for which he may not have prepared, or which might catch him out.

More often than not, and regardless of what question is asked, the Prime Minister does what nearly all politicians do – and answers the question he would like to have been asked!

Jesus finds himself challenged by a team of Pharisees and Herodians, and this was a strange combination of people. They were normally opposed to one another, but here they were siding up together – against Jesus. Rather like the Socialists and the Tories siding up with each other against another party. This trick question which the Pharisees put to Jesus, had an obvious double edge.

Teacher”, they said, “We know you are a man of integrity (flattery would draw Him in!) and you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. ……Tell us, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

The issue of paying tax to the Roman emperor was one of the hottest topics in the Middle East in Jesus’ day. Imagine how you would like it if you woke up one morning and discovered that people from another country had marched in to your homeland and demanded that you pay them tax! So most Jews, including the Pharisees, objected to this tax. To them there was only one king and that was God. To pay tax to an earthly king was to deny their belief in God’s sovereignty.

Jesus’ answer had to be carefully thought out – if he had said Yes, it is right to pay tax to Caesar, then the Pharisees would denounce him to the people as disloyal to his nation. If he had said ‘No’, then the Herodians would report him to the Roman governor and he would be executed for treason.

Jesus responds calmly, wisely and with authority to those seeking to catch him out. It was certainly not an answer either party expected to hear. Jesus had found a way – the right way – to answer both parties., and to make them think!

Having asked for a coin which was used in paying the tax, he asked whose portrait was on it. “Caesar’s” , they replied.

Then Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s”. Clever!

Most of us recognise the essential importance of paying taxes which should not separate us from our Christian responsibilities.

Jesus’ answer firmly reminds us of our commitment to God, at all times – not just when we’re in church. His answer provides another example of his speaking to all people.

Jesus was used to opposition and hostility, so we should not be surprised if we experience opposition as we follow God. There are challenging questions the world is asking today; people may ridicule us for our faith, or be downright unkind, but we are in a spiritual battle and as long as we stay close to God we can be sure of His guidance and wisdom to carry us through – He will give us the words to speak. So as we keep on the right path, may God bless us all in our ministry, now and always – Amen.

Compline – Wednesday 14th October 2020

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

God bless…

Compline for Wednesday 14th October

Trinity 18 – Sunday 11th October 2020

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional, more modern and kids). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on the services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

A Holy Communion for Trinity 18, let by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

 

A Sermon for Trinity 18, from Jamie Worthington

Music links for the Trinity 18 (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

More Modern:

Restore, O Lord, the honour of your name

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

Hear The Call of The Kingdom

Kids:

 

 

Compline – Wednesday 30th September 2020

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by Lindy Ellis

God bless…

Compline for Wednesday 7th October

Trinity 17 – Sunday 4th October 2020

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional, more modern and kids). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on the services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

A Holy Communion for Trinity 17, let by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

A Sermon for Trinity 17, from John Taylor

(The text may be found at the bottom of this post)

Music links for the Trinity 17 (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

My Song Is Love Unknown

Christ is our Corner Stone

More Modern:

 

A Sermon(Text)

Virtual Sermon October 4th 2020

Mathew 21: 33-46

Do you sometimes find it irritating when people ask you to do something you don’t want to? Do you try and avoid doing what you know you should? I know I do, it is part of being human.

The tenants in today’s reading were reacting when asked for their rent. They didn’t want to pay what they owed and they were prepared to kill to avoid that payment. I might not react quite so violently to suggestions that I need to reflect on my behaviour. But it is still not something I really want to hear.

Jesus’s story was clearly aimed at the chief priests and pharisees. They did not like it. They did not want to hear it and wanted to shut Jesus up. They could not do so. Even when, like the tenants, they succeeded in killing the messenger the message kept on.

The unfortunate thing is that the parable is also aimed at us. We have a clear choice we can either be like the tenants and the chief priests who have the Kingdom of God taken away from them or we can be like the people to whom it is given and produce fruit. We can ignore Jesus but like the chief priest we cannot stop his message.

