In today’s text, Jesus challenged his Jewish disciples by saying in verses 14-15: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Here Jesus explains that just as a lamp is to be placed on top of a stand to give light to everyone in the room, God puts the church, the people of God, in the centre of community so that their good deeds may stand out to the surrounding people.
Not only had that but Jesus said in verse 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” What Jesus says is that our Christian influence works like salt in food, and like a candle in a dark house. As we live lives that look and sound like Jesus, we are helping to promote the gospel and shape God’s world according to His purposes.
Notice what Jesus said in the text. Jesus did not say “you can be salt, or you should be light” but he said, “You are the salt. You are the light.” Do you know what that means? You are to shake the salt on a decaying world; you are to shine the light to a darkened world. You can help make this world healthier, more humane, more harmonious, and more blessed. God made a good world. Now He wants you to help Him make it good again. You can do that. By God’s grace, you really can do that. If you can, surely you must.
** TENEBRAE (Latin for ‘shadows’ or ‘darkness’) is a service held on the evening before Good Friday. The distinctive ceremony of Tenebrae is the gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of Bible passages are read. Everyone is encouraged to be a part of this significant and moving service.
If I were a sceptic, I’d still be intrigued by these stories. A woman has a vision of a man she’s about to date and goes onto marry. A man has a dream of a hand reaching into his heart and wakes up free from the symptoms of the abuse he suffered as a child. Another woman has a recurring vision of an unknown tribe from China who she is invited to work amongst shortly after. There’s scenes of the future, insights into the past and understanding of the present. In all of these experiences, God is understood to be speaking to bring healing, reconciliation and empowerment to his people.
Magna Carta Unlocked. The Magna Carta is widely regarded as a foundational text of the British legal system and of the U.S. Constitution. As an essential guarantor of basic freedoms Magna Carta has inspired imitators across ages and across continents. To what extent is it right to see the Great Charter as a fount of freedom, democracy and rule of law, and how relevant is it today? Examining politics, science, society, law and warfare, this five-part series show how the Magna Carta has helped make the modern world. This 2-disc DVD set includes the Magna Carta Unlocked series plus extensive bonus features. Trailer.
Calvin, Zwingli, and Brother Klus – Shapers of the faith. John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and Brother Klaus (Niklaus von Flue) were three very different men who shaped the Christian faith in Switzerland. John Calvin was as an intellectual giant of the Reformation, Ulrich Zwingli was a humble priest who brought reform to the church and died in battle, and Brother Klaus was a mystic who left everything to seek God in the wilderness. With this docu-drama, award-winning filmmaker Rainer Walde celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and the 600th anniversary of the birth of Brother Klaus, Switzerland’s most famous saint. In comparing and contrasting these three figures, we see how the practice of the faith changed in Switzerland in te late Middle Ages. These changes would ultimately impact the entire world.
MAINLY MUSIC: We are working towards beginning a “Mainly Music” group to outreach into the Lugarno and Peakhurst communities to start in 2nd Term, probably Monday 7th May. Mainly Music is a fun music session for families with young children to enjoy together and for children to grow developmentally while providing us with the opportunity to develop relationships with the adults attending.
Now we have enough people to run Mainly Music on Mondays during the school terms. Thank you for all those who have committed to support this ministry in person. However, we need prayer support as well. Please see Nathalie after church today if you are willing to commit to praying for the Mainly Music ministry.