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The Third Sunday of Trinity – 20th June 2021

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,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our Sermon today, from John Taylor

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

More Traditional:

Will your anchor hold?

I cannot tell

More Modern:

Faithful one, so unchanging

Trust In you

Prayerful
 
 

Sermon Text

Virtual Sermon June 20th 2021

There are various ways of looking at the very short parables in today’s Gospel reading. I find the second one in particular hugely reassuring. A tiny mustard seed grows into the greatest of all shrubs. Jesus is talking about what the Kingdom of God will look like and I don’t think he literally means that it will resemble a massively overgrown plant if for no other reason than mustard is not a perennial. It dies off each year and the Kingdom of God is everlasting. In one sense he is telling us that it will be a kingdom or regime where nothing and nobody is looked down on or despised because of humble or inauspicious beginnings. The smallest of starts may end up in absolute glory.

Life can often be totally unexpected. Sometimes this can lead to a very nasty surprise. Few people start off on a car journey expecting to get a puncture. It usually seems to happen to me when it is raining but just because it is raining doesn’t mean that I am not surprised when it happens again.

But, on the other hand, sometimes a day will start off in its usual humdrum way and turn out to be wonderful. An unexpected phone call asking if I am in so a book I lent can be returned may lead to an impromptu picnic by the sea with friends and all those dreary chores will wait another day. From the small start of, “can I drop your book back”, will grow a magnificent day of golden memories. Sometimes small suggestions or ideas grow into monster parties that people are still talking about years later. Words just don’t seem able to do them justice and we have to tell our listeners, “you had to have been there to understand”. The people in the original conversation had no idea how a drink and nibbles with a few friends would end up taking over the entire village.

In telling this parable Jesus was not preaching to a crowd but to his close friends. How many of them at the time could possibly have foreseen that this was the start of Jesus’s ministry and it would end up as the Christian church numbering millions of people over two thousand years covering the whole world.

But this is what Jesus is telling them. Firstly, do not judge on appearances, do not dismiss something because you think it is too small to be of interest or use to you. Secondly, he is telling them that what he is saying and doing will grow into the largest and most important thing they can ever imagine, the party to end all parties and that they are invited; The Kingdom of God itself. He is explaining that this greatest of all kingdoms has space for everyone to find a place to shelter, somewhere to call home. A place for each and every one of us and if that isn’t hugely reassuring I don’t know what is.

Amen

Compline for Wednesday 16th June 2021

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

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today

The Second Sunday of Trinity – 13th June 2021

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,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our Sermon today, from The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

 

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

More Traditional:

Let all the world in every corner sing

We plough the fields and scatter

More Modern:

Hear the call of the kingdom

Build my life

Prayerful
 

Sermon Text

It is often the little things that truly blow me away. I was watching a colony of wild honey bees the other day. They were busy coming in and out of a gap in the tower at Redenhall church. Then I noticed something else out of the corner of my eye. I noticed a slightly fatter looking honey bee, with a furry ginger waste coat. I watched it circle around then dive into a tiny hole in the stonework. Then I noticed another do the same. I then watched little masonry bees and their nest.

Have you ever stopped and looked at some of the smaller wild flowers? Among others we have Common Mouse Ear in our garden. It’s flowers are only 3mm / 3 1/6ths of an inch across. But they form incredibly beautiful petals that look as though they have been formed into the points of a crown with emeralds and gold at the centre.

God is like that. He uses the simple and insignificant and turns them into masterpieces! None of us are great in the eyes of the world. You might be but I am certainly not. I doubt that you are hugely rich or powerful. But that does not make any of you unimportant in God’s eyes. Often fame and fortune can blind us so that we can no longer see what is truly valuable.

In each of you God has planted a seed. Small and insignificant to look at. But you have let the Spirit water that seed. It has grown in you. You have responded and come to church. You have let that seed grow into something beautiful.

Transformed by the power of the Spirit you have become the disciples of Christ. You are his brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of our Father in heaven.

Like a seed planted in the ground God does the work of growing and producing a harvest. Our task is to keep the ground clear. To nurture what God is growing in us. To keep strong in the face of temptations to hatred or anger or greed or pride. If you are anything like me you will know these temptations all too well. They starve the seed growing in us of the life giving water of the Spirit.

So God uses the simple and unimportant and turns them into masterpieces. Even you and me. Our task is to guard ourselves against the temptations that would stop the seed within us from growing. Then we are to let the Spirit do his work, and produce a great harvest or perhaps stand tall like a great tree. Let the Spirit make you fruitful in works of kindness, generosity, love, faithfulness and self-control.

God bless. Amen.

