St John's Church, Stratford, E15
St John's Church, Stratford, London E15



HARD TEACHING

Sunday Morning Sermons for Lent 2018

Sunday 11am at St John's

The Sermon on the Mount contains a lot of Hard Teaching. This is deliberate; Jesus preached this sermon, towards the beginning of his ministry, to set out the standards of the Kingdom he came to bring. Scholars are divided over whether or not he expected us to keep to these standards, or whether they are set out to remind us how much we need the grace of Jesus in our lives. Whatever the answer, the Sermon on the Mount is a good preparation for Holy Week and Easter, because it helps us realise that Jesus does live up to the challenges he presents.

February 18 - HARD TEACHING: You are blessed....
James 5:7-12 Matthew 5:1-12

February 25 - HARD TEACHING: Do it the Jesus way!
Words of (hard) wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 7:24-27, Matthew 5:13-16

March 04 - HARD TEACHING: Where is your treasure?
This Sunday will be our opportunity to think about Giving, and the Sermon on the Mount asks some questions about our priorities.
2 Corinthians 9:6-13, Matthew 10:5-8, Matthew 6:19-24

March 11 - Special Service for MOTHERING SUNDAY
Iris will share words of wisdom on this special day

March 18 - HARD TEACHING: Jesus sets the standards
Matthew 5:13-16, Matthew 7:1-14

March 25 - Special All-age Service for PALM SUNDAY
Matthew 21:1-17

(All links should open in a new tab/window)



BEFORE I GO..... Jesus' last conversation with his disciples

Sunday 18:30 at St John's

We are beginning LENT a week early at 18:30, with a series of talks on Jesus' last conversation with his disciples, as recorded in John's Gospel.

As we move towards Holy Week and Good Friday, these chapters are very appropriate. Before Jesus left his disciples, he gave them a final briefing, and then sent them out to change the world. This teaching series takes us through Jesus' last words, and aims to enthuse us, as he enthused his disciples for the task of mission as God's people in God's world.

February 11 - Before I Go: Actions speak louder than words
1 Peter 5:1-11, John 13:1-20

February 18 - Before I Go: Trust me, I know the way
Numbers 9:15-23, John 14:1-14

February 25 - Before I Go: Help is on the way
1 John 4:1-6, John 14:15-31

March 04 - Before I Go: Go on, branch out!
Isaiah 5:1-7, John 15:1-17

March 11 - Before I Go: Don't give up - you're on the winning side
Romans 8:1-14, John 15:18-16:15

March 18 - Before I Go: Anything you ask......
1 John 5:1-12, John 16:16-33

March 25 - Special Service for Palm Sunday

(All links should open in a new tab/window)



TUESDAY LUNCHTIME 1:10pm - a fast 20 minute service

STORIES THAT CHANGE THE WORLD: Jesus' Parables of the Kingdom

This series follows Luke's gospel using the parables as waymarkers. The irony of the parables is that though they spoke of reward and hope, it was often the religious 'experts' who failed to embrace their message. Taking it on further - the parables turn normality on its head. The 'righteous' are defined as the very people who were ostracised by Jewish leaders, whilst the leaders were in danger of being excluded from the Kingdom.

January 09 - Be Careful how you build. - Luke 6:43-49
This is a good place to start a New Year series - with a reminder to put into practice what we hear taught. It may be good this week to explain what a parable was - and that it was expected to evoke an active response on the part of the hearers.

January 16th - Listen up - and let it show. - Luke 8:1-18
There are lots of ways to take the Sower - but following on from last week, it is worth emphasising the warning 'let those who have ears hear'. There is a subtle warning that we should be ready to hear - fertile soils rather than weeds or the rocky path. This parable is followed by the instruction to publicly practice our faith - with the promise of fruit for those that do.

January 23 - The inside-out Kingdom. - Luke 10:25-37
Many of Jesus' parables turned the values of their time upside down and inside out. Jews were afraid of being 'contaminated' by the morally inferior Samaritans - but Jesus makes a Samaritan the hero of the story. The Kingdom of God is no respecter of our human prejudice, God works through those we least expect to be godly! This story is also a harsh reminder to the Jews that they were called to welcome the alien, widow and outcast - but had insulated themselves from the poor in society.

January 30 - How to be rich, and follow God. - Luke 12:13-21
Having attacked religiousity Jesus turns on wealth. Having money is not a sin - but the attitude of the person betrayed a certain greed. The punchline is verse 21 - not attacking wealth, but the person who seeks wealth rather than being 'rich towards God.'

February 06 - Such a little thing - but a huge impact. - Luke 13:18-21
This must be the shortest parable on record, but it's very important because it tells us something important about the Kingdom of God.

February 13 - The lost sheep and the lost coin. - Luke 15:1-10
During Lent, the parables get more punchy. Jesus' attacks on the religious aristocracy become more polemic (culminating in the Parable of the Talents), whilst his compassion for the lost is made more apparent (with a whole series on 'Lost things' that are sought and found).

February 20 - Two sons and a good Father. - Luke 15:11-31
Possibly the most famous parable, illustrating God's never-failing love, as opposed to the judgemental attitude epitomised by the older brother.

February 27 - Take note - now, not later. - Luke 16:19-31
Is this a parable? It's certainly a story, but there is a much more obvious message, and less to think about. The point