Advent and Christmas Talks 2016
Sermon Series - Fruits of the Spirit
Sermon Series - The Good Life
Sermon Series April-May 2016
3rd April (Low Sunday): Readings to be advised by Keith & Joyce – NB Lectionary readings are Acts 5:27-32, John 20:19-end
10th April-1st May: Resurrection Living – studies in 1 Peter 1-2
This short series post-Easter focuses on the apostle Peter’s understanding of what it means to follow Christ in the light of the events of Easter, as taken from his first letter. For followers of Jesus, Easter is not just the means of our salvation, but also the pattern of our Christian life: one of sacrificial love (cross) as well as resurrection life and power. As Peter introduces his theme at the start of the letter:
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
The resurrection, it has often been observed, changes everything! And so, as we celebrate the events of Easter again this year, in this Easter season we will look at ‘Resurrection Living’:
10th April: 1 Peter 1:1-12 – ‘A living hope’ (2nd reading: John 10:7-10)
17th April: 1 Peter 1:13-2:3 – ‘A holy lifestyle’ (2nd reading: Mark 7:14-23)
24th April: 1 Peter 2:4-12 – ‘A chosen people’ (2nd reading: John 17:20-26)
1st May: 1 Peter 2:13-25 – ‘Obedient servants’ (2nd reading: Matthew 5:11-16)
From 8th May:
8th May (Sunday after Ascension): Ezekiel 36:24-28, Acts 1:12-26 ‘Waiting Well’
15th May (Pentecost): Acts 2:1-21, John 14:8-17 – ‘A church birthed in fire’
22nd May (Trinity Sunday): Romans 5:1-5, John 16:12-15
29th May – 12th June: ‘The Fire’ – a series for the season after Pentecost
29th May: God is a consuming fire (Exodus 3:1-6, Hebrews 12:18-24,28-29)
5th June: Don’t let the fire go out (2 Timothy 1:1-7, Luke 11:9-13)
12th June: Catch the fire (Acts 19:1-7, Luke 3:15-18) – also marks the start of the week of guided prayer
Sermon series: Jan/Feb 2016
The (First and) Last Kingdom
‘The time has come, and the kingdom of God is near.’ With these words Jesus announced his public ministry, and for much of the rest of the next three years the kingdom was decisively declared and demonstrated by him. In fact, the Kingdom of God constitutes the major theme of Jesus’ teaching, being mentioned over 100 times by him. And yet the theme is largely overlooked in churches today – despite our weekly (or even daily) prayer: ‘Thy kingdom come...’!
This short series is an attempt to redress that balance. Over the next few weeks we’ll reflect together on some of Jesus’ teaching about God’s kingdom. Provocative, compelling, often counter-intuitive – and yet these simple parables and reflections have the stamp of divine authority and power which none of us can afford to overlook.
As we begin 2016, let’s allow Jesus to set the agenda for our year: where are we being called to declare and demonstrate his kingdom?
Epiphany – 3rd Jan (SM) / 10th Jan (AS) – The kingdom is here
Main passage: Matthew 2:1-12 / 2nd reading: Isaiah 60:1-6
Scene-setter – 10th Jan (SM) / 3rd Jan (AS) – The kingdom is our priority
Main passage: Matthew 16:13-20 / 2nd reading:
17th Jan – The kingdom is surprising
Main passage: Matthew 13:31-35 / 2nd reading:
24th Jan – The kingdom turns everything upside-down
Main passage: Mark 10:13-27 / 2nd reading:
31st Jan – The kingdom is a precious secret
Main reading: Matthew 13:44-46 / 2nd reading:
7th Feb – The kingdom is available to everyone
Main reading: Matthew 20:1-16 / 2nd reading:
Autumn Sermon Series is based around Prayer - The great adventure
Getting stuck in
A series on basic discipleship, with a special emphasis on stewardship. The passage from Romans 12 is deliberately repeated!
Sunday 7th June
Sunday 14th June
...with my gifts
Sunday 21st June
...with my money
2 Corinthians 9:6-13
Sunday 28th June
...to God’s mission
Sunday 5th July
Sunday 12th July
...to the bible
Sunday 19th July
...to life in the Spirit
2 Corinthians 3:12-18
Back to basics
Timed to coincide with our summer Alpha course, we’ll be thinking about the heart of our faith during our Sunday series. Ascension and Pentecost have been planned with relevant sermon topics!