Compline for Wednesday 9th June 2021

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

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today

The First Sunday after Trinity – 6th June 2021

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,  modern and prayerful). Thank you this week to The Revd. Lyndy Domoney for today’s music choices.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our Sermon today, from The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

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

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
 
Prayerful
 

Sermon Text

Trinity 1 2021. Mark 3; 20-35. Online. Pride etc
Can you picture the scene of our passage today for a moment – perhaps imagine yourself in that
situation; Jesus goes into a house – we’re not told whose house it was, but He is obviously at home
there – and a crowd follows Him obviously expecting / wanting to see what other miracles He
would perform. They had seen or heard about Him restoring sight to the blind – speech to the mute;
deformed limbs were made whole at His command and evil spirits cast out of those who were
possessed. We are told in v 20 that there were so many people crowding around him – pushing
forward to touch Him – wanting His attention and healing for themselves – that neither He or His
Disciples were able to find time to eat!
We also see – at this time – which was quite early on in His ministry – that His own family didn’t
really understand Jesus or what He was doing; even though Mary had been told Who her Son was –
how could she fully understand what that meant until His life and ministry was almost over? So
His motivations and even His true identity were part of an unfolding mystery for her – and it was
out of genuine concern for Him – and not wanting the family name to be tarnished by His radical
behaviour – that she accompanied His brothers and set out to ‘take charge of Him’ – ‘because He’s
out of His mind’ – to take Him home – until the situation had quietened down!
But they weren’t the only ones concerned by Jesus’ growing reputation and activities – the big guns
from Jerusalem – experts – teachers of the law – they were also aware of what He was doing – and
that knowledge scared them because it threatened their own authority and status; so they travelled to
where Jesus was – and – maliciously tried to discredit what He was doing by saying that He was
doing everything under the influence of Satan.
Interesting – don’t you think – that they didn’t question the reality of what Jesus was doing – or
suggest that it wasn’t what it appeared to be – how could they – it was self evident – people were
being healed and restored – but to acknowledge that He was doing these things under God’s
authority would have been an acknowledgement that He was Messiah – the One that the Prophets
had foretold – and they couldn’t have that! Their pride wouldn’t allow it!
And as Jesus responded to these accusations – as He answered their allegations by quoting from
scripture ( Isaiah 49; 24-25) – telling the parables of a house or a kingdom being destroyed when it
becomes divided and fights against itself – Jesus – not only bypassed their religious authority – He
diminished their control over the people by highlighting their weaknesses; He challenged what they
believed and exposed their insincerity and hypocrisy – no wonder they didn’t like Him!
And then – when told His Mother and brothers wanted Him to go outside so they could speak to
Him – Jesus gives what – at first sight – sounds like a pretty harsh response – v 33 – 35. “ Who are
my mother and my brothers?”
But He was not saying He didn’t recognise His own family – He was saying that it was those who
believe in God and recognise / understand that His /Jesus’ ministry was/is empowered through Him

that is God, who would become family – God’s family – and that those who believed that the
power in Him to heal and restore people came from satan were committing a sin that could/would
never be forgiven and would separate them from God.

As we’ve gone over the passage and thought about what Jesus was saying both to those Teachers of
the Law and to His family – I don’t know about you – but I began to realise that I’m not so very
different to them! Undoubtedly – Jesus’ family loved Him, but they wanted Him to behave the way
they thought was right and proper! They didn’t like that He appeared to be “out of His mind” –
according to them! So they tried to get Him to conform to the family standards! I can relate to that –
can you? I can remember telling my daughters at times over the years that “that” wasn’t the way we
did things!
It was the Lawyers’ pride that got in the way of them recognising God’s work through Jesus – or if
they did recognise that – it didn’t suit their purposes to admit it – and their behaviour as they tried to
discredit Him made me think of all the times I’ve thought I knew better than God – when I was one
person when I was in my work place, and a different person at home – oh – not in the big things – but
enough to realise that there were times when I had two faces – one for ‘out there’ when people were
watching and listening – and another here – on my own! [Pride / hypocracy??]
Jesus’ answer to His own question – “who is my mother and brothers” = v35 – “Whoever does God’s
will is my brother and sister and mother” – emphasises my longing to be part of His family – and
for that to be so – I not only need to have made the decision to follow Him, trust Him and be
obedient to Him – in other words – commit myself completely to Him – I need to follow that up with
choosing – always – to have only one face as it were – to – as it’s been said – ‘walk the talk’ — ie –
live in such a way that what I say and profess to believe – is in harmony – or backed up – with how I
behave/ live – and don’t contradict each other.
I guess it’s actually easier to live that way too – one doesn’t have to keep remembering what/who
you are in each situation!
Do you identify with what we’ve been thinking about?Are you a member of God’s family – do you
walk your talk??

