archive-info.com » INFO » B » BESWICK.INFO

Total: 457

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Lectionary resources Ordinary 19 A
    afraid and now they worshipped him as the Son of God The strangeness of what they saw was an essential part of the story If you insist upon a naturalistic explanation you could for example look at John s account John 6 21 It was night time very early in the morning Mark 6 48 cf John 21 4 8 But Mark includes a little cryptic comment about their lack of understanding which makes much the same point as Matthew reference to them worshipping him Mark 6 51 52 In all three gospels which record it the story follows directly after the feeding of the five thousand He who multiplied the loaves and fish to feed the multitude was the one who walked on the sea cf also temptations Matthew 4 3 6 and John 6 14 15 Mark 6 34 44 46 Another sign in the detail is that when Jesus was telling them not be afraid he said It is I and the words recorded in the gospels for It is I also mean I am Exodus 3 14 and parallels with Moses in Psalm 78 13 25 and Isaiah 51 10 11 So where do modern scientific believers go from here The so called nature miracles are the most difficult for modern people with a scientific attitude to accept For the Biblical witnesses to God there was no sense in thinking of God as foreign to what we call the natural world Scientific understanding of physical processes is quite different from history which is a succession of unique events Matters of human responsibility are much less predictable It does call for an open mind a mind open to more than we can at present imagine It is a matter of faith to believe that the Lord of creation was active and was revealed there and then William Cowper understood this and wrote from experience in his hymn God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform The Lord who reached out to Peter is and was part of both history and nature His challenge is still there the challenge he offered to Peter and the others You of little faith why did you doubt And those in the boat worshipped him saying Truly you are the Son of God DB Home RCL Resources Index Order of Service Ordinary 19 Pentecost 11 Year A The Gathering of the People of God CALL TO WORSHIP O give thanks to the LORD call on his name make known his deeds among the peoples Sing to him sing praises to him tell of all his wonderful works Glory in his holy name let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice Psalm 105 1 3 HYMN 74 Eternal father strong to save whose arm has bound the restless wave PRAYER OF ADORATION CONFESSION O God we confess the blindness that is not even aware of sinning the pride that dares not admit that it is wrong the selfishness that

    Original URL path: http://www.beswick.info/rclresources/19A99OS.htm (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive


  • You of little faith, why do you doubt?
    really matter if he was not walking on water and then still keep that point of the drama The strangeness of what they saw was an essential part of the story If you insist upon a naturalistic explanation you could for example look at John s account and find that when they went to take him into the boat they immediately came to land John 6 21 Then they wanted to take him into the boat and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going It was night time very early in the morning NRSV According to Mark it was literally about the fourth watch Mark 6 48 Gk and other versions which was between 3 a m and 6 a m Perhaps there was also a mist or spray with the strong wind and Jesus was walking along the shore After all Mark also says that he was alone on the land and saw them straining at the oars Perhaps although they had rowed three or four miles in the their struggle against the wind they had been blown close to the shore without knowing it Even the part in Matthew which in not in Mark and John about Peter getting out of the boat and coming to Jesus is reminiscent of another such occasion when Peter jumped out of the boat and walked to Jesus it was when the disciples met the risen Lord on the shore of the Lake John 21 4 8 when they were fishing near the shore and we are reminded that this strange event does share some characteristics with what Jesus did when he met them after he rose from the dead but then there was no easy explanation of that rising from the dead was there There is however no doubt that when they saw him walking on the sea they did not suddenly become aware that he was on the shore because what was remembered was that they were afraid not of the storm but of the sight of him thinking that they were seeing a ghost much as they felt when they saw him after the resurrection and that fear was overcome when he made himself known to them not when they discovered where they were Mark ends with their utter astonishment and though he does not say as Matthew does that they worshipped him as the Son of God Mark includes a little cryptic comment about their lack of understanding which makes much the same point Mark 6 51 52 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased And they were utterly astounded 52 for they did not understand about the loaves but their hearts were hardened The meaning for Mark was the same as the meaning of the miracle of the loaves they were utterly astounded 52 for they did not understand about the loaves In all three gospels which record it the story follows directly after the feeding of the five thousand He who multiplied the loaves and fish to feed the multitude was the one who walked on the sea You can give a social and political interpretation of the feeding of the five thousand in terms of the marvellous results of everyone being inspired to share what they had Indeed in the way that John tells it there were political implications of what happened with the loaves for after it they wanted to make him king and that was why he quickly dispatched the disciples before he dismissed the crowd and then went up the mountain to pray John 6 14 15 When the people saw the sign that he had done they began to say This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world 15 When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king he withdrew again to the mountain by himself He had previously put off his intention to go into the mountains to pray which he wanted to do after he heard of the death of John the Baptist he had been persuaded by his compassion for the crowd to stay to teach and serve them Mark 6 34 Now he had a double reason to go and pray alone in the wilderness the sad memory of his friend John and the renewal of the temptations he had when he was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit after his baptism The temptation to turn stones into bread had almost now been justified and the possibility of making a show to claim leadership of the nations was right there now for him to take cf Matthew 4 3 6 He sent them ahead so that he could walk quietly with God while he resumed his humble way of service Jesus must have seen the social and political potential in the miracle of the loaves but that was not how the disciples saw him either in the feeding of the five thousand or when they saw him walking on the sea for them the marvel was that the Lord of all that existed was there amongst them The physical aspect of both strange events was part of the meaning those events had for people who understood what it showed about Jesus He was the Lord of creation Indeed the idea of showing or showing forth the divine nature of Jesus is there in other little details For example Mark says that when he was walking towards them he intended to pass by them You might wonder what was the reason for his walking there He was not going to their rescue It is not said that they were in danger except later in what Matthew said about Peter sinking They were afraid of what they saw and it was for that reason that he went to reassure them Otherwise the only point could have been that they saw a wonderful revelation an epiphany

    Original URL path: http://www.beswick.info/rclresources/19A99Ser.htm (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Lectionary resources Ordinary 20 A
    incarnation If you can then accept his Messiahship along with the limitation of his complete involvement in human life as a servant emptied of his glory Phil 2 6 8 at a particular time and place then some of the puzzles in the story of the Canaanite woman start to come into focus I would ask you to see him there in that situation in his full humanity as a man of that time and place The remarkable thing was not that as a Jew Jesus believed that the children of Israel should be the first receive the gifts of God but that he was able see when challenged by the Canaanite woman in the same way as in his meeting with the Roman centurion Matthew 8 10 Luke 7 9 how the gift of faith had already been given to others so that the blessings of the kingdom he came to establish were even now to be shared more widely It would make some sense then to see it as a genuine encounter in which Jesus was persuaded by the woman to do something he was not inclined at first to do Even his being God does not make it impossible for him to change his mind There are plenty of examples in the Bible of God changing his mind For example 1 Samuel 2 13 2 Chronicles 7 Psalm 78 37 39 So one of the great things we learn from the Canaanite woman is her persistence in faith in a genuine interpersonal encounter Matthew 15 28 It was her own personal acceptance of his being the Messiah which made the difference Faith in the universal saviour of humankind unites people in Christ Galatians 3 28 Colossians 3 11 DB Home RCL Resources Index Order of Service Ordinary 20 Pentecost 12 Year A The Gathering of the People of God CALL TO WORSHIP HYMN 93 God is love let heaven adore him PRAYER OF ADORATION Adapted from the Methodist Covenant Service 1936 Let us pray Let us adore God We worship and adore you God of love who created us who every moment preserves and sustains us who has loved us with an everlasting love and given us the light of the knowledge of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ We praise you O God we acknowledge you to be the Lord We glory in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who though he was rich yet for our sakes became poor who went about doing good and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom who was tempted in all points as we are yet without sin who became obedient unto death even the death on the cross who was dead and is alive for evermore who opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers who now lives and reigns in the glory of the Father You are the King of Glory O Christ We rejoice in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit the Lord and

