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I am the Vine

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John 15:1-8
5th Sunday of Easter
SMAS 10.30am Morning Worship

Last Sunday we looked at two of Jesus’ famous ‘I am’ sayings. In the morning: ‘I am the good Shepherd’ and in the evening: ‘I am the bread of life’. This week it is the vine. Firstly, let me remind you that just the two words ‘I am’ are very important too. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush He gave His name as ‘I am’. Immediately we see that Jesus is describing Himself as God. This is a hugely important point – and spoken of recently.

As, with the illustration of the Shepherd, saying ‘I am the vine’ would have meant more to those living in first century Palestine than to us living in 21st Century Britain. Let’s look at why Jesus used the vine as a metaphor.


The Good Shepherd

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John 10:22-30
4th Sunday of Easter
SMAS 10.30 Family Communion

Jesus the lamb who was slain at Easter is also the shepherd. And both of these symbols describe God’s leadership of His people. Jesus was very good at using everyday examples and pictures on order to explain things. Talking of Himself as the Good Shepherd was absolutely great for the people He was talking to in 1st century Palestine. Those of us living in the 21st century England have to work a bit harder to get the same understanding from His illustrations – even if we live near sheep and shepherds because shepherding has changed so much over the years.

But Jesus never wasted words - if he chose to give us this example of Himself as a shepherd there must be good reason for it. If we take our faith seriously and desire to become more Christ-like then we must accept this passage is illustrating something we need to know and take on board. And at a deep level - not just the level of those pictures we might see painted of Jesus as a loving tender shepherd with a cuddly lamb in His arms. Not just on a head knowledge level either.


Resurrection Appearances

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Luke 24:36b-48
3rd Sunday of Easter
SMAS 10.30 Morning Worship

Let me set the scene a little before we have our Bible reading. This takes place at the end of the day when it has been discovered that Jesus’ tomb is empty. He has by now appeared risen from the dead to some of the disciples. They have rushed off to Jerusalem to tell the rest of the disciples this amazing news.

This, then, is where our Bible Reading begin. Luke 24:36b-48


Good Friday

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Readings taken from Matthew 26 & 27
United Service SMAS 2012

Our family life has undergone many changes in the past year – mostly good ones I’m pleased to say. But it makes me think about the enormous changes that have happened over my lifetime. And it’s amazing how much Good Friday has changed. Because my mother was Roman Catholic, when I was a child we weren’t allowed to eat meat on Friday’s - that practice died out in the 60’s I think - but Mum never ever allowed us to eat meat on Good Friday.

There was a good reason for this - it was a sacrifice - especially for those who didn’t like fish! The whole point was about it being a hardship. So, just when you might be fancying a bacon sandwich or a nice lamb chop, realizing you couldn’t have it would make you stop and think of the much greater sacrifice made by Christ on the cross.


Palm Sunday

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Mark 1:1-11
SMAS 10.30 Morning Worship

In a small mining village, a stranger walked into the pub. After obtaining a drink and sitting down, he noticed another man sitting in the corner. This man had the flattest head he had ever seen and cauliflower ears. He asked one of the other locals about this and was quickly encouraged to say nothing against the strange-looking man.

It transpired that there had been a roof-fall in the pit and in order to let the miners escape safely this strange-looking man had taken the whole weight of the roof on his head to prevent it from falling.


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