Compline for Wednesday 2nd June 2021

This week our service of Compline (Night Prayer) is led by John Taylor

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today

Trinity Sunday – 30th May 2021

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,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our Sermon today, from Lindy Ellis

 

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

More Traditional:

 
 

More Modern:

 
 
 
Prayerful
 

Sermon Text

In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

For many years I have sat in a pew on Trinity Sunday and listened to sermons that try to explain the Trinity. I have heard explanations involving triangles, shamrock leaves, and even pretzels, but of course each of these can explain only one small aspect of the Trinity, which is something so much greater than our human minds can possibly conceive. There is a story of St Augustine, while he was pondering the mystery of the Trinity, he went for a walk along a beach. He came across a boy, carrying a bucket full of water from the sea, and pouring it into a small hole in the sand. He asked him what he was doing, and the boy said, “I am emptying the ocean into this little hole”. That boy attempting the impossible led Augustine to realise that he was trying to do the same – he was trying to put an infinite God into his finite mind.

Indeed, it has been said that if you try to explain the Trinity, you will lose your mind, but that if you deny it, you will lose your soul. As someone trained in science, I cannot agree that we should not try to explain the Trinity to ourselves – it is in our human nature (as created by God) to try to make sense of everything we experience – that is the way all knowledge has progressed. But I totally accept that I can’t explain the Trinity to you, so today I want to look at the Trinity from a different angle.

I firmly believe that God is love, but love cannot exist alone – love is a transitive verb. If there is love, someone has to do the loving and someone has to be loved. So God’s nature tells us that he cannot be solitary; he has to be, always has been, always will be, a community, a fellowship. Our creed tells us that he is three persons in one God, and those three persons love one another; they always have and they always will. I have mentioned the novel, ‘The Shack’, by William P Young before. There is so much that can be quoted from it, but the most long-lasting memory of the book that I have is the relationship shown in it between the three persons of the Trinity. It is such a loving relationship, with so much respect shown by the three to each other, so much love, so much happiness. They are portrayed as continually laughing together and really enjoying each other’s company. I loved that image. The book is worth reading for that image alone.

I further believe that we were created because God wanted even more of us to join in that love, in that loving community. God is longing for each one of us to turn to him and to ask if we can join his gang, yet he will never force anyone to do that. We have been created with free wills, so it is up to each one of us to opt to join in that joyous circle of love, or not. Love is not love, if it is not freely given.

Let us pray: Dear God, we thank you for your great love that is beyond our understanding. We thank you for the love of the Father that is always ready to shelter us under his wings; we thank you for the love of the Son that was so strong that he sacrificed himself for us and for our salvation; we thank you for the love of the Holy Spirit that is within each one of us if only we can acknowledge his presence. Grant us grace we pray to recognise your love for us so that we may join that eternal fellowship of love. Amen.

Compline for Wednesday 26th May 2021

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

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today

Pentecost Sunday (Whit Sunday) – 23rd May 2021

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,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

Our Sermon today, from John Taylor

 

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

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful
 

Sermon Text

Today is Pentecost when we celebrate God sending his Holy Spirit to be the guide and spokesperson for the Christian church. This was a vital part of the history and development of Christianity. Pentecostal sermons often talk of the Spirit and its works but I am looking at one small part of how the arrival happened on the day.

When the disciples received the Holy Spirit they started talking and one of the gifts was that everyone heard what they were saying. Most importantly the audience heard in their own language. I say importantly because no matter how fluent we might be in other languages our own is always special. It is ours, we own it, it belongs to us.

We are usually far better able to understand completely what someone is telling us if they are speaking our language. This is a phrase which is often used; so and so speaks my language. We can understand what they are saying and just as importantly they can understand us.

Throughout the New Testament there are stories of Jesus not just talking at or to people but with them. Often these are people on the fringe or edge of polite society. For example when he is talking with the Samaritan woman by the well he speaks in such a way as to engage with her and they obviously understand each other. She listens to him and he listens to her. They are talking with each other not at them.

This, I think, is one of the most important lessons to be learnt from Pentecost. We need to talk with people if not in their own language then at least in such a way as they understand us and we need to listen to them. We need to remember that our languages may not be the same and we must take account of that.

Conversation or debate or negotiation needs to be a two way thing. Many Christians are praying for peace in the Middle East, in Myanmar, in Afghanistan and so many other places. Closer to home there are tensions over race relations and matters of sex and gender. These problems are not going to be solved by shouting at someone in a language they do not understand.

