Weekly Church Service 4th November 2018 – Includes Sermon Audio

Includes Sermon Audio

24th Sunday after Pentecost


Sentence: Mark 10:29-31

Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength, and you shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.


Collect of the day:

God of peace you taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: by the power of your spirit lift us to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Today’s readings:

Ruth 1:1-18.
Psalm 146
Hebrews 9:11-15
Mark 12:13-17, 28-34


A thought to ponder upon – Mark 12:13-17, 28-34

The likeness (of Tiberius Caesar) and inscription (“Tiberius Caesar, son of the Divine Augustus” around the coins perimeter) on the denarius (valued as the wage of a day’s labour) represent the person of Caesar and his authority.

Jesus is not establishing a political kingdom  in opposition to Caesar, so his followers should pay taxes and obey civil laws. There are matters that belong to the realm of civil government, and there are other matters that belong to God’s realm.
Jesus does not here specify which matters belong in which realm, but many Christian ethicists today teach that, in general, civil government should allow freedom in matters of religious doctrine, worship, and beliefs about God, and the church should not attempt to use the power of government to enforce an legions to any specific religious viewpoint.
All forms of the Christian church throughout the world today support some kind of separation between matters of church and matters of state. By contrast, totalitarian governments usually try to suppress the church and subsume everything under the realm of the state. Historically, when the church and state had become too closely aligned, the result most often has been the compromise of the church.


Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.

Direct MP3 Download ⇓

Weekly Church Service 28th October 2018 – Includes Sermon Audio

Includes Sermon Audio

23rd Sunday after Pentecost


Sentence: – Isaiah 51:11

The redeemed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; and everlasting joy shall be upon the heads.


Collect of the day.

Oh God,

you give light to the blind and comfort to the sorrowing, and in your Son you have given us a High Priest who has offered the true sacrifice for us, and yet can sympathise with us in our weakness:

hear the cry of your people and lead us home to our true country, where with your Son and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.


Today’s readings:

Job 42:1-6, 10-17

Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22)

Hebrews 7:21-28

Mark 10:46-52


A thought to ponder upon – Mark 10:46-52

Both 8:22-26 and 10:46-52 new rates to healing of the blind man. These 2 stories serve as literary bookends surrounding the 3 major predictions of Jesus death and resurrection (8:31; 9:30-32; 10:32-34), as well as the major instructions on discipleship in Mark’s gospel. The disciples’ blindness regarding the true mission of Jesus is thus also being emphasised, but as Jesus teaches them, he is healing. This spiritual blindness as well.

This healing occurs when Jesus heads back to Jerusalem. Jesus identifies the cry of Bartimaeus, quotation mark Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me” as expressing faith. Initially, Bartimaeus’ cry was seen as an interruption by many in the crowd. This attitude changed to encouragement when Jesus pays attention to him. Even though Jesus faces suffering in Jerusalem, he still considers the marginalised. Jesus asks, Bartimaeus what he wants, so he can express his trust in Jesus. “Your faith has made you well” also hints at spiritual salvation. Bartimaeus joins Jesus and the other pilgrims on their final journey to Jerusalem. He had become a disciple of Christ.


Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the Gospel after the gospel reading.

Direct MP3 Download ⇓

Weekly Church Service 21st October 2018 – Includes Sermon Audio

Includes Sermon Audio

22nd Sunday after Pentecost


Sentence:

The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45


Collect of the day.

God of unchangeable power, when the heaven and earth were made, the morning stars sang together, and a host of heaven shouted for joy: open eyes to the wonders of creation and teach us to use all things for good to the honour of your glorious name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen


Today’s readings:

Job 38:1-7, (34-41)

Psalm 104:1-10, 26

Hebrews 5:1-10

Mark 10: (32- 34) 35-45


A thought to ponder upon

Mark 10:32-45

James is the son of Zebedee and the brother of the apostle John (Matthew 10:2). He is almost certainly the older brother of John since he is mentioned first in 17 of the 18 verses where the 2 of them are listed together (the exception is in Luke 9:28). James worked with his brother John, with his father Zebedee (Matthew 4:21), and with Simon Peter (Luke 5:10), in the fishing business on the sea of Galilee (Mark 1:16). He certainly had been a follower of John the Baptist as were all the early disciples (Acts 1:21-22). He immediately answered the call to follow Christ when he received it (Matthew 4:18-22).

When Jesus prayed all night and chose 12 of his disciples to be apostles the next morning (Luke 15:12-16), James is the 3rd man mentioned (after Peter and his brother Andrew and immediately before John). Jesus called James and his brother John “Boanerges”, which means the Sons of Thunder (Mark 3:17). Both brothers evidently had fiery tempers. They proved this when they sought permission to call fire down from heaven on a village of Samaritans who did not receive Jesus (Luke 9:51-56). They also had the audacity to ask him that they might sit on his right hand and left hand in his kingdom (Mark 10:35-44).

Yet this aggressive tendency did not keep Christ from drawing James into his inner circle. The inner circle of disciples included Peter James and John. Only these 3 went up with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. The same 3 were taken into see the raising of the daughter of Jairus from the dead in the garden of Gethsemane, these 3 were taken further than the other disciples to pray with the Saviour. On a couple of occasions, Andrew was included in a slightly larger inner circle.


Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the Gospel after the gospel reading.

Direct MP3 Download ⇓

 

Weekly Church Service 14th October 2018 – Includes Sermon Audio

Includes Sermon Audio

21st Sunday after Pentecost


Sentence:

There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for Jesus sake, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.

Mark 10:29-30.


Collect of the day.

Merciful God, in your Son you call not the righteous but sinners to repentance: draw us away from the easy road that leads to destruction, and guide us into parts that lead to a life abundant, that in seeking your truth, and obeying your will, we may know the joy of being a disciple of Jesus our saviour; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen


Today’s readings:

Job 23:1-9, 16-17

Psalm 22:1-15

Hebrews 4:12-16

Mark 10:17-31.


A thought to ponder upon-Mark 10:17-31

In today’s gospel a man comes to Jesus and says he wants to follow. Jesus challenges him to go beyond observance of the law and to make a serious commitment to God by giving up his riches and following him. This is too much for the man and he goes away that. Jesus challenges the young man where he had least expected it, in his attachment to his well. Like many Jews of his time, he had thought that his wealth was assigned a blessing from God.

Jesus’ challenge to the man is twofold: first, he is to sell his possessions and give the money to or. Such a positive injunction surprises. He was used to think of the law of God in negative terms, “you shall not…” Now, he realises that he must not only avoid doing bad things, but take positive action too. The 2nd challenge is Jesus invitation to come and follow him. The reason why he should sell his possessions is to be free to follow Jesus and to allow Jesus to give a new orientation to his life.

One popular kind of expression in the language of the Jews is the use of an exaggerated image. The camel passing through the eye of a needle is such an exaggerated image. Everybody knows it is impossible. But this exaggeration contains a deep truth. It is impossible for a rich person who is attached to his wealth to be a meal disciple of Jesus and into his way of life. It becomes possible only by God’s grace!


Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the Gospel after the gospel reading.

Direct MP3 Download ⇓

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.

Direct MP3 Download ⇓

 

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.

Direct MP3 Download ⇓

 


Weekly Church Service 23rd September 2018

18th Sunday after Pentecost


Collect prayer

God and Father of all, you have taught us through your son that the last shall be first, and have made a little child the measure of your kingdom.

Give us the wisdom from above, so that we may understand that in your sight the one who serves is the greatest of all.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


Today’s readings

Proverbs 31: 10 – 31

Psalm 1

James 3: 1 – 12

Mark 9: 30 – 37


Sentence

“Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35


A thought to ponder upon

Clearly the crowds did not understand the nature and purpose of Jesus’s ministry. Not even his own disciples could understand (vs 34). Even with their special tuition, the disciples still squabbled over who was the greatest.

Who do you regard as being the greatest person who has ever lived during your lifetime?

In your opinion, what are the outstanding attributes, attitudes and accomplishments that make this person great?


 

Weekly Church Service 16th September 2018.

17th Sunday after Pentecost


Today’s readings

Proverbs 1:20-33;

Psalm 19

James 2:18-26;

Mark 8:27-38.


Sentence:

Those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for the sake of the gospel will save it. Mark 8:35


Collect prayer:

God have mercy,

help us to forgive as you have forgiven us, to trust you, even when hope is failing, and to take up our cross daily and follow you in your redeeming work; through 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:

Suffering is a part of life-suffering comes to us as it did to Jesus. For us, the devastating heartache of grief can come from a variety of circumstances such as a death (especially if it is unexpected), a divorce, loss of employment, or the failure to achieve future plans. Such losses can cause unrelenting disappointment.

There is also the deep suffering which comes from the indifference of friends-those who do not care. There is the betrayal of friends, which is one of the most difficult forms of suffering. There is the suffering which comes from separation. The inability to make contact with one another when you really care. There is suffering when the one you thought would understand fails to understand. There is suffering which comes from the hostility of people. Anyone who really cares involuntarily takes on helping people notes this kind of suffering. There is the pain of anxiety when sudden illness strikes and uncertainty hangs over the future.

In times of suffering do you cry out to God in faith, knowing that he will hear?


 

Weekly Church Service for 9th September 2018

16th Sunday after Pentecost


Today’s readings:

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23;
Psalm 125;
James 2:1-17;
Mark 7:24-37

Sentence:

“So speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:13

Collect prayer:

O God, whose Word is life, and whose delight is to answer our cry:
give us faith like that of the woman who refused to remain an outsider,
so that we too may have the wit to argue and demand that our children be made whole,
through Jesus Christ. Amen.

A thought to ponder upon:

A man plagued with deafness and an impediment of speech was presented before Jesus. After touching his ears and tongue, Jesus commanded that the man’s ears be “opened”. The healing was immediate. God’s people will be able to hear perfectly and speak plainly. They will be sensitive to God and to all his people. Our words will echo eternal truth. The healing may then be a glimpse into the future, a dramatic display of God’s compassion and affection”. It can say to us,” here is what God will do for everyone; here is our hope for a better day. Life in the fullest sense is lived out only in God’s way. You will want to be part of it”.

-If you became deaf, what 3 sounds would you most miss?
-What can you do this week for someone who is isolated and alone?

 

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