What Jesus is telling us isn’t that we owe him rent but that we must repent from behaving in an unchristian way. Repentance doesn’t mean saying that we say sorry and carrying on as before. It starts with us recognising and acknowledging that we are not as Jesus wants us to be. Then we can apologise when we understand what we are apologising for and then, most importantly, doing something about it, changing how we behave.

It is when we listen to Jesus, realise what our own faults and problems are, determine to try and rectify and then act that we can begin to produce fruit in ways we could never imagine.

Jesus does not expect us to do this on our own. In the same way that the landowner in the story gave the tenants all that they needed in the way of vines and walls and a wine press Jesus has left the Holy Spirit to be with us as our guide and support. All we need to do is ask for his help and we can then start producing fruit for Jesus. Amen

“Put that bloody cigarette out!”

Hector Hugh Munro is better known as the humorous satirist Saki. In November 1916 he was sheltering in a shell crater near Beaumont-Hamel, during the Battle of the Ancre, when he shouted to the man next to him, “Put that bloody cigarette out!” and was shot dead by a German sniper.

In warfare snipers are an invisible killer. You don’t know you are in danger until it is too late. That is very much like the invisible killer around today. Covid-19 is around, it is serious and often deadly, but it cannot be seen. I could flout all of the precautions and never come to harm, so could you, but that would be reckless in the extreme. It would be incredibly selfish too.

Another analogy for you, brought to mind by the Battle of Britain commemorations happening this weekend. During an air raid leaving a light to be seen was illegal because it might guide an enemy bomber. However, I am sure that some left lights on and got away with it, but doing so was utterly irresponsible and selfish. You would have been putting your family and neighbours in real danger. Still at the start of the war air raid wardens were frequently laughed at and ignored.

It is bad enough to hear of so many people acting so selfishly during this crisis, but what is worse is hearing some Christians advocating such recklessness. Jesus couldn’t have made it any clearer when he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22.37-39) We of all people, should be looking out for the welfare of those around us, even if we are careless of danger for ourselves. We are Christ’s ambassadors here on earth, to set an example to all around us of loving care, and selfless living.

We are called to love the people around us, whoever they may be. We are called to die for the good of others, if need be. We are never called to kill them due to our selfish lack of care.

Amen.

Trinity 7 – 26th July 2020

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such broad and inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on the services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

A Holy Communion for Trinity 7, let by Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

 

A Sermon for Trinity 7, from John Taylor

(The text may be found at the bottom of this post)

 

Music links for the Trinity 7 (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

God is Love, let heaven adore him

Hear The Call Of The Kingdom

Seek Ye First

God is working His purpose out

Build Your Kingdom Here

A Sermon(Text)

Sermon July 26th 2020

I want to look at our reading from Mathew from the end not the beginning. Jesus talks about a scribe and in his lifetime not may people could read or write. A scribe would not just write what you told him to or read what was written down but would draw up documents and contracts for you. Would translate what you wanted to say so it made sense or explain what was written so you could understand it.

When he talks about the master of a household bringing out new treasure as well as old the new he is referring to is the wonderous, bright new Kingdom to come and the old is the ancient wisdom, law and stories of the Jewish people. The new Kingdom is built on the foundations of all God’s work in what we now think of as the Old Testament.

Earlier in Mathew 5:17 Jesus tells his disciples that he has come not to abolish but to fulfil. His ministry is not changing what has gone before but enlarging and amplifying it.

When Jesus spoke in parables people were confused. Even his twelve chosen often missed the point and he had to carefully explain it to them. This time after the parables of weeds and wheat, the mustard seed, the pearls and the fish he asks his disciples outright “have you understood” “do you get it”?

When they assure him that they have he tells them that the scribes who have been trained for the Kingdom of Heaven, i.e. them, the disciples themselves should not only tell, explain and translate the wonderous new opportunity in front of them but the wisdom and benefits of what has gone before.

Today we live in strange times. Not only are we shaken out of our established routine lives by covid-19 but it seems at times as much of what we thought we knew is under attack for being wrong and evil. Statues are being thrown down and public figures we were taught to revere are portrayed as evil. Everything is wrong or right. There is no balance or nuance. What are we supposed to do, what are we to think?

If we want to follow the examples of Jesus’ teaching then thinking is exactly what we should do. Jesus taught in parables partly to get his point across and partly to make people think for themselves. To use the wisdom of the past, the good points from history as well as the bad. To learn from mistakes as well as successes. , To work forwards to the Kingdom to come but not to forget where they came from, the continuing journey which lay before them.

In order to do this the disciples had to look both backwards and forwards. Paul in his epistles did not deny the Jewish law but showed how parts of it did not apply to the gentiles.

I think for us today there is a lot we can learn from this. We have to look back not to destroy or obliterate or forget but to learn from the past. To take the bad as well as the good and to build on them. Not to be shackled by what has gone before but to acknowledge that there are things to keep as well as things to change.
We are not here to sit in judgement on others whether contemporaries or predecessors any more than we would want them sitting in judgement on us. Romans 12: 17-19 quoting Deuteronomy 32:35 “Vengeance belongs to the Lord“ It is not up to us to seek revenge. Neither should we unthinkingly condemn or exonerate but concentrate on what we think or ay or do. To try and live our lives as Jesus wants us to. That is the key for those who want to try and live as Christians to live a Christ like life.
Amen.

Ken and Johnny use Zoom

Those of you who come along to the Informal Worship will have been missing Ken and Johnny and their little chats. Unfortunately, like everyone else they haven’t been able to meet up. Then they discovered Zoom. They accidentally recorded their last chat and asked me to share it with you; just in case you are missing them.

Over to Ken and Johnny…

 

Boris Johnson – What is Truth?

What is Truth?

At the trial of Jesus, Pilate the Roman governor famously asked, “What is Truth” (John 18.38) A question that seems so relevant right now. We have Trump in the USA claiming that any inconvenient truth is, “Fake News.” We have China denying that student protesters were massacred in Tiananmen Square in 1989. These are bad enough, but at least for me in England they have the comfort of being somewhere else in the world. But now there is a real danger here in the UK.

Today it is clear that Boris Johnson is the front runner to become the next Prime Minister.

I know the old joke,

Question: How do you tell when a politician is lying?

Answer: Their lips move!

Even so, until now politicians have at least recognised the existence of Truth, and expected there to be consequences if they have lied. Not so Boris Johnson. For example, just remember his tweet that he had voted during the local elections, when there were no elections in London. I wish the Conservative Party every success in choosing a leader, but for the moral integrity of that great party and of this country, I pray that they do not choose an unrepentant liar!

I am not alone in this concern for the value of Truth. Mohammed Amin, chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, said he would quit the Conservative Party after more than three decades as a member if Boris Johnson is chosen as their next leader.

Mr Amin told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “There are many horrible people who have been popular. Popularity is not the test. The test is, is this person sufficiently moral to be prime minister, and I believe he fails that test.” … “he, as far as I’m concerned, has insufficient concern about the nature of truth for me to ever be a member of a party that he leads.” 

I must agree with Mr Amin on the importance of Truth, and that Boris Johnson is unfit to be prime minister. This is not a party political statement. I would expect all Christian Conservatives to feel the same. I must follow Jesus above all else or stop claiming to be a Christian. I must follow the same Jesus who told Pilate, “I was born into this world to tell about the truth. And everyone who belongs to the truth knows my voice.” (John 18.37)

God bless…

The Lockdown Announced on 31st October 2020

Following the announcement on Saturday 31st October the following statement has been issued by the government:

Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

Therefore, from Thursday 4th November until at least Thursday 3rd December all seven churches in this benefice will be closed, except for the activities listed.

The latest updates from this benefice will be posted here: http://www.7churches.org.uk/covid-19

The latest guidance direct from the Church of England is available here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches

The latest guidance direct from the government is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#weddings-civil-partnerships-religious-services-and-funerals  and here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

Please hold in your prayers all who will find this lockdown particularly difficult, especially those who will be painfully lonely, fearful, or facing hardship.

God bless,

Nigel.