Sermon Series for Lent 2015
Books that you might be interested in reading; linking to the second week of Lent - Discipline. Rev. Matt Trendall has copies, which he is happy to lend out.
Sermon Series: Early 2015
PRE-LENT (Jan 4th – Feb 15th): Ephesians 1-3
‘Who are you?’ – discovering our amazing new identity in Christ
If someone was to ask you what a Christian was, what would you say. ‘Someone who goes to church.’ ‘Someone who loves God.’ Maybe even ‘Someone who follows Jesus.’ But we are so much more than that! We are in fact new creations: part of a unique, global, multi-racial, multi-cultural new society that God is creating on this earth in preparation for the perfect world to come. We were chosen before the creation of the world to be adopted into his family, and have received his Spirit – the presence of his very self, imagine that! – as his downpayment in our lives. Into this new community God showers his 4-dimensional love upon us (wide, long, high and deep) and empowers us with the same incomparable power that raised Jesus from the dead. As he does so, we are slowly transformed into ‘little Jesuses’, manifesting his character, using his gifts and called to his purposes.
That’s who we are! It’s an extraordinary vision, and it’s what fires a life which truly manifests ‘the fullness’ which he designed us to have. In 2015 our priority is to discover who we really are. And my prayer is that as we do so – as our vision expands, and we grasp a little more of the extraordinary reality of what it means to be ‘in Christ’ – so we will be inspired and empowered to lead the sort of dynamic, servant-hearted, fruitful Christian life we’ve longed to have but maybe thought was ‘for other people’. And perhaps we might also see others come to that kind of life too.
Sunday 4th Jan (St Mary’s) / 11th Jan (All Saints): All Age worship focused on Epiphany
Sunday 4th Jan (All Saints) / 11th Jan (St Mary’s): VISION SUNDAY – Ephesians 1:1-14
Sunday 18th Jan: Ephesians 1:15-23
Sunday 25th Jan: Ephesians 2:1-10 ) NB For each sermon, the speaker may
Sunday 1st Feb: Ephesians 2:11-22 ) add a gospel reading of their choice.
Sunday 8th Feb: Ephesians 3:1-13
Sunday 15th Feb: Ephesians 3:14-21
A midweek home group series will be offered at each church which ties in with the Sunday themes.
November - December 2014
Pledge Day 2014
Sermon Series : October - November 2014
Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians is almost certainly one of the very first he wrote, to a tiny new church in a place where he was able to stay just 3 weeks! No wonder he was keen to find out how they were getting on, and in this early letter, we get a unique insight into what Paul taught new Christians, and of how he and his fellow leaders modelled the servant love of Jesus to them. He was also confident that Jesus would come again very soon, and so this letter is also infused with the enthusiasm and urgency that conviction brought. Let’s be inspired as we read and study a down-to-earth handbook for ‘how to be church’ whose message remains timeless.
Sunday 19th October – 1 Thess 1:1-10, Matthew 22:34-40
Sunday 26th October – 1 Thess 2:1-13, Matthew 23:1-12
Sunday 2nd November – 1 Thess 3:11-4:12, Matthew 24:36-44
Sunday 9th November – 1 Thess 4:13-5:11, Matthew 25:1-13
Sunday 16th November – 1 Thess 5:12-28, Matthew 25:14-30
Sermon Series: September - October 2014
The Long Walk to Freedom: Exodus 12-33
Having looked at Jesus as ‘the new Israel’ – fulfilling all that Israel was meant to be –at the beginning of the year, September’s lectionary readings give us the chance to go back to the original! Over the next 5 weeks, we’ll revisit the incredible story of how God rescues his people from Egypt, and continues to bless them despite their doubts and grumbling. Along the way we’ll learn about some key themes of how God saves, of faithfulness in times of testing and of what it means to be the covenant people of God.
Sunday 7th September – Exodus 12:1-14,24-30, Matthew 26:17-19,26-30 - Passover
Sunday 14th September – Exodus 14:10-14,19-end, Matthew 8:23-27 – Crossing the Red Sea
Sunday 21st September – Exodus 16:1-27, Matthew 6:31-34 – God always provides
Sunday 28th September – Exodus 17:1-7, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 – Water from the true rock
Sunday 5th October – Exodus 19:1-8;20:1-3, 1 Peter 2:9-12 – The Covenant
Hints of the Heavenly: Matthew’s Jesus continued
Sunday 3rd August – Jesus feeds the 5000 – Exodus 16:1-12, Matthew 14:13-21
Sunday 10th August – Jesus walks on water – 1 Peter 1:3-9, Matthew 14:22-33
Sunday 17th August – Jesus reinterprets the law – Galatians 5:13-26, Matthew 15:10-20
Sunday 24th August – Jesus the Son of God – Isaiah 42:1-9, Matthew 16:13-20
Sunday 31st August – Jesus in all his glory – Daniel 7:9-10,13-14, Matthew 17:1-13
NB Transfiguration is officially 6th August, so we are celebrating it 3 weeks late!
