this week

The Parables of Jesus: Lost Sheep and Lost Coin

It’s week 3 of our summer series on the parables of Jesus this week. And this week we’re thinking together about two stories Jesus told with something in comon: the parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coin.

You can read the parables here, and here are some questions that might help you think, reflect and pray about them:

  1. Have you ever got lost? And/or, have you ever lost something and worried that it was lost forever? What was the “found” feeling like?
  2. Why do you think the Pharisees objected to Jesus welcoming the “tax collectors and sinners” and eating with them?
  3. Jesus says there’s rejoicing over sinners who “repent”. What do you think repenting means? Why is it so important to Jesus?
  4. In both these stories, the “finders” are desperate to find the one sheep or coin that they’ve lost, even though they have plenty of others left. What does it say about God that he devotes so much energy to finding even just one lost person?
  5. As Christians, we often think of ourselves as having been “found”. But are there still ways that we’re sometimes lost and need to be found?

Please share any of your answers to these questions, or any other thoughts or reflections about these parables in the comments below. And join us at 10:45 on Sunday morning as we worship, explore these parables and share Communion together!

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The Parables of Jesus week 2: 3 Kingdom Parables

Pearls

By UWAKOYA (http://www.uwakoya.ru/data/pictures/Jevchuzina.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This Sunday is the 2nd week of our series looking at the parables of Jesus. We’re looking at three of the parables about the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus told in Matthew’s Gospel; you can find them here. And here are some questions to help you think, reflect and pray about them: Continue reading →

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Thursday Thoughts: Greenfield Church’s 40th Anniversary

Thursday Thoughts is a new weekly series where, each Thursday, I’ll share something that’s going on in my head that I hope will be helpful for you. Hope you enjoy – please share your thoughts in the comments!

We’re nearing the end of a hugely hectic spring and summer of celebrations of our 40th anniversary; 40 years since Urmston Baptist & Congregational Churches became Greenfield Church! Continue reading →

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The Parables of Jesus week 1: The Good Samaritan

This Sunday, we begin our Summer series of services, where we take a few weeks out to look at a particular theme. The aim is to make these a bit more informal: less of me preaching and more a chance for us all to explore the particular passages and what they might mean for us together. Continue reading →

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Strange Sunday…

This Sunday feels a bit strange.

Why?

Well, on the one hand Christmas Day will only be 9 days away.  My mind is already switching over to Christmas services, carols, readings etc.  We went to see Amy’s school nativity play today (very good it was, too), which makes the “pull” of Christmas even stronger.  It’s like we’re approaching the top of a rollercoaster, teetering on the edge, about to go hurtling down.  Bring on the manger, donkey, angels, stars, shepherds and Magi!

But this week’s readings from the Lectionary (and I need to state quite clearly here I’m not claiming any Lectionary expertise here) are firmly rooted in Advent.  They want to pull us back away from the manger, from Mary and Joseph and the Christmas stories.  They want us to focus, not on baby Jesus in the manger, but on Jesus the one who’s “winnowing is in His hand”, the picture John the Baptist paints for us of one who’s come not to give us an “aaah” moment, but to challenge and upset things.

This doesn’t sound especially “Christmassy”.  We want to go over the edge and everything around us seems to be pulling us in that direction.  Part of me really wants to preach a “Aaaah, Christmas!” sermon.  But we need to hold on – just one more week – to allow ourselves to hear and see this very different (and, if we’re honest, very difficult) picture of Jesus and allow that, in turn, to complete and shape the picture we’ll draw and the story we’ll tell over Christmas.

Humbugs not allowed…

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This Sunday

Just a reminder about what’s happening this Sunday.  At 6pm, we’ve our joint service with the other churches from Churches Together in Urmston.  This is happening outside, in the car park – so pray for sunshine!!  It’ll be followed by a family barbecue.  It should be a great sertvice; Ralph has been working really hard on it and has managed to get the Salvation Army band to come and play for us (I think the offer of food helped!), so it’s definitely something to look forward to.

See you there!

Because of this, we’re not having our normal 10:45 service.  So if you turn up to church then, you’ll be the only one.  Instead, Ralph is leading a Communion service at 9:30, so try and be there for that.

I’ve was going round the houses around church yesterday giving out invitations to people in the area to come.  And what surprised me was that most, if not all, people were very pleased to be given an invitation to come.  I hope as many as possible of them do come.  But even if they don’t, it’s just refreshing that people weren’t openly hostile towards the idea of being invited to a church service.  I think we can get a bit paranoid about how people see us and I was definitely nervous before going out yesterday.  But I think if we give the impression that we’re not out to judge or condemn people, but that we actually quite like them and want to show them something incredibly positive – the love of God shown through Christ – then we’ve perhaps a little less to fear than we might think.

I don’t think this means everything will be plain sailing and people will always respond positively to what we say – Jesus certainly didn’t promise us that.  But it’s good that people are open to this and willing to give us a chance.

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Discussion group on Thursday

Just a quick reminder that on Thursday, I’m hoping you’ll be able to come round to my house to take part in a discussion I’m holding as part of my studies.  We’ll be looking at the issue of how society views children and young people: are they seen as a threat, a nuisance or something more positive?  Hopefully we’ll also be thinking about how we as Christians can address these issues.

If you want to come, it’s at 8pm on Thursday at my house.  You don’t need any specialist knowledge and I won’t be judging you on your opinions: free thinking is welcome!  You’ll also be helping me (again!) in my studies – which I’ll be very grateful for!

Looking forward to seeing you then!

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We're back…

Well, we’re back from a very nice weekend away – it was really nice to see (part of) our family and Amy loved it. Sadly, I’ve come back with conjunctivitis and Joy’s got a rotten sore throat, but apart from that it was good (honest!)

However, having just got back, I’m going to be away again tomorrow and Wednesday, at Northern Baptist College’s annual staff-student retreat. This is taking place in Morley, just outside Derby, at a retreat centre there. It’s being led by David Warrington, who’s Chair of NBC’s Governors and (I think) was once president of the Yorkshire Baptist Association. If it’s anything like last year’s event, it promises to be good.

Either side of that, it’s going to be fairly busy for me, getting ready for Sunday’s service and the prayer event in the afternoon. So, I’d probably best go and get on with it!

See you soon

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