WELCOME TO THE PARISH OF SKETTY
THE KINGDOM OF GOD 2020
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.'
This is part of The Lords prayer and so familiar to us. But do we know for what we are praying and what that Kingdom will be like?
Jesus spoke a lot about the Kingdom of God. One important thing to note is that The Kingdom us not just something for the future but it is already here in part. It has been said that God's Kingdom exists wherever and whenever God's rule is applied. It also means that God's Kingdom exist in situations where non Christians are acting, for example, in ways that are according to His ways of social justice even when the are not Christians.
So what does Jesus say about it?
1: It is already here.
2: It was seen in the person of Christ Himself.
3: It is not complete. This will only happen when Christ returns.
4: We are to help build the Kingdom by the way we live our lives in the community.
In His parables Jesus taught that the Kingdom is growing secretly like an underground
movement slowly spreading over the world. However it is not always distinguishable from the
surrounding culture and it is mixed up with the corruption and evil in society. We don't have to
worry about this because when Jesus returns He will sort out which is which.
(Information is taken from the Bible application Handbook bu Derek Williams.)
When Jesus returns His Kingdom will replace all earthly authority and all creation will recognise His Kingship. His Kingdom will last forever! It will be a Kingdom of peace and forgiveness. It will be given to Him by God.
Those to whom the Kingdom will belong are: the poor in spirit, the childlike, sinners, (repentant ones), those persecuted for Jesus' sake and to Gentiles as well as to Jews.
We don't know when Jesus will return but if we want to become part of His Kingdom when He does, we must be prepared for it and not taken by surprise. The implications of this for us is that we must live every day guided by the Holy Spirit so that the fruits of that Spirit develop in us and help us to become more Christ-
Is this what we really want when we pray the Lord's prayer? Are we ready? Perhaps for most of us it is, ‘Thy Kingdom come, they will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, but, not just yet!'
AUTUMN THOUGHTS 2
The American’s call the Autumn, ‘the Fall’. I like that. For one reason it helps me to remember that our clocks spring forward in the Spring and fall back in the Autumn! However, when we think of the leaves changing colour and dying and falling from the trees, it is a very appropriate title for the Autumn.
We know that although the trees are left bare the leaves will grow again in the spring and for now the trees only sleep to go through the cold days of winter.
Autumn can be a time for us to consider the things we no longer need and how to shed them? Maybe we are hoarders surrounded by those things we never use and just clutter up the place? As falling leaves, as they break down, add nourishment to the soil, have we something that will be useful to others who can use them to add quality to their lives? Certainly, charity shops would welcome our help.
Autumn can be a time to take stock of where we are in our Christian lives. Perhaps we holding on to things that were so important to our faith and worship but now need to be replaced with something new? Is there need for change so that the church will become more attractive next year?
Are we holding on to old feelings of resentment and anger over situations that have now been resolved but we can’t seem to let them go and they affect our relationships and attitudes today if something triggers off old memories.?
Has what had been a new vibrant and healthy faith faded because we have discarded some of those things that are important for us to be fed spiritually? Is our faith now coloured by our own personality flaws?
Within us are all sorts of things, bad and good that if used properly can nourish new growth in our spirituality. We need to take all that has happened to us and add it to a sort of large spiritual compost heap. Then as we break it all down we can use what was useful in the past to give new nourishment to these flaws and take time to refresh our basic faith so that we can face the cold hard times when they arrive.
It is important to rest in the Lord and take time to just to be with Him. We are all branches on Jesus the true vine and whatever our outward appearance, He continues to provide the real nourishment that will give us eternal life, He will never cast us off. He uses us whatever our condition or appearance.
Take time over the winter months to let go of ourselves and offer everything we are to Jesus, He will transform us to new life.
LAST WORDS FOR CHRIST THE KINGSUNDAY 2020
MATTHEW 25 31-
Today is what is called, Christ the King Sunday.
So let us begin by consider what sort of King Jesus is.
We start at the beginning, that first Christmas when the tiny king lay asleep amongst the cattle in a lowly place.
That sets the scene for us.