Romans Sermon Series
Grace in action: Romans 6-8
What does the Christian life look like? How do we balance our freedom and salvation with God’s plan for us to lead a holy life – but without becoming rule-bound and legalistic? And where is the power to change?
Having spent the first part of his letter to the Romans describing just what God has done for us in Christ – what it means to be saved by grace through faith – the apostle Paul now sets out for his hearers the consequences for all who would follow Jesus. Paul’s critics opposed him by saying that grace is a free pass, a way of avoiding the hard graft of a holy life. Paul counters this in Romans 6-8: grace is not a free pass to do what you like, he says, but a doorway into a completely new kind of life. We died to the old life (ch6) – although we still battle with old habits (ch7). But ultimately we lead a new life, with new objectives: a life not of rules and regulations (‘law’), but one empowered by the Spirit, which God has given us (ch8). This kind of life is what God always meant for us, and it is both the way to life and a way of life. Grace saves us, but is also the blueprint for our lives. We are people of the Spirit, living the life of Jesus as the Spirit empowers and directs us.
Sunday 22nd June – Romans 6:1-11, Matthew 10:24-39 – ‘Dead or alive’
Sunday 29th June – Romans 6:12-end, Matthew 10:40-end – ‘Free to be slaves’
Sunday 6th July – Romans 7:15-25, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-end – ‘New life, old habits’
Sunday 13th July – Romans 8:1-11, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 – ‘No condemnation now I dread’
Sunday 20th July – Romans 8:12-25, Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 – ‘The glorious freedom of the children of God’
Sunday 27th July – Romans 8:26-end, Matthew 13:31-33,44-52 – ‘If God is for us...’
May 2014 Sermon Series - The Psalms
“The psalms formed the heart of Israel’s own worshipping life, but they are more than just ‘songs for the sanctuary’. They describe life with God as it really is: its ups and downs, its joys, wonders, anxieties and failings. The psalmists didn’t cower before a distant deity, they worshipped a loving Creator with whom they could share their whole life. The psalms teach us what and how to pray, as well as how to worship God with our masks off.”
Easter Sunday 2014 Sermon
Palm Sunday 2014 Sermon
Sermon Series for March/April 2014
Lent 2014 Consumer Detox
This coming Lent, take a journey with others towards less stuff and more life.
Lent – 40 days, plus Sundays, to draw near to God. 40 days to let God expose destructive patterns in our lives and breathe freedom in their place. The Lent Consumer Detox is an invitation to less stuff and more life as we go on a journey of greater freedom from the temptations and trappings of our consumer culture.
For 5 weeks of Lent 2014 our small groups will follow up on the reading and topic of the Sunday morning sermon series shown below and be asked to do something practical: to make something, find something out, try something, give something, and so on. Trust will be needed. And a willingness to take risks. If we are willing to go on the journey, God can do amazing things through us, this Lent and beyond.
Sunday March 9th – THORNS Mark 4:1-20 (Isaiah 55:6-13)
Jesus talks about how people respond to the message of the Gospel. We live in an age of thorns and V18-19 explain what thorns are about. Worry, deceitfulness and desire for other things, all of which are markers of consumerism. These things can choke our faith. So what do we do with thorns, leave them, protect them, insure them? And what are our thorns?
Sunday March 16th – RICH 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19 (Luke 12:13-21)
Consumerism offers us many ways to become rich, having money, experiences and knowing fulfilment. It's often hard to feel rich when there’s so much still out there to be had and to experience. In Timothy we read about 3 things that will make us rich. Perspective, thankfulness, and doing good.
Sunday March 23rd – STOP Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 20:8-11 (Mark 2:23-28)
We live in a society that cannot stop, because there is a belief that time is money and everything is a competition for more. Sabbath however is an invitation as much as a command to stop because it is blessed, it is just and it is safe. We must find our life rhythm that enables us to be, rather than do. Sabbath is about identifying the reasons we find it difficult to stop, and who or what controls our time, and spending time enjoying the company of others and God.
