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Sermons

Seeing Jesus

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Mark 10:46-52
(28-10-12)

A traveller in the desert awoke hungry in the night. Lighting a candle he began eating dates from a bowl beside his bed. Taking a bite from one he saw a worm in it and threw it away. Biting into a second date, he found another worm, and threw that away too. Reasoning he wouldn't have any dates left to eat soon, he blew the candle out and ate the rest quickly! Some people prefer darkness and denial to the light of reality.

Today’s reading is about more than physical blindness or Jesus' healing power. Bartimaeus was someone who was physically blind but could see spiritually and this was in contrast to the disciples.

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The Shadow of the Most High

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Psalm 91
SMAS 10.30am
(21-10-2012)

A new planet was discovered this week: Alpha Centauri B. 25 trillion miles away but can be seen in the night sky without a telescope. So far away though that a trip there using current technology would take tens of thousands of years.

Doesn’t life amaze you? Aren’t there things that make you wonder ‘how can that be’? I’ll tell you some thing I often wonder about. Not as scientifically challenging as how we might get to Alpha Centauri B, but why does man feel compelled to skim stones out across the sea or lake? Apparently it’s a natural urge/instinct but no one knows why.

There’s another instinct we are all born with that some people say is a mystery too. We’re all born with a fear of the dark. You may not realize this because you’ve grown out of it but nevertheless it’s there. I wonder if you’ve ever thought about that? You might not because you want to dismiss it as silly, or rubbish even. But I think it’s a good thing to think about and, perhaps, even more so for the Christian.

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Take My Yoke

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Matthew 11:20-30  
SMAS 6pm
(14-10-12)

To put this passage in context: Jesus has just been speaking about how children are. He says that they often argue and can’t agree but that we can learn a lot from them. Sometimes they understand things better and in fact Jesus says to really know and understand Him we must be like children - this is because we mustn't think we know everything. He knows better, He knows what's best for us.

So in the fashion of being a bit like a parent who knows what is good for their child He does a good telling off session. It’s a little unusual to find the word woe on the lips of Jesus, the word means judgment, but it also includes pity and sorrow. He’s saying how tragic it is that these cities treat so lightly the opportunities they have had to repent and believe having seen the miracles He has performed there.

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The camel and the eye of a needle

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Mark 10:17-31
SMAS 9.00am & 10.00am
(14-10-2012)

Mark’s gospel being the shortest is written at a fairly racy speed which helps convey a feeling of urgency, importance and excitement to what’s going on. But the fact that the man runs up to Jesus on a public highway, and especially at a period in Jesus’ ministry when it was disgraceful if not downright dangerous to be associated with Him, shows more than just Mark’s style of writing. This rich man was probably fairly prominent in society yet no sneaking up in the dark like Nicodemus had.

How often might anyone run up to another person on a main road and ask how they obtain eternal life? My experience as a youth leader means that I have been asked the question rather a lot but usually in private or a small discussion group.

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Truly awesome!

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Psalm 8
(7-10-12)

In recent years the word ‘awesome’ has perhaps been overused and abused. I think it’s gone out of fashion a bit now but, using it in its correct way, when did you last have an overwhelming experience, something that was awesome?

I saw something last week that was awesome. Did any of you see the sunset sky last Monday? I was driving to Cottenham and the sky and the light emanating from it was – well awesome. It was so vivid that the green trees along the road were turned red and orange as if they were on fire. The trees that already had yellow or orange leaves on them were even more so. When I first came here many of you told me that the beauty of the peaks would be replaced by the amazing sky panoramas over the fens. Last Monday this was so true it was quite dangerous driving in such an amazing, glowing light.

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