Nick explores passages from chapters 11 and 12 of Mark's Gospel, highlighting Jesus' use of asking difficult questions to turn people's assumptions on their heads. In these challenging times we have the opportunity to let go of our old assumptions of our physical, emotional and spiritual lives, and to pick up new rhythms of being - particularly the practice of sacrificial giving.
Simon looks at chapter 11 of Mark's Gospel, particularly the stories of the fig tree and the confrontation with the Temple authorities, and explores how Jesus models a way of courageous, faith-filled engagement with the world.
This audio was taken from our first live-streamed service while we are not able to physically meet. Jamie looks at another incident from the crucial sequence of chapters 4 to 10, the feeding of the 5000. Through the faithfulness of Jesus, we get a glimpse into a different reality, a different way of being human and seeing the universe - one that is especially relevant to us in challenging times.
In our second week looking at the major thematic arcs of chapters 4 to 10, Jamie unpacks some of the motifs that Mark employs to answer one crucial question: Who is Jesus? It's a question that is as vital for us today as it was for his first followers, the answer to which can (and should) be life changing.
As we take a couple of weeks to look at the overarching theme of chapters 4 to 10, Jamie starts to explore some of the key motifs we find: supernatural healing, deliverance and miracles. This can be a tough area for 21st Century disciples, as we may need to wrestle with rational objections, unhelpful teaching and our own experiences of heartbreak and disappointment following 'unanswered prayers'.
In the next of our series looking through Mark's Gospel, Stuart explores how Jesus uses parables in chapter 4 to reveal the mystery of the kingdom! The kingdom is revealed in ways that we often don't understand, or only see in part. This calls us into a place of faith and trust, and through these God is able to do wonderful things...
In chapter 3 of Mark's Gospel, the conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders is crystalised into murderous intent. This conflict is part of a wider opposition that is stirred up as God's good, loving work disrupts the schemes of evil. We need to be clear which side of the fight we are on; But human beings are very good at twisting things up so that black looks like white...
This week Nick dives into chapter 2 of Mark, highlighting the emerging conflict between the way of Jesus and the way of the religious authorities. Focusing in on the story of Jesus healing a paralysed man, we look at how Jesus breaks the religious and social boundaries that prevent people from being made whole with God - both then and now!
Mark's Gospel was always symbolised as a lion, and it's no wonder! His story of the life of Jesus is powerful, energetic, mysterious and untamed. As we kick off this new series, Jamie gives some essential background and outlines some of the major themes that are introduced in the first few verses, but that will return again and again on this wild journey!
As part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Matt Butler from Salvation Army shared with us on the theme of 'Unusual Kindness', rooted in Paul's experiences in Acts 27 & 28. The transforming power of kindness is easy to underestimate: Matt challenged us to adopt a humble, servant-hearted posture to truly see that power at work in our community.