As we’ve been reading through Mark’s Gospel, have you been confronted by how dull the disciples seem to be? They’re constantly exposed to Jesus’ miraculous works, however they do not understand the glimpses of God’s Kingdom they’re seeing, nor perceive who Jesus is. “Instead, their hearts were hardened.” (Mark 6:52).
On the other hand, it is easy to understand why the Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem were opposed to Jesus. Their hearts were hardened against him because Jesus claimed to have God’s authority and openly opposed their teaching (3:5).
This week Jesus exposes the corruption of their Jewish traditions because of their sinful hearts (Mark 7). If tradition does not save nor help us in our time of need, what hope do we have? Mark does not leave us without a solution to such sin, for he points us towards the faith of a Greek woman and a deaf man; two people who we might say were ‘perishing’ and the Jewish religion was unable to help them in their need. Jesus, on the other hand, could.
Please read Mark 7 in preparation, and please pray for Rusdyan as he expounds it for us.
Join the women for a night of sweet food and a sweet talk on being sisters in Christ.
Men Meeting the Challenge – This Saturday!
Registration and further details are at the Men Meeting the Challenge website.
Mission Prayer Breakfast
Please join us on Saturday 17th September at 7:30pm to pray for our missionaries over a meal. All welcome.
Have you ever seen an actor recite a large section of Scripture while role-playing the parts? Seeing a Gospel or hearing a narrative performed in such a manner can be very powerful.
In preparation for our series in Hebrews (following our Mark 1-9 series), Adrian will be reading through this book, preaching to us as if we were the original audience. So set aside Tuesday 20th September for what will be an encouraging evening of hearing Hebrews. More details coming soon.
Stretch Night – The Reformation
When Martin Luther nailed his 95 points of debate to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church, he probably did not expect to start a movement which would see an amazing rediscovery of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His primary concern was the financial gains the Roman Catholic church was making through selling indulgences which could absolve sins.
Is the Reformation over? This is what the Pope offered last year as part of their Jubilee celebrations:
My thought first of all goes to all the faithful who, whether in individual Dioceses or as pilgrims to Rome, will experience the grace of the Jubilee. I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God’s mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed. To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop, and in the four Papal Basilicas in Rome, as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion. (Letter of his Holiness Pope Francis According to which an Indulgence is granted to the Faithful on the Occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, The Vatican, 1st September 2015)
How can you be saved from sin? According to the Pope, it seems it is not just through the death of Jesus Christ. Come along and hear why that’s not right.
On Wednesday 28th September, Mike and Joshua Russell will be s t r e t c h i n g our thinking about the Reformation, it’s importance, and it’s on-going significance, especially as we engage with people who do not know the salvation that only comes through Jesus. All welcome.
Confirmation and Baptism Night
Also coming up is another AIM night. It’s for anyone interested in full-time paid ministry, and the topic is ‘Why full-time ministry is for everyone’. Talk to Mike for more details.