Author: Alex Slowey

The shadow of opposition

Today we continued a new sermon series in the Bible book of Matthew called the glory and the shadow. This series covers Jesus’ last dealings in Galilee, before he heads to Judea and then onto Jerusalem. It is a section full of contrast, as the glory of who Jesus is and what he came to do is made plain, the shadow of those who oppose him and reject him is all the more stark. This morning Richard preached on Matthew 14:1-12 as we though about the shadow of opposition and heard how we should expect opposition because we are calling people to repent and because people want to be popular. Nevertheless we should seize the opportunity to repent…

Sunday 05 July

We’re not able to meet together as church family today and for the coming weeks. Although, by necessity, we have to stay apart physically, we’re standing together to love, support and encourage one another. So, in around 90 different homes, we’ll sing the same songs, pray the same prayers and look together at God’s word to us, as we look to Revelation Matthew 13:53-58. There are some activities for those aged 14 or under to do and a bible talk from Rich for us to listen to.

For each person in your home, you’ll need a copy of this service sheet, a bible, print outs of the children’s sheets (if needed) and your computer or tablet to click on the links below. Please note that the songs are being played from YouTube, if one of the annoying adverts pop up, click on the ‘skip ad’ button.

Today’s service sheet can be downloaded here

Today’s resources for E Kids can be found here

The thinking behind the song choices is explained in italics

WELCOME AND OPENING PRAYER
Watch the video of Richard’s welcome and intro by clicking here

There’s lots at the moment that feels very uncertain. But in our opening song, we praise God who is completely reliable.

SONG – listen by clicking here
I am not skilled to understand
what God has willed, what God has planned.
I only know at His right hand,
stands one who is my Saviour

I take Him at His word and deed.
‘Christ died to save me’; this I read
and in my heart I find a need,
for Him to be my Saviour.

That He would leave His place on high,
And come for sinful man to die.
You count it strange, so once did I,
before I knew my Saviour.

My Saviour loves, my Saviour lives,
my Saviour’s always there for me.
My God He was, my God He is,
my God He’s always going to be!

Yes, living, dying, let me bring,
my strength, my solace from this spring;
that He who lives to be my King,
once died to be my Saviour.

That He would leave His place on high…

BITESIZE
Click here as we find out how a Zoom prayer meeting works.

In our next song, we celebrate that Christ will keep those who belong to him safe for eternity.

SONG – listen by clicking here
When I fear my faith will fail,
Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail,
He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold
Through life’s fearful path;
For my love is often cold;
He must hold me fast.

He will hold me fast,
He will hold me fast;
For my Saviour loves me so,
He will hold me fast.

Those He saves are His delight,
Christ will hold me fast;
Precious in His holy sight,
He will hold me fast.
He’ll not let my soul be lost;
His promises shall last;
Bought by Him at such a cost,
He will hold me fast.

He will hold me fast,
He will hold me fast;
For my Saviour loves me so,
He will hold me fast.

For my life He bled and died,
Christ will hold me fast;
Justice has been satisfied;
He will hold me fast.
Raised with Him to endless life,
He will hold me fast
Till our faith is turned to sight
When He comes at last!

He will hold me fast,
He will hold me fast;
For my Saviour loves me so,
He will hold me fast.

BIBLE READING – Matthew 5:3-12
At the beginning of his famous ‘Sermon on the Mount’, Jesus tells his disciples what it means to be blessed according to God.

3 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,
  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn,
  for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
  for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
  for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
  for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
  for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
  for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 ‘Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

PRAYERS

Say aloud the prayers that are printed below.

Dear Lord God,
Jesus tells us that “blessed are the poor in spirit” and “blessed are those who mourn”.  We pray that you would help us to be poor in spirit and acknowledge all our sin to you.  We know that much of the time we do not live as your children should.  We have attitudes that are wrong. We sin in our thoughts, our words and our actions. Please help us to hate our sin and mourn it deeply. We thank you that Jesus died for us and won forgiveness for everyone who trusts in him.  May we know the comfort of his forgiveness. Amen.

Gracious God,
Jesus says: “blessed are the meek” and “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. As those forgiven by Jesus’ death, may we long to live righteous lives which honour you in every way. We pray that this week, we would hunger and thirst for righteousness and thank you for his promise that as we do so, we will be filled.  Amen.

Merciful Father,
Jesus says: “blessed are the merciful”. We thank you for your mercy to us and we pray that we would be merciful to others. Please help us to forgive those who have hurt us and done us wrong.  Amen.

Holy God,
Jesus tells us that “blessed are the pure in heart”. Help us truly to believe that to be pure in this sinful world is worth it.  Thank you for the wonderful promise that the pure in heart will see you.  Amen

God of peace,
Jesus tells us that “blessed are the peacemakers”. Help us to strive for peace, knowing that as we do so we are acting as your children. Jesus says that we are blessed when we are persecuted for his sake.  We pray that when people treat us badly because we belong to him, you would help us to rejoice and be glad.  Amen.

Loving Lord,
We pray for our mission partner, Rachel Chard as she works with Friends International to bring the good news of Jesus to students from different countries and cultures. We praise you for the opportunities you have given her to do this online during this time and we pray that you would continue to enable her to speak of you in this way.  Thank you for the opportunities she has had to train others in how to speak to those from different backgrounds and we pray for many to catch the vision of people coming to know Jesus from countries where it is hardest to speak about him.  Amen.

The Christian life is sometimes hard, but we can rejoice that God is always with us.

SONG – listen by clicking here
How firm a foundation you saints of the Lord
is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you than he has said,
to you who to Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health,
in poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
at home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
as days may demand, shall your strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with you. Oh be not dismayed,
for I am your God and will still give you aid.
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand.

When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
my grace all-sufficient shall be your supply.
The flame shall not hurt you, my only design:
your dross to consume and your gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I cannot desert to his foes.
The soul, though all Hell should endeavour to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Watch the bible talk video for the reading and bible talk from Rich by clicking here

BIBLE READING

Matthew 14:1-12

14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. 10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, 11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus

BIBLE TALK

The shadow of opposition

Talk outline:
1. Expect opposition – because we are calling people to repent
2. Expect opposition – because people want to be popular
3. Seize the opportunity to repent

Even though we face mighty enemies, we can have full confidence in Jesus, our Redeemer.

SONG – listen by clicking here
I will glory in my redeemer
whose priceless blood has ransomed me.
Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails
and hung him on that judgment tree.
I will glory in my Redeemer
who crushed the power of sin and death;
my only Saviour before the holy Judge,
the Lamb who is my righteousness,
the Lamb who is my righteousness.

I will glory in my Redeemer:
my life he bought, my love he owns.
I have no longings for another,
I’m satisfied in Him alone.
I will glory in my Redeemer:
his faithfulness my standing place.
Though foes are mighty and rush upon me,
my feet are firm, held by his grace,
my feet are firm, held by his grace.

I will glory in my Redeemer
who carries me on eagle’s wings.
He crowns my life with loving kindness,
his triumph song I’ll ever sing.
I will glory in my Redeemer
who waits for me at gates of gold.
And when He calls me, it will be paradise
his face forever to behold,
his face forever to behold.

CLOSING PRAYER

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

That’s the end of our service but do link up now with others from Emmanuel!

Some material in this service is © Used by permission CCL Licence # 1102690. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The shadow of rejection

Today we started a new sermon series in the Bible book of Matthew called the glory and the shadow. This series covers Jesus’ last dealings in Galilee, before he heads to Judea and then onto Jerusalem. It is a section full of contrast, as the glory of who Jesus is and what he came to do is made plain, the shadow of those who oppose him and reject him is all the more stark. This morning Richard preached on Matthew 13:53-58 as we though about the shadow of rejection and asked can we cope with Jesus or is he too hot to handle? Is your trust really in Jesus or is it in yourself?