Weekly Church Service 7th October 2018 – Includes Sermon Audio

Includes Sermon Audio

20th Sunday after Pentecost


Sentence:

Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. Mark 10:15


Today’s readings

Job 1:1; 2:1-10

Psalm 26

Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12

Mark 10:2-16


Collect of the day.

Loving God, you have made us in your own image, creating a male and female, and you have consecrated the covenant of marriage so that in it is signified the spiritual marriage between Christ and his church: pour your grace upon all who are called to this holy state, that, keeping their promise of faithfulness to each other, they may reflect in their lives, your love for us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


A thought to ponder upon – Mark 10:2-16

Scribes once again, Jesus pharisaic opponents, seeking to test Jesus with a question: this time confirming the legality of divorce. They hope to expose him as an opponent of the law of Moses. An explanation about the certificate of divorce can be found in Deuteronomy 24:1-4.

Jesus emphasised that marriage, as a permanent relationship between a man and a woman, goes back to God’s purpose at the beginning of creation (Genesis 1:27; 2:24; Exodus 20:14). Moses regulation on divorce were not part of God’s original plan, but were instituted because of our hardness of heart.

Jesus shows that divorce is not what God intended and when it is allowed. It is permitted only on very specific grounds (such as sexual immorality as stated in Matthew 19:9) but never required. Divorce and remarriage on the grounds of sexual immorality a not prohibited and dust do not constitute adultery. This is the one exception Jesus makes to the requirement that marriage be lifelong, for sexual immorality has already harmed the “one flesh” union spoken of in Matthew 19:5.


Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches on marriage after the gospel reading.

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Weekly Church Service 30th September 2018 – St Francis Service

 Includes Sermon Audio

19th Sunday after Pentecost – St Francis Service


Sentence:

Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness. How can it be seasoned? Have salt in yourself and be at peace with one another. Mark 9:50


Today’s readings:

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22;
Psalm 124
James 5:12-20
Mark 9:38-50.


A thought to ponder upon

There is no need that prayer cannot meet and no problem that prayer cannot solve. People in the church are not alone. Members of Christ’s body should be able to count on others for support and prayer, especially when they are sick or suffering. The elders should be on call to respond to the illness of any member, and the church should stay alert to pray for the needs of all its members. At St John’s we have a prayer-chain of faithful people who will pray for any need you have. You just need to let us know.

“The prayer of faith,” does not refer to the faith of the sick person, but the faith of the people praying. God heals, not faith. But our prayers are part of God’s healing process. That is why God often waits for our prayers of faith before intervening to heal a person.

Do you completely trust God with all your worries, stress, and daily struggles that happen in your life?


The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches for the St Francis Day Service after the gospel reading. This was recorded outside.

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Weekly Church Service 2nd September 2018 – Includes Sermon Audio

Includes Sermon Audio

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST


Today’s readings:

Song of Solomon 2:8-13

Psalm 45:1-2, 6- 9

James 1: 17-27

Mark 7:1-8, 14-23


Sentence

“Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17


Collect of the day

Cleanse our consciences, Lord, and enlighten our hearts through the daily presence of your son, Jesus Christ, that when he comes in glory to be our judge we may be found undefiled and acceptable in his sight; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


A thought to ponder upon – Mark 7:1-8, 14-23

Scribes are sent from Jerusalem to investigate the situation brought about by Jesus popularity. In chapter 2, verses 15-28 and chapter 3 verses 6, and 20-30 as well as here, it is evident that many Pharisees and scribes merely intend to convict Jesus of breaking the written law of Moses (i.e. aspects of the ceremonial law in Exodus 30:19; 40:12) as interpreted by the later traditions of the Elders and thus to discredit his authority with the people, “each with defiled hands”. The disciples are not breaking the motor a claw, but rather later Jewish traditions that prescribed ritual washing hands, utensils, and furniture (open). See Mark 7:2-4). By his example. Jesus implies that his disciples can ignore these traditions.

The Pharisees are hypocrites, for 2 reasons:

1). Their actions are merely external and do not come from their hearts which are far from God.

2). Their teachings are not from God, but reflect the tradition of men.

The problem of the defiled human heart is much deeper than one might assume (see Isaiah 29:13-16; Jeremiah 17:9-10) and significantly more serious than mere ceremonial impurity (see Mark 7:19b). The core problem of defilement is what resides in the heart, things that come out not things going into a person. Throughout Scripture the heart refers to the centre of one’s being, including the mind, emotions, and will.


The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from Mark 7 after the gospel reading.

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Weekly Church Service 26th August 2018 Includes Sermon Audio

Includes Sermon Audio

THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST


Sentence;

Jesus said, “It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” John 6:63


Collect of the day

Ever living God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the church is governed and sanctified, hear the prayers we offer for all your faithful people, that in the ministry to which you have called them each may serve you in holiness and truth, through our lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.


A thought to ponder upon – John 6: 56 – 69

The flesh (i.e. human nature including emotions, will, and intellect) is completely incapable of producing genuine spiritual life. For this can only be done by the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit works powerfully in and through the words that Jesus speaks, and those words are Spirit and life in the sense that they work in the unseen spiritual realm and awaken genuine spiritual life.

This is the first reference to the Twelve in the Gospel. Their existence and appointments are assumed from the Synoptics (c.f. the reference to Andrew as “Simon Peter’s brother” in 1: 40). “To whom shall we go” rightly implies that there is no other teacher who can lead people to eternal life and to true fellowship with God himself.

“We have believed” implies that Jesus disciples at this point had genuine, saving faith that (though they would still have much to learn, much more about Jesus’s death and resurrection and the meaning of these things for them). Peter’s confession of Jesus as “the Holy One of God” anticipates later references to Jesus being consecrated, or set apart for service to God. In the OT God was called “The holy one of Israel” (Psalms 71: 22, Isaiah 43: 3, 54: 5). See the similar confessions of Jesus as the Christ by Peter in the Synoptics (Matthew 16: 16, Mark 8: 29, Luke 9: 20).


The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches on John 6; from verse 56 after the gospel reading.

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Weekly Church Service 12th August 2018 Includes Sermon Audio

 Includes Sermon Audio

TWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST


Today’s readings: 2 Sam 18:5-9, 14, 31-33. Psalm 130. Ephesians 4:25-5:2. John 6:35, 41-51.


Sentence: Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. Ephesians 5:1-2


Collect of the day
Grant, O Lord,
that we may see in you the fulfillment of all our need, and may turn from every false satisfaction, to feed on the true and living bread that you have given us in Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


A thought to ponder upon: John 6; 35, 41 – 51

The sixth chapter of John’s Gospel is set immediately after the account of the miraculous feeding the five thousand and contains the teaching of Jesus about himself as “Bread of Life”.

This chapter deals with our close personal relationship to, and dependence on Christ. Our acceptance of Jesus as the “Bread of Life should characterise our whole lives moment by moment . This is outwardly expressed and may be inwardly enjoyed by those who “Worthily Receive” Holy Communion. Christ is the very bread of life to us. In that sense, whoever comes to Christ will never hunger, and never thirst (35).

This is what makes Christ the true “bread from heaven”. (32). He gives eternal sustenance and satisfaction, far surpassing the momentary satisfaction given by a the earthly manna (31) or the five loaves and two fishes (nine), necessary though that these physical provisions were at the time.

No wonder that the people begged Jesus: “Sir, always give us this bread” (34). But as yet, they neither understood for what they were asking, nor the conditions of receiving it.

To those who only see Christ because of the loaves and fishes (26 close bracket, there can be no true finding of him. Jesus must be accepted or rejected at a far deeper level that is why we come to holy communion on a regular basis.


The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches on John 6; 35, 41 – 51 after the gospel reading.

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Weekly Church Service 5th August 2018 Includes Sermon Audio

 Includes Sermon Audio

ELEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

 


Today’s readings: 2 Sam 11.26 – 12.13 Psalm 51 1 – 12 Ephesians 4 1 – 16 John 6.24 – 35


Sentence: Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Each what is good, and delight yourself in rich food. Isaiah 55.2


Collect of the day
Living God, whose son Jesus fed the hungry with the bread of his life and the word of his kingdom, renew your people with your heavenly grace, and in all our weakness  sustain us with your true and living bread, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God now and forever. Amen


A thought to ponder upon – John 6 24 – 35
verse 6: 31 sustains links with (1) the exodus and the Passover month. (2) the characterisation of Jesus is the prophet like Moses, and (3) the expectation that God would provide the manna once again the messianic age.

The true bread from heaven would be something that nourishes people eternally and spiritually and thus is infinitely superior to the manna given to the Israelites in the wilderness, which was able to meet only the temporal, physical needs. Jesus identifies himself as this “true bread”.

Jesus’s claim, “I am the bread of life” constitutes the first of seven “I am” sayings recorded in this gospel. Apart from these sayings there are also several absolute statements where Jesus refers to himself as “I am” in keeping with the reference to God as “I am” in Exodus 3: 14  and the book of Isaiah.

Jesus is the bread of life for in the sense that he nourishes people spiritually and satisfies the deep spiritual long of their souls, in that sense, those who trust in him longer go hungry, that is, their spiritual longing to know God will be satisfied (John 4: 14 also speaks of satisfying people spiritual thirst).


The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches on John 6:1-21 after the gospel reading.

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Weekly Church Service 29th July 2018 Includes Sermon Audio

 Includes Sermon Audio

TENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST


Today’s readings: 2 Sam 11:1-15, Psalm 14, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21


Collect of the Day

Gracious God,

you have placed within the hearts of all your children a

longing for your word and a hunger for your truth: grant

that, believing in the one whom you have sent, we may

know him to be the true bread of heaven and the food

of eternal life, Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you

and the Holy Spirit be glory and honour for ever and

ever.

Amen.


A Thought to Ponder Upon – John 6:1-21 from Sacred Space

This scene provides a revelation of the sort of person God is. Our resources are never enough, but God has limitless resources, enough for us to do what God wants done.

This miracle reveals the heart of God, who cares about our every need. Here, Jesus works with the little the apostles have to feed the multitude. Through his actions he reveals how God is towards us: nourishing, caring, lavish, and concerned for all our needs.

God also expects us to come to the aid of one another, and to share what little we have. Saint Teresa of Calcutta said about Jesus, “He uses us to be his love and compassion in the world in spite of our weaknesses and frailties.”

Let us pray for the courage we need to risk giving what we have.


The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches on John 6:1-21.

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