    Original URL path: http://www.beswick.info/rclresources/20A9099OS.htm (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The general saviour of mankind
    worship for she knelt before him Matthew 15 25 but that he was at the same time the Messiah of Israel the Son of David You might ask does that matter The question was whether there was after all despite the emphasis on his universality something important in the idea that the salvation of all came from the Jews For example as Jesus said to the woman at the well in Samaria John 4 22 You worship what you do not know we worship what we know for salvation is from the Jews Does it matter that the Canaanite woman called Jesus not only Lord which we see as a expression of his being God and Lord of all but that she also called him Son of David and accepted him as the Jewish Messiah in that sense It is the witness of the apostles and the whole of scripture that it does matter It was not accidental that the Lord of all was the Messiah long expected and promised in the nation of Israel It was part of the incarnation It was necessary to the Word becoming flesh that he came into a particular historical situation and that he fulfilled there what had been promised and foretold by the prophets of God In him we do not have a generalized emanation of the power of God in the world a power which might perhaps also appear elsewhere in a different form but rather a unique historical character in the person of Jesus of Nazareth who was also the Lord of all His humble birth of Mary his walking along the dusty roads his talking and eating with disciples and outsiders his healing of the sick his dying a painful death in a real life Roman execution in every respect the radical particularity of the his being a man in a certain place at a certain time was limited by his being the historical Messiah of the nation of Israel while he was also the Lord of all All this dust and reality is inescapable for the one who was equal with God but took the form of a servant The general saviour of mankind was fully human and fully divine If you can then accept his Messiahship along with the limitation of his complete involvement in human life as a servant emptied of his glory Phil 2 6 8 at a particular time and place then some of the puzzles in the story of the Canaanite woman start to come into focus Frankly I do not know how much Jesus anticipated what took place in his encounter with the woman when she first appeared but I would ask you to see him there in that situation in his full humanity as a man of that time and place As an exercise in meditation sometime when you can be quiet for half an hour you might try reading the story through several times quietly by yourself Visualize the scene and

    Original URL path: http://www.beswick.info/rclresources/20A99Ser.htm (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Lectionary resources Ordinary 21 A
    15 and Galatians 2 1 10 but you cannot do away with the fact that the source of their authority was from God It follows that those who accepted the Lordship of Christ were not free to decide for themselves what authority they would allow Peter to have The pastoral authority of Peter and his position as a founding leader was shared with others Matthew 18 18 20 Ephesians 2 19 20 Revelation 21 14 John 20 22 23 A parallel is drawn with the meaning of the saying in the Sermon on the Mount also Matthew encouraging people to build upon the rock of what Jesus taught Matthew 7 24 cf Luke 6 46 49 In that passage it is clear that it is the teaching of Jesus that is called the rock on which to build Christ is the chief cornerstone Ephesians 2 20 1 Corinthians 10 4 Not only is the leadership of the apostles shared within the fellowship so that it is both personal and collegial and not only does authority depend on a church leader building on the foundation of the teaching of Jesus there is another dimension in what Jesus chose for himself and taught his disciples about being a servant of those over whom they had authority John 13 3 15 Matthew 16 17 The sign of Jonah Matthew 12 39 40 was called to mind by the way that Jesus addressed Peter It was a matter of a disciple taking up his cross Matthew 16 21 25 and it was clear that servant leadership would be their role Matthew 23 8 11 and with their participation in the death of Jesus came a share in the life of his resurrection Romans 6 3 4 for not even death could stand against them Matthew 16 18 The keys of the kingdom then represent genuine authority in the church exercised personally in a shared manner within the bonds of fellowship it depends upon the teaching of Jesus and doing what Jesus taught and above all it comes to us in the form of servant leadership in which disciples are called to take up their cross and follow Jesus confident in his power to defeat all our enemies even death Order of Service Ordinary 21 Pentecost 13 Year A The Gathering of the People of God CALL TO WORSHIP Our help is in the name of the LORD who made heaven and earth Psalms 124 8 Let us praise the Lord The Lord s name be praised HYMN 383 Stand up and bless the Lord PRAYER OF ADORATION CONFESSION O God we confess the blindness that is not even aware of sinning the pride that dares not admit that it is wrong the selfishness that can see nothing but its own will the righteousness that knows no fault the callousness that has ceased to care the defiance that does not regret its own sins the evasion that always tries to make excuses the coldness of

