Sunday 13th June: Eleventh in Ordinary
Listen to the service as a radio broadcast on 105.9 BishopFM just after the 11am Sunday morning news, or stream it at 11am on the website through YouTube [and join in with hymn-singing for 15 minutes beforehand] – See below…
Below you can find the radio podcast if you can’t listen on 105.9 BishopFM and also the YouTube video stream, which will go live at 11am on Sunday. You will also see the regular extras including the video of Susan’s sermon.
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Radio podcast for 105.9BishopFM
This Week’s YouTube broadcast
(live at 11am, at the same time as the radio broadcast, and available here after that, with 15 minutes of hymns to join in with beforehand)
If you haven’t listened to the audio or video services above, and wish to read the lectionary readings before considering these further worship resources for this week follow or this link to biblegateway.com for this week’s Bible readings for Palm Sunday from:
Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!
As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to look at (2) the pdf sheet from Roots or (3) the pdf sheet The Vine, or (4) the District Worship at Home resources or (5) watch ‘Politics in the Pulpit’ a resource from JPIT, or read (6) the Connexional reflection; or otherwise to come (7) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or or if nothing else to stay home (8) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings for the day.
1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne click on the video below.
2. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb at home sheet
3. or read the VINE worship sheet which MWiB are supporting this year
4. or consider the Darlington Methodist District’s Worship at Home resource page:
5. or watch ‘Politics in the Pulpit’, a resource from JPIT (Joint Public Issues Team) looking at how issues in politics today can be considered in the light of today’s lectionary passages:
6. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:
Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed reminds me of my own journey – the time when I was called to ministry. I had asked the question – how can I, such a small, insignificant person be called to serve the church? I was not convinced that God had the power to use me. How wrong I was! Little did I know that God was going to use me outside of my little village, even outside of my country of birth, to serve the church! It is perhaps human nature to judge things by appearance or capability, forgetting that God does have power to use whatever He sees fit for a purpose!
Jesus teaches that the growth of a seed is a mystery just like the growth of the Kingdom. We know that a seed needs soil, water and an adequate amount of sunshine to grow, but the question still is – who makes it grow? More importantly, a seed needs to be planted in the ground because a seed, if left alone on a windowsill will not grow. The Seed that Jesus talks about is God’s word being sown in people’s lives where it will take root and grow. Although for a time the seed seems inactive, Christians must not be anxious but trust in God’s timing and sovereignty.
Likewise, the Kingdom of God will grow when the Gospel is shared with others as Romans 10:17 says: “So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ.” I read online the testimony of a woman, who during this current pandemic was feeling utterly worthless – disappointed with life and did not want to live anymore. However, she decided that she would visit a church before making any final decision, and the turning point came for her during worship when she realised that God loved her deeply. She experienced total peace despite her life having been turned upside down! This woman did not know that her aunt had been praying for many years for her to come to know Jesus as her Saviour! Christians must continue to spread the gospel through prayer, word and actions, even when they do not see the results!
The other important thing to note in this text is that the Kingdom of God starts small, just like the mustard seed. No wonder Jesus’ disciples and his contemporaries did not understand that he was not here to establish a ‘political kingdom’! In fact, God’s kingdom is so contrary to earthly kingdoms in every way that it requires only what are probably seen as the lowest of human standards, such as, humility, servanthood and willingness to serve. However, even though it starts small, it grows beyond expectation. God’s word has far-reaching outcomes. In our world, there is on-going persecution for Christians in every continent but the church never seems to die, it is never dulled and it is almost un-stoppable in some places. This is because the power of God helps the Kingdom to spread and grow strong. And so the disciples of Jesus must continue to do whatever they are called to do.
The final thought for us to consider is whether the Kingdom of God is a living reality (here and now) or it is some futuristic notion (eschatological). It will be unfortunate for us to assume that only when Jesus returns as judge and King, will he start his Kingdom too. The New Testament clearly tells us that Jesus already began the work of the Kingdom when he was on this earth. And it is so small, so hidden and invisible in places that we do not have the faintest idea that God is already doing the work. Christians must not lose heart when they feel that God is inactive or absent, when they see so much suffering, evil and the power of darkness taking over this world. God is present and that He will bring justice for each evil perpetrated in His own time. This is my experience that God also brings peace and comfort to all who trust in Him.
Take a time to sit quietly
thought from the connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Rev. Nutan S J Suray
7. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world. The daffodil cross may be past blooming now, but other parts of the garden are looking well as the Cultivate4life team are working on it on a Wednesday morning. There is even the new bench to take a rest on afterwards. Or even join the service for Trinity with Rev John at 11am in the garden today!
8. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them
(if you haven’t found them before and are interested for yourself, your children or grandchildren, have a look at the Children’s Page where Millie posts for Young Church every Sunday at 10.30am and there are links to Bishop Auckland Parish and CAFOD children’s worship.
Youth Team Resources
Hope and Millie’s Reflection Slides
Hannah’s Creative Prayer
This week, think about God’s love while you pray. Use your hands to help you pray. Hold you thumb. It is closest to you so pray for your family and friends, that they may experience God’s love this week. Hold your pointer finger. This finger is used for directions, prayer for teachers, coaches, doctors, etc.
Hold your middle finger. This finger is the tallest so pray for leaders in the church, that they may spread God’s love. Hold your ring finger. This finger is the weakest, prayer for the sick and most in need, that God will be with them. Hold your pinkie. This is the smallest finger, pray for yourself, that God will be with you throughout the next week.