The Church of England has recently developed a system called Pastoral Principals which are designed to help with the debate over sex and gender. They provide for reasoned, courteous debate arising out of listening to each other. The aim is to identify areas of disagreement but then, most importantly, where agreement can be found and built on. These basic principals can be used in almost all situations.

When I say almost all situations I do not just mean major political issues or international relations, war or genocide but everyday life. Family and neighbourhood matters. Some of us may remember recent reports of a zoom council meeting which became rather heated. A major part of such problems is that people talk in ways that others cannot understand. It doesn’t even have to be a foreign language that causes problems. English, for example, can be very confusing. Does LOL mean lots of love or laugh out loud?

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was that Christians could speak to others in a language they understood. This is something the world needs us to demonstrate today. There is too much argument and misunderstanding. We have to show how we can talk with people of all walks of life, listen to them and work with them. If we can do this then others can see that there is a way forward. By taking this meaning and gift of Pentecost out into the world we can help show the Holy Spirit at work.

Amen

Compline for Wednesday 19th May 2021

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

God bless…

A Service of Compline for Today

The Seventh Sunday of Easter – 16th May 2021

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,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our Sermon today, from Ann Cork

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

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful
 

Sermon Text

Compline for Wednesday 12th May 2021

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

God bless…

Compline for Wednesday 12th May

The Sixth Sunday of Easter – 9th May 2021

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,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our Sermon today, from The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

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

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
 
Prayerful
 

Sermon Text (the Bible Passage quoted (John 15.9-17) can be found at the end of the text of this short sermon)

Dear Lord may all that is of you be heard and remembered and all else forgotten.
Amen.

I have been taking a great many funerals lately. Funerals are always painful times but with the current restrictions, funerals can be particularly difficult for families. More painful still is the day-to-day living with that special person no longer in your life.

Jesus knew this and that his disciples were going to struggle without him. So he gave them words of hope and reassurance that faith in him is stronger even than death. Jesus also gave the disciples crucial advice on how they were to live together when he was not there to referee. Those disciples didn’t always get on, James and John wanted to be the most important, Peter wanted to tell Jesus and the rest of them what to do. They included a freedom fighter and a collaborator, there were bound to be fights!

Even today, after all these years, Christians are a strange mixed bunch. We too are all too ready to fall out.

So what was this great advice that Jesus had? Well, it is so simple and so difficult, all at once. Jesus’ advice to his disciples is, “Now I tell you to love each other, as I have loved you.”

That’s alright for Jesus but what of mere mortals like me. I am being told to see my fellow Christian as my friend; my sister or brother. But if God wants me to love these friends, these brothers and these sisters, why can’t he make them more loveable!

It seems like impossible advice. Or at least impossible for me.

Then I thought of the alternative. Then, with a shudder, I remembered the evil way that Christians treated each other during the debate about whether women should be priests in the Church of England. It was terrible. Reading history we Christians have even tortured and killed each other when we disagreed.

So maybe, just maybe Jesus knew what he was talking about. And maybe, just maybe we his disciples, friends, brothers and sisters, should start to take his words more seriously. Perhaps, if we did truly obey Jesus the Church would be far healthier than it is. It’s a thought!

Jesus said, “You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last… So I command you to love each other.”

Amen.

John 15.9-17 CEV
I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you. 10 If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving me, because I have obeyed him.
11 I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am. 12 Now I tell you to love each other, as I have loved you. 13 The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them. 14 And you are my friends, if you obey me. 15 Servants don’t know what their master is doing, and so I don’t speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.
16 You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. 17 So I command you to love each other.

Compline for Wednesday 5th May 2021

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

God bless…

Compline for Wednesday 5th May

The Fifth Sunday of Easter – 2nd May 2021

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,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

 

Our Sermon today, from The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

 

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

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

You are the vine, we are the branches

 
 
Prayerful
 
In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful (Note there is a 20 second intro before the music; relax and be patient)
 
 

Sermon Text

As the Church – we are called to be Branches.
John 15; 1- 8. 2021 recorded for Easter 5

Verse 5. off our reading from St John’s gospel ch 15 today “I am the vine, you are the
branches……..” As a new Christian, the whole idea of being a branch excited me tremendously –
I wasn’t sure why – but it did – and the more I have understood about it – the more excited I’ve
become.

The vine in the scriptures – was seen and understood as the emblem of prosperity and peace among
the ancient Hebrews, a sign of fertility and goodness. But in particular – it symbolised God’s
relationship with Israel – His chosen people, the ones through whom His love and purposes for the
world would be revealed.