    Original URL path: http://www.beswick.info/rclresources/21A99OS.htm (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The keys of the kingdom
    stumbling block to me for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things We need to come back to the misunderstanding Peter and the others had of what it meant for Jesus to be the Messiah because that has a big affect on the type of leadership and authority that would be vested in the apostles But note now that the confession of faith was quickly followed by a rebuke for lack of understanding so that the faith they then had was hardly a rock in the sense of something that could be relied upon And we all remember how Peter denied later that he even knew Jesus The threefold denial at the time of his trial Matthew 26 69 75 might be seen to have been overcome by the action of Jesus after he rose from the dead three times giving him the opportunity to affirm his love each time saying Feed my sheep thus renewing his pastoral commission John 21 15 17 This balancing comes in different traditions of the gospel but I am sure that in the early church it would have been seen to make the pastoral leadership of Peter effective in spite of his lapses of faith and courage The interpretation then would be that renewal of faith was necessary for the pastor to lead the flock but that his authority to lead did not come from his faith but from the commission that Jesus gave him We can suppose that Jesus saw in him qualities of great value but his subsequent standing in the church depended more upon Jesus having chosen him to lead than on his intrinsic qualities of leadership which others might accept or reject according to their own assessment That does not mean that his leadership was unquestioned Paul questioned his opinion with great passion at certain points Galatians 2 11 Rather the point for us is that he had a role that was given to him whatever others might think of his leadership Even though Paul disagreed with him he recognized Peter as one of the pillars Galatians 2 9 The problem today is that the given character of authority in the church is difficult for modern people to accept In our democratic traditions we believe in being ruled by people we choose and according to laws we have helped to formulate It is hard for free people to accept authority that is given from the outside as it were But outside what Is Jesus a foreign power Jesus was so closely identified with humanity that any authority he gave could not be said to have come from outside It was his high priestly work to represent humanity in all its weakness before God Hebrews 4 14 15 etc On the other hand if we believe that he was God then he certainly had authority that did not come from his humanity but let s be careful here the humanity and divinity of Jesus cannot be separated He had power to command while he acted as the perfect representative of humanity the new Adam 1 Corinthians 15 45 but not only because he was the representative of all people for he also represented God That was the other side of his high priestly work There are certainly some democratic elements in the representative character of Jesus and in the representative leadership of Peter with others within the councils of the church as exemplified in the council of Jerusalem Acts 15 and Galatians 2 1 10 but you cannot do away with the fact that the source of their authority was from God It is very different from the liberal democratic idea that sovereignty belongs to the people The disciples recognized Jesus as one who had come from God one who had come down from heaven and that he could therefore speak with authority of the things of God and of the right relationship between God and his people When Jesus gave authority to Peter he put what Peter could do in terms of what God would do that was not quite the same as the authority of Jesus himself but it was not so far removed from it for it to be assessed in purely human terms It follows that those who accepted the Lordship of Christ were not free to decide for themselves what authority they would allow Peter to have That is a basic principle which Christians of different outlooks modern liberal Catholics traditional Protestants charismatics evangelicals orthodox or whatever all need to recognize On the other hand it is clear from the New Testament and from history that the authority of Peter and other pastoral leaders was not intended to be exercised alone apart from the fellowship of the church or arbitrarily as if authority in the church could be exercised in the manner of a despotic ruler Consultation was important and joint action was taken most importantly not even alone as a group but in submission to the leading of God as when they said it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us Acts 15 28 It was joint action They discussed what should be done Peter shared leadership in Jerusalem with James the brother of Jesus John and others and the gathered fellowship decided important matters together in agreement with the leaders There is much elsewhere in scripture to show that the pastoral authority of Peter and his position as a founding leader was shared with others Matthew makes a point of it a little later Matthew 18 18 20 Truly I tell you whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven 19 Again truly I tell you if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask it will be done for you by my Father in heaven 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name I am there among

