The Gospel of Judas . . .

. . . is an ancient text which has been dated to around AD280. In it the writer proposes that Judas alone of the disciples, knew and understood what Jesus’ Gospel was really all about, and that in giving Jesus up to the religious authorities he was only playing an obedient role in God’s great Passion drama. The Gospel of Judas didn’t catch on.

As we look at the story of Judas’ betrayal in John 13, we will see something of the tragedy of betrayal, examine the heart of betrayal and be invited to inspect our own lives to see what betrayal we too might carry.


We are delighted that tonight Rob and the young people will be leading us as we begin a journey through the Parables of Jesus. First up it is the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders, told with words, prayers, videos and drama. And what’s more, we’ll expose that common misconception about what the parable really means, namely that…. no wait! You better come and find our for yourselves.


This week at ABC,

the story of Jesus takes a dramatic turn. Having had John so brilliantly describe for us who this man Jesus is, the mood changes and Jesus’ inexorable journey to the cross now takes more focus. Its as if the wide and easy flow of the river, now enters a canyon where rapids and danger loom. No longer free to preach and minister with impunity, Jesus is now a marked man and what awaits will require focus, unhuman resources of courage and an unshakeable belief that this is the only possible road he can take.


There’s this song . . .

. .  . ‘Awake My Soul’ by Mumford & Sons – it came out years ago. Its opening lines are: “How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes, I struggle to find any truth in your lies. And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know, my weakness I feel I must finally show”.

In just those few lines Marcus Mumford exposes the truth about our emotions, our thinking and how uncertainty and restlessness can rule parts of our lives. Peace can be elusive.

And we search for answers and peace in a myriad of places. Some are long shots, others look promising, but apart from God all these searches are ultimately futile.

When we baptise people at ABC we use a line of Roman Catholic liturgy; ‘…do you renounce the devil and all his empty promises…’. That’s truth, (true truth as one writer once put it). So let us run to Christ, to the only one who can ever bring peace for us; for our families.


This Sunday

we have a great opportunity to look at a familiar passage in the Bible – Jesus telling us about the Good Shepherd.

Shepherds are those who are entrusted with protecting and caring for others. Its is a responsible role, a demanding role and a privilege. It requires much of the shepherd as their attention and labours are ordered around others. By comparison the hired hand is only concerned about getting paid, with no real commitment to their responsibilities and thief doesn’t even pretend to have care, simply motivated by self.

This evening we will unpack 1 Peter 1 and the vital truth of how death and resurrection are a constant journey and process for the Christian. In the letter Peter explains how it is in the testing fire, that pure gold results!


This week Open Doors,

the charity which serves the persecuted church across the globe, launched its 26th annual World Watch Report.

It identified the 50 countries where it is most, how shall I put this, problematic, difficult, dangerous to be a Christian.

North Korea remains #1 on the list, with an estimated 300,000 living under the most intense ‘Smash and Squeeze’ persecution. ‘Smash’ in that if believers are discovered they are subject to prison camps, beatings and even death. ‘Squeeze’ in that the rights and freedoms of believers are increasingly limited.

However, we also hear remarkable stories of generosity and witness. Where rations of daily food are tightly controlled, Christians in North Korea have adopted a practice of sharing 10% of their meagre rations with their neighbours. This has come to be known as the ‘holy rice’.