St John & St Mark Church Bury

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Tag: Ian Banks

Click here for your free gift

Click here for your free gift

What if you received an e-mail from ‘God’? Would you open it? Would it make a difference if ‘God’ was offering you a free gift but you had to press on a link?

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Jesus applauding the key workers

Jesus applauding the key workers

It was 8pm and it was a Thursday. Jesus was stood outside the front door at the time, applauding the key workers…

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How do we get him back?

How do we get him back?

“So, we got Jesus in there. How do we get him back out again?” It must have been a dilemma for God and his angelic extraction team as they figured out how to reunite Father and Son.

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The song of our Syrian guest

The song of our Syrian guest

Psalm 23 is many people’s favourite passage of scripture. It gives great comfort at times of crisis, just like we’re in now. But it also speaks of God’s care in our ‘normal’ everyday living. There’s an even amount of light and shade here. Thankfulness during the good times – but recognition of God’s protection in the bad.

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On our road to Emmaus

On our road to Emmaus

I love this story of the road to Emmaus. Scholars don’t seem to know where Emmaus actually was – but that’s not really important. It was far enough to make a good story – and close enough to get back and share it with others…

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Our Tom

Our Tom

We would like Thomas! Today he’d probably be a Church Warden and we’d call him Tom. Only his mother ever called him Thomas. You know where you stand with our Tom. And we shouldn’t be at all surprised at what we see in today’s passage from John. Afterall, Tom is just being a bit more straightforward than all the others.

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Called by name

Called by name

John told stories. Stories about people just like you and me. In the closing chapters of his Gospel, we learn about the risen Christ through three people. Mary Magdalene, Thomas and Peter. They had the same worries, doubts and failings as we do. It’s through these three that we understand the implications for us today on Jesus coming back to life. And how we’re each called into action.

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The Enlightened one

The Enlightened one

Although her faith was by no stretch of the imagination complete, just moments after meeting Jesus, she went out and drew people in. “Come and see” she says. And they do…

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We don’t go alone

We don’t go alone

Can I ask all the men and boys in the congregation to stand up please if you’re able? If you’re 80 years or older then please sit down again. If you’re 69 or younger, then please sit down. That should leave us with men in their seventies… So, can I borrow you up at the front here for a few minutes please?

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Sit somewhere different

Sit somewhere different

He walked down one of the narrow streets then hesitated a moment before entering the potter’s shed. First, he was hit by the smell of wet clay. Then the sound of the wheel turning. He saw the bowl of water, the liquid clay on the hands…

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In the beginning

In the beginning

Here are the opening verses of Genesis… ‘First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss. God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared’.

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A well-watered garden

A well-watered garden

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. The Lord will guide… but often he’ll do that through you and me. We’re the ones who act as signposts for others.

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Stop and Listen

Stop and Listen

Moses was 80 years old. He’d been tending someone else’s flock for 40 years. One day, he was out with the sheep, probably thinking about his pension plan, when he took a different path – and from there he saw a bush that was burning. His life completely changed direction…

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Wade in the water

Wade in the water

It’s often said that history is written by the victors. But what must it feel like to be defeated in war? Ashamed, frightened, disorientated, demoralized, physically hurt, mentally traumatized, angry at those who promised that you would be victorious, relieved the fighting is over, struggling to survive, cold, hungry…??

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The body language of God

The body language of God

As the Word made flesh and dwelling among us, Jesus physically demonstrated the continuity of God, his unchanging love and mercy that we can always count upon. But he also showed us the God of surprises too. He changed what we thought about God and challenged the pre-conceived ideas that he came across. In physical, bodily form – as the body language of God – Jesus re-imagined God for us.

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