    Original URL path: http://www.beswick.info/rclresources/21A99Ser.htm (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Lectionary Resources Ordinary 22 A
    death when Peter had just declared him to be the Messiah Matthew 16 22 It was natural enough that Peter should think it entirely wrong that the great leader and liberator should die at the hands of his own people Matthew 16 21 They struggled with what they expected of a great leader Had they not been waiting a long time for him to appear How could their hopes be so quickly disappointed Peter s limited vision might be understandable it was natural and probably no worse than ours but it was a serious matter His natural tendency to see things in human terms made him a adversary of Jesus Adversary is what Satan means Get behind me Satan The disciples must have struggled with the idea of his death as Jesus himself did John 11 16 Matthew 26 35 39 The serving and suffering nature of his divinity So he went not lightly or with superior detachment but humanly in struggle and despair to drink to its bitter dregs the cup that was his to drink That is what it meant to be fully human and divine What they did not understand about the greatness of God was that he was prepared in Jesus to be humbled Matthew 16 24 25 let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me Compare the ancient Christian hymn confessing the faith in Philippians 2 5 11 What does it mean for us Looking up and seeing things divine yet human in Jesus Christ we are called to follow the humble servant leader leaving ourselves behind To lose oneself is directly opposed to popular teaching today Have you noticed the cynicism of political commentators lately If you are able to forget yourself and follow the servant leader you will see those forces of evil overcome see Hymn 136 and in the end you will share in the rewards Matthew 16 27 DB Home RCL Resources Index Order of service Ordinary 22 Pentecost 15 Year A The Gathering of the People of God CALL TO WORSHIP Bless the LORD O my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name Bless the LORD O my soul and do not forget all his benefits Psalms 103 1 2 HYMN 91 Morning has broken GREETING The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you And also with you 2 Corinthians 13 13 PRAYER OF ADORATION CONFESSION In three parts concluding Lord have mercy Lord have mercy Christ have mercy Christ have mercy Lord have mercy Lord have mercy DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners 1 Timothy 1 15 Hear then Christ s word of grace to us Your sins are forgiven Thanks be to God DOXOLOGY Gloria in Excelsis Sing Alleluia 100b Service of the Word INTRODUCTION OF THEME Seeing things

    Original URL path: http://www.beswick.info/rclresources/22A96OS.htm (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Thinking human and divine things
    awake with me 39 And going a little farther he threw himself on the ground and prayed My Father if it is possible let this cup pass from me yet not what I want but what you want Matthew 26 35 39 The serving and suffering nature of his divinity So he went not lightly or with superior detachment but humanly in struggle and despair to drink to its bitter dregs the cup that was his to drink That is what it meant for him to be fully human and divine The disciples had difficulty holding those two qualities together the human and the divine They saw his greatness in human terms as people still are inclined to do you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things So lacking the divine vision the disciple becomes an adversary Satan It is more significant than a lack of vision in human terms as in the corny old saying I learned long ago t wo men looked through prison bars one saw mud and one saw stars We do need to look up and see heavenly things but there is more to it than that in a strangely contradictory way In one way it was the very greatness even divinity of Jesus which caused the disciples in their limited understanding of the nature of God to think in human terms What they did not understand about the greatness of God was that he was prepared in Jesus to be humbled See what Jesus said next to the disciples after he told Peter to get behind him and think of divine things Then Jesus told his disciples If any want to become my followers let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it and those who lose their life for my sake will find it Matthew 16 24 25 To understand the nature of his divine sacrifice they needed to see him as the servant leader how the great and holy one was to fulfill his mission of service to others and to enter into glory through humility by emptying himself of his glory In a minute I will ask you to join with me in an affirmation of faith from Paul s letter to the Christians at Philippi where he quotes what must have been one of the earliest Christian songs with which they confessed their belief when they gathered as we do at the Lord s table though for them it was within living memory and sometimes in the very presence of the apostles who had heard him speak of taking up their cross before they saw him take up his and walk to his death Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus who though he was in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited but emptied himself taking

    Original URL path: http://www.beswick.info/rclresources/22A96Ser.htm (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive