We are an active community of ordinary people –a local church– who meet regularly to read the bible as we follow Jesus Christ. For many of us, hearing the Bible’s message explained regularly helped us to finally understand who Jesus is, his mission and his relevance.
Come Follow: Witnesses to His Resurrection - Luke 24:1-12 - Easter 2021 - Easter Sunday
Luke the gospel writer was determined to provide certainty about Jesus Christ.
As he put together the eye witness testimonies, the findings of his careful investigations, he clearly demonstrated that Jesus was on a mission to save people – not in the first instance from social problems like poverty or even terrible physical disabilities like blindness. But more significantly, much, much more relevant, was Jesus’ mission to save people like us from our terminal sin condition.
Luke wasn’t interested in eggs and bunnies and the marking of a spring festival… he was, though, rightly concerned about - and devoted much attention to - the death of Jesus and what happened next.
It’s what happened next that changed everything then and changes everything for us now. What did happen? Luke explains...
Come Follow: Clarity About His Mission - Luke 4:16-30 - Easter 2021 Palm Sunday
If you were to collect everything ever written in print or digital form about Jesus, you would have an extraordinary, almost inconceivable amount of material. So much has been written you might think that most people should be able to sum up in a sentence or two what Jesus set out to achieve. Despite having a general of who Jesus is, many, many people struggle with that kind of clarity. But, if we start with and focus on what the biblical writers like Luke wrote about him, examining the material that we saw last week was from eyewitnesses, carefully delivered and complied to give readers like us certainty, you really can have clarity about Jesus’ mission. And when his mission is clarified – I hope that you’ll respond to it.
Come Follow: Certainty About Jesus Existence - Luke 1:1-4 - Easter 2021
Easter is a highpoint in the Christian calendar. And in a few weeks we’ll be celebrating it again here in Ireland.
It was after the very first Easter that people, first in their ones and twos, tens and twenties, and then by their thousands began to define their lives according to the historical figure at the centre of it all – Jesus Christ.
Today millions of people mark Easter in some way: some of them –it’s true – mark Easter for cultural or sort of religious reasons and for the sake of tradition and chocolate, for sure.
But many, many people don’t just celebrate a festival at Easter. If you went with them into their houses and observed them in their rest-of-the year routines -you’d find that they were not just observers of a 1st century religious phenomenon – but instead followers.
More than distantly taking part in a special day, lots of people have decided to follow Jesus – with huge implications for their lifestyle, their priorities, their spending, their hopes and dreams. Today there are children, teens, young adults – middle agers, older people… people from every country in the world and every background you could think of who are not just observing Easter, but following Jesus.
You’re right to wonder why? Why do some people invest more than just a passing glance at Jesus Christ? Over the next few weeks we’ll consider that here. These short talks are hopefully a bit of an insight. Whatever you think about Easter, and the things that are mentioned, you’ll notice that the person described and the events that took place, as well as the way they were recorded – all unashamedly beacon people like you and me to come closer and to come follow.
Belief & Behaviour: Titus 3:1-15 - Saved for Mission!
Chapter 3 of this letter to Titus begins with a reminder. Remind them (the Christians) to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work.
All along, Paul’s letter has reminded Titus and Christians then and now that we need to close the gap between what we believe and how we behave.
In Chapter 1, he spoke about the sphere of the church, in chapter 2 in terms of our homes: men, women, young and old each given specific instructions, now in chapter 3 he addresses how we relate to the world. To people around us.
Now reminders tend to bleep into our lives in a text message, then we reply or switch them off.
Reminders arrive by post, so we open and file them or put them in the bin.
These verses are much more than that kind of functional reminder. If we are Christians, the Bible reminds us here, that aligning our beliefs (-the doctrine we understand to be true) with our behaviour (–the way we practically live out our lives) has everything to do with the church’s mission in the world. So it’s a more than a post-it note reminder, more of a national broadcast, explaining an urgent priority.
Belief & Behaviour: Titus 2: 11-15 - Two Events
At the moment our lives seem to be defined by two events, one of which has its first anniversary this week. Two events. One is an event we look back at, that took place a year ago, and one is an event that is still ahead that we are waiting on. Any guesses?
I’m talking, of course, about the start of Covid-19 restrictions – which arrived on the scene with the event of the Taoiseach’s announcement on 12 March last year… and the other event is the future, final date when restrictions will be lifted and things will reopen.
Two events one past, one future by which our lives are very much defined.
In the letter to his co-worker Titus, Paul’s been challenging Christians on Crete about the consistency of their beliefs and their behaviour. Now as he does that, he also brings our attention to two events. Again, there’s one from the past and one still to come.
Belief & Behaviour: Titus 2:1-10 - Does it Fit?
There’s a very plain challenge that hits us from Titus 2 - Does it fit?
And no, Paul isn’t asking his colleague on Crete if his clothes are the right size. There’s a much deeper concern. He wants Titus to challenge the Christians about whether their behaviour matches what they believe. Is your way of life consistent with your way of belief!