In His teaching – Jesus loved to use “word” pictures, drawing on the familiar imagery of the
scriptures to teach deep truths – and here in one of His so-called “self disclosures”, He refers to
Himself as the “true vine”. v 1 of our reading = “I Am The True Vine.” – not any old vine – but the
genuine, authentic vine – the reality of which the vine of the scriptures – was merely a picture or
symbol – The One – through whom God’s will and purposes for the world would finally – and
completely – be expressed and realised.

And nothing has changed – it is still through Him – the true vine – working through His body on
earth – that is the Church or the branches of that vine – you and me – that God seeks to work out His
purposes; and the very essence of His teaching – the prerequisite on which everything else
depends is seen in verse 4 – “Abide in me and I will abide in you.”

Can we spend a moment looking at that word “ABIDE” – as we try to understand a little more of
what Jesus was teaching His Church. A.B.I.D.E.

To Abide = to stay – to live or dwell in a place, and as many translations of the passage put it – to
remain. So much in our present day society is transient, throw-away or programmed for
obsolescence – but there is a sense of permanence and security about “abiding” – and we need to
have both of those in our relationship with Jesus.

As the true vine – He is the source and provider of life for His branches – as long as they remain
part of Him.

And in order to remain – to ABIDE – they need to belong to the vine. The branches are living,
nourished and sustained because they belong to the vine. And one of the wonderful things about the
branches of a vine – is the way in which they are intertwined – quite unlike the branches of a tree –
which tend to grow independent of one another. Vine branches – rely on the vine for life – and on
each other for support. Thank God that He has given the branches / us / His church – a support
system within Himself.

“Can a fig tree bear olives or a grape vine bear figs” asks James in his letter [3; 12.] The answer is
obviously “No” – but the branches that belong to the true vine – are able to be identified by their
likeness to the vine. [ I. ] They/we need to show – by the quality of our lives – to whom we belong
and with whom we Identify – ie “Being transformed into the likeness of God’s Son”, as Paul put it in
his letter to the church at Rome; and that “being transformed” – is a process – [ a former Bishop of
mine used to say we are not human beings – we are human becomings!] – so that ‘being transformed into the likeness of His Son..’ is a life time process, that happens only as and when –
we Depend on Him.

We have been taught to pray “Give us this day our daily bread” – encouraging a daily dependence
on God – for all our needs – just as branches depend completely on the vine for nourishment and
sustenance.

And the more we depend on Him and draw life from him – the more Effective we – will become for
Him. V 5b… “those who abide in me and I in them – they will bear much fruit”. As the
characteristics of Jesus – otherwise known as the fruit of His Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, as all these qualities grow and
become more evident in us – in our lives, we have the awesome privilege of reflecting His love and
mercy – effectively – to the world.

So – if we – Abide in Him
Belong to Him
Identify with Him
Depend on Him
and are Effective for Him

then – and only then – will we bear much fruit – “because” said
Jesus, “apart from me you can do nothing”.

Separated – or apart from the vine – there is no growth – no fruit – no life – only death. In v 6 Jesus
tells us – “ Whoever does not Abide in Me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches
are gathered, thrown into the fire , and burned.”

And even for those who do abide – it is not necessarily an easy or a comfortable ride. You see
there’s that matter of pruning – that Jesus tells us about in the second half of v 2. “ ………Every
branch that bears fruit, He (that is God the Vinegrower) prunes to make it bear more fruit.” – and
that – at times – can be uncomfortable! But necessary!!

“Abide in me – and I will abide in you – without me you can do nothing” – an invitation for unity
with God – with the promise of growth and transformed lives; Jesus has told us these amazing
things – why? – well – He tells us in v 11 ….

“ I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”
That is His desire for us – that our joy may be complete – and I can think of no better reason to
ABIDE in Him – can you?

Prayer
Dear Jesus – source and sustainer of our lives
Give us grace to abide / remain in You
That we may truly BE Your church
And reflect Your love in the world

Amen.

Harleston Centre of Mission Closes Today: Wednesday 31st March 2021

Sadly, our amazing Centre of Mission closes today. With the current restrictions we are not able to have final worship celebration to send Trevor and Bonnie on their way. Instead we have recorded a farewell video to wish them God’s blessing wherever he may lead them next.

Farewell Video

Reflections on a year with Covid-19

Today Tuesday 23rd March 2021 the reality of Covid-19 has been with us for a year. To help us to reflect upon the last twelve months we are sharing reflections taken from a recent interview that the Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, gave to Radio Norfolk.

God bless…

Reflections on Twelve Months with Covid-19 with Bishop Graham

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…