Service interrupted was the title I had for my blog of 10 February. It was more apt than I realised as I ended up missing a couple of services due to a cold.
My original service interrupted was simply because I started to record what Tim was preaching on and then ended up having to leave the service to help deal with the challenges posed by some young people from the estate who were playing up. My blog was split therefore between a little of what Tim was preaching on and then what Richard Hetherington preached on later that day at the Gathering of the Baptist churches at Oxford Road.
Tim preached on 1 Corinthians chapter 15
We are ressurrectipnists we do Easter every day. So it’s ok to have crème eggs every day Tim says.
Do we need reminding about the gospel? How would we describe it? All too often it is turned into some sort of ticket for heaven. Believe what I believe and you we go to heaven. Is that really what Paul is saying here. ?
Does this mean some go to heaven and some to hell . The theme here is of resurrection and the Corinthians were having problems here. ..
They had lost the plot about what the gospel really is. They need to live according to the scriptures. They need to see the whole story. They need to understand Jesus the raised Messiah. Remember they did not have the New Testament ! Paul uses the Old Testament to point the way.
Jesus his shameful death his burial and his resurrection. That’s the message in a nutshell. On that first Easter Day he appears to all sorts of people.” And that was all I got to hear thanks to having to deal with the young people outside the church.
Fast forward to the Gathering and my second attempt to reflect the preaching I heard.
Richard talked of the commentators of the bible. Something significant and dramatic takes place. It’s life changing for Peter it reaches through the 21st century. Would we have seen this or would we have just seen a carpenter and his friends passing through and stopping to chat? Richard shared the verse from Zachariah 4:10 “ Who dares despise the day of small things…..”
Richard outlines two points,one of encouragement and one of challenge. The encouragement is the place that it happens. Can we remember the first time we heard this message. “Who do people say I am?” Peter’s reply can be added to with many other names. Caesarea Philippi was a renamed town and it was a way of saying the town was dedicated to Caesar with all the emblems of imperial power. 14 temples and shrines to all sorts of foreign gods. It was full of all the new things. And there was a mountain with a gorge with a tributary of the Jordan called the Gates of Hell. Yet Jesus took them there to ask the question. And the disciples got it.
The word of encouragement is this, the community we live in is uninterested, following odd ideas of spirituality. Never be tricked into believing that the gospel message you share does not have power with some else. What you share may change someone else’s life. Here’s the challenge when people come for baptism Richard always tells them the same story. Whatever has brought them to that point , they shouldn’t ever think that that was all there was. At the point of committing yourself, that’s the start of the challenge. Will you surrender this, if it works out it is from me, if not move on.
Richard also reflected on some of the things he struggled with. His wife came from a background where tithing teaching was familiar and routine to her. For Richard this was yet more to learn.
We all at some point ask Jesus to be Lord of our Lives. Is he still Lord of our Lives?
Richard reflected on the story of Joseph and his brothers, he shares the dreams with his brothers and they rejected it as not from God. What does it take to let Jesus be Lord of our Lives. Many people fall into the trap of only thinking that it’s God’s will if the outcome is beneficial to them. “
Richard concluded by asking us to think and reflect on the challenges you face as a church, and encouraged us to ask the question “how’s your commitment to Christ standing up?”