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Barnabas the Encourager

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6pm Team Service at SMAS

Barnabas wasn’t his real name that was Joseph. Barnabas was a nickname meaning Son of Encouragement. He was a Levite – the Jewish Tribe who served in the temple. His family moved to Cyprus so he obviously didn’t serve in the temple.

I wonder if you had a nickname like Barnabas, what would it be? What would you like it to be?

There were many leaders in the early church, but few were as humble and influential as Barnabas. Acts 11:24 uses a whole verse to describe his character and the effects of his ministry: “He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”


Crowds, family, demons and the Holy Spirit

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Genesis 3:8-15 & Mark 3:20-35
SMAS 10.30am

It feels rather like I’ve drawn the short straw two week’s running. Last week having to speak on the Trinity and this week’s Bible passage which is well known to be notoriously difficult. After setting it in context I’m going to take us through it a bit at a time. The set readings for the next seven Sundays are all from Mark’s Gospel. They will show us Mark’s picture of Jesus and also what it means to become a follower of Jesus.

Mark’s is the earliest and shortest Gospel, written in a fast moving style. The word ‘immediately’ is used to hurry us along from one scene to another. There are more miracles than parables and Jesus’ authority is shown in His power over demons, disease, death and natural forces. He doesn’t use His divine authority to "lord it over" people but to serve them. He allows free expression of faith to inviting Him to come into our lives. People are ‘amazed’ by what they see. Jesus attracts large crowds, which clearly show those who are ‘insiders’ and those who are ‘outsiders’.


The Trinity 2012

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Romans 8:12-17 and John 3:1-17
SMAS 2012

A gorilla sat in a zoo holding a Bible in one hand and a book about evolution in the other. He was looking confused, so someone asked, “What are you doing?” The gorilla answered, “Well, I’m trying to decide if I’m my brother’s keeper or my keeper’s brother.”

Today is Trinity Sunday and it’s our turn to sit looking confused. The doctrine of the Trinity Is a hard concept to get your head around.  It’s not actually spelled out in the Bible but there are many passages where it is present – as in both of our readings today that mention of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.


Pentecost 2012

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Romans 8:22-27 & Acts 2:1-21
SMAS 9am Communion (CW)

The Feast of Pentecost was a time for the Jews to celebrate a successful harvest. The men would make a peace offering to God, ask forgiveness, and would remember God’s help in freeing them from captivity in Egypt. They would have come from many far-flung places to be at the Temple in Jerusalem. A veritable hubbub of excitement and noise, with people speaking many languages.


Ascension Day 2012

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Ephesians 1:15-23 & Acts 1:1-11
SMAS 7.30pm

Thursdays. What happens on Thursdays? Sometimes they can change the world. My birth, daughter's birth. They can change our country when we have elections and can therefore change the country’s political stance.

And what about today - this Thursday - Ascension Day. It might be a Thursday that almost passes us by. But we mustn't let Ascension pass unnoticed, because when Jesus ascended in the clouds, things changed in this world of ours, forever. The Ascension transformed the world in a big way.


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