Here lies the Son of God Who gave up power, authority and divinity to be born as one of God's own creation to live as one of us for a very short time in eternity.
This is a king who loved His Father so much that He willingly gave up all power so that the Father might be reconciled to humankind.
This is a king Who loves us so much that He was willing to take the punishment for our rebellion against God upon, Himself.
He suffered dreadfully although He had done no wrong.
At the end of His earthly ministry, He rode a donkey into Jerusalem showing that He was a king of peace. He told us to love our enemies and not to seek revenge upon them.
We remember that when He died upon the cross Pilate had a plaque placed above Him which said, 'This is the King of the Jews'.
We know this was a suffering king and not only of the Jews, but of all who believe in Him.
This is Jesus the personification of love.
This king is Jesus Who is in fact God within the Trinity, both human and divine,
and king of Jew and Gentile alike.
I don't know if you have ever seen a ‘Christ The King Crucifix’.
Here is a picture of one.
Some people prefer it to the usual crucifix which speaks
of Christ's suffering because a Christ the King crucifix speaks
of His ultimate triumph over suffering and gives a message of
hope and of triumph over evil.
The baby of Bethlehem is now whole again and King and Lord in unity with the Son and the spirit.
LAST WORDS FOR SUNDAY 1ST. NOVEMBER 2020.
What is a Saint.
The words of a well known saying are: 'To live with saints in Heaven is glory, to live with saints on earth, well that's quite another story!!!!!
Just think, we have to spend all eternity with them!
Perhaps we all have the wrong idea of what a saint actually is. I think generally we would say that saints are very godly holy people whom we are told have performed miracles.
However, the original title, 'Saints', was first used to generally describe all our brother and sister Christians. It did not refer to 'especially holy people!'
Every one of us is called to be a saint and the thought of being 'very holy and devout' can be very daunting., I want us to consider what realistically those we call saints were actually like and how we through the guidance of the Holy Spirit can be inspired by their example.
All the saints in history have basic things in common and for me, notes by Alison Clarke
from the Scripture Union's ' Daily bread ' Bible notes when she was talking about Jesus' disciples, sums them up.
She asks the question,
Weren't they just ordinary people like you and me? Then she suggests that we find three things that enabled the ordinary disciples to do extraordinary things.
First she says, Jesus called them to Him. They were people who spent time with Jesus.
They knew Him intimately and they carried something of His presence with them as they went.
Next she tells us that Jesus sent them. They didn't go just because they felt like it......they went because they were sent. In all things, they were obedient.
Lastly she says, Jesus gave them authority. Their boldness in healing the sick and casting out demons was rooted in this. The disciples watched Jesus heal; they knew it always worked! So they spoke in faith, knowing that they had His authority......
I believe that these points can be applied to most of those we call the saints.
Alison then challenges us to consider how we can be saints by reminding us that
Jesus calls us too.
Today it is important that we remember we are Jesus saints. We have to witness by living in obedience to Him whatever our situation, and to share His love and strength that is in us.
As we pray, He teaches us and through time spent with Him, He prepares and changes us and sends us out to tell others about Him.
THE WORLD NEEDS ALL Christians to show our faith and the way it helps us through difficult days. By living as examples of Jesus, we can bring His love and healing
Alison continues with this a finale thought:
We may be just ordinary people, but if we are called by Him and sent by Him,
we too can do extraordinary things.
Rebecca Lowe shared her thoughts on the festivals.
October at 10:44
November 1st and 2nd are known as All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Traditionally they’ve always been a time of prayer, to honour those who’ve gone before us and remember loved ones. Our world is desperately in need of healing right now. With places of worship shut and many places locked down, we can still pray. Please will you join me in prayer over these two days:
• For healing of people and planet
• For healing of divisions of social inequality and racial injustice
• For a healing of hardened hearts and broken relationships
• For strong, just, compassionate leadership at this difficult time
If you pray, please could you place a picture of a cross (or whatever symbol is appropriate to your faith) and a heart in your window, to show others in your community that you hold them in your hearts and are praying for them.