How does society view faith?

How does society view faith? Being dubious about faith has become the norm, but relatively few people do ‘the working’ or actually ask the questions which might provide surprising answers.
Today’s passage deals with a similar scepticism, the scepticism surrounding Jesus, who he is and where his power comes from. The crowds are intrigued and drawn to him in large numbers, his family – not so much – they want to take him away before he makes more of a spectacle of himself. The religious authorities travel some distance to find out what all the fuss is about, but denounce him on the spot.
So take a moment, ‘do the math’ and listen for yourself… who is this man Jesus? Really.

Today we look at a story in Mark’s gospel that tells us of a level of generosity that cost everything.

Last Sunday we were challenged by the lives of the early followers of Jesus as recorded in Acts 2:44,45. ‘Holding everything in common, they sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.’ Their love for one another was expressed in their generosity. There will be opportunity to contribute to the ‘Living Generously’ offering to bless those in need.

On Sunday we look at a story in Mark’s gospel that tells us of a level of generosity that cost everything. It is generally known as the story of the ‘Widow’s Mite’, We will rather refer to it as the ‘Widow’s Gift’ as the story is less about the amount given than it is about the scale of the sacrifice.

On Sunday evening we will gather for our ‘Open to God’ service. An opportunity to worship and to wait upon God. We invite you to come and share testimony of what God is doing amongst us, and to receive prayer and blessing.


A life lived in generosity

On Sunday we welcome the friends and family of Jess Hawksworth, who is being baptised. A number of Jess’ friends work at CAP in Bradford, where Jess is an intern; which connects nicely with today’s subject….

We have become used to the idea that some, or perhaps many, people live beyond their means. So it is that we use credit and loans to supplement the money we have coming in each month in order for us to get the stuff we want… and get it now!
When I was a teenager we had a businessman in the church who became chief executive of Access Credit Cards. But the thing is, he would only take the job if Access agreed to change their advertising slogan. You see, at that time it was ‘Access – take the waiting out of wanting.’

On Sunday we take a long, hard look at the culture of ‘stuff’ and our seemingly insatiable desire for more, before describing the exciting and compelling God-given vision of life lived in generosity.

The battle between good and evil, God and the devil, freedom and captivity actually begins.

Last Sunday the arrival of Jesus (and John who preceded him), set the stage for Mark’s Gospel. Or it could be said that in their arrival, the battle lines were drawn. Today that battle between good and evil, God and the devil, freedom and captivity actually begins.

Christianity today has, to a large degree, lost our understanding of the reality of this battle, so we would do well to listen attentively in order for us to gain a true perspective.

Sunday evening will see us bring together the imperative to ‘examine ourselves’ at the Lord’s table, with the message to the church at Ephesus in revelation 2 as we ask ourselves whether we rightly hold together our fidelity to the truth with our love for each other.

Oh, and today we will welcome Mr Beaver into our midst – all the way from Narnia!


‘The beginning of the Good News….’

After starting our series on Mark in chapter 14, on Sunday we rewind to chapter one, to ‘The beginning of the Good News….’

Not only is there Good News, but this news is proclaimed openly.

Today there is much about which we might be dismayed. Uncertainty, division, lies, hatred and fear increasingly encroach into public life and the national psyche. But here’s the thing; this will not be the end of things.

On Sunday we will find perspective and hope in the words of John the Baptist and the message of Jesus. Hope has arrived, and like John we are still free to share this wonderful life-changing, society-changing news.


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