Sunday March 30th – IDOL Luke 16:1-15 (Colossians 3:1-6)
Money wants us to worship it as a real god, but is a merciless master. Unspeakable things are done in the name of money, and it seems that Jesus knows how much we worry over money. He seems however to play with it. He knows the real value of money, do we? We learn from the shrewd manager to remember it's not ours, that we shouldn’t follow the rules and go along with the flow and let money set our agenda’s, but be ready to give it away.
Sunday April 6th – THE CROSS Luke 14:25-33 (Isaiah 53:1-12)
Jesus speaks difficult words to all who would follow him, they must be ready to carry the cross, in other words ready to give of themselves just like Jesus has. Jesus at the cross gives to us first (while we were still sinners), perfectly, totally and powerfully, we are to follow this pattern of giving as his followers. The mark of discipleship is abandonment. Is this really the mark we bear in our relationship as Jesus' followers?
Sermon Series for January/February 2014
Matthew’s Jesus: The promise fulfilled
The early chapters of Matthew are more than just a life of Jesus, chronicling his genealogy, birth and beginning of public ministry: they are also a theological blueprint. Jesus is presented as the new Israel: in other words everything God promised to Israel is now fulfilled in him. He is the true son, living perfectly under God’s rule and he is the one through whom all nations will be blessed. Consequently, Matthew chs 1-7 mirror – not quite exactly, but broadly – the early story of Israel in the Old Testament, and each major episode is fulfilled one by one. People travel from the east to the promised land in answer to God’s call (compare Abraham and the Magi), then you have the flight to Egypt (note the importance of Joseph and dreams in both Genesis and Matthew), and subsequent return from Egypt, the crossing of the water, the testing in the desert, and the giving of the law. Each time, Jesus’ life mirrors the story of Israel – only without the sin!
So in this series we are going to focus specifically on the gospel element of the Lectionary readings, as we engage with Matthew’s Jesus and see how he fulfils the promises of the Old Testament.
January 5th: A King for All Nations, Matthew 2:1-12
The Magi fulfil the one part of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 that was never realised under OT Israel: ‘all nations will be blessed through you’. (Note Jesus the ‘Son of Abraham’ 1:1)
January 12th: Crossing the Water, Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus’ baptism picks up on two key ‘baptisms’ of Israel – crossing the red sea (to escape from Egypt) and crossing the Jordan (to take the promised land). Jesus’ baptism acts as a similar ‘threshold moment’, marking the start of a new era, his public ministry.
January 19th: Surviving the desert, Matthew 4:1-11
Israel failed the test of trusting God in the desert: Jesus overcame temptation and so proved himself worthy to ‘inherit the land’ as the true son.
January 26th: Appointing leaders, Matthew 4:12-25
Just as with Moses in the desert in Exodus 18, the large nation that ‘followed’ Jesus (4:25) needed leaders. So Jesus calls his disciples to share the load with him.
February 2nd: Re-imagining the law, Matthew 5:1-12
Sinai becomes The Sermon on the Mount: Jesus gets to the heart of the Law that God gave Israel, starting with the Beatitudes.
The second half of this series picks focus on the Sermon on the Mount in more detail...
February 9th: Distinctive living, Matthew 5:13-20
How do Christians engage with the world? As salt & light, whose power lies in their distinctiveness.
February 16th: The Heart of the Matter, Matthew 5:21-37
We cannot obey God’s law unless we develop a inner character which does what the law requires. It’s all about the heart! Jesus illustrates this profound insight by examining the heart of each commandment
February 23rd: The Extra Mile, Matthew 5:38-48
What does true love look like? God loves the enemy and gives to those who don’t pay back...
March 2nd: For Your Eyes Only, Matthew 6:1-18
True ‘acts of righteousness’ are done for The Audience of One (God) and not to be seen by others. Jesus applies this to giving, prayer and all spiritual disciplines, exemplified by fasting.
9.30am Family Communion with Childrens' Church
8.30 am Traditional Communion using the Book of Common Prayer
9.30 am Informal All Age Worship
9.30 am Family Communion with Childrens' Church
9.30 am Morning Worship
5th Sundays (when appropriate)
9.30 am Family Communion with Childrens' Church
To get full details about what's going on in St. Mary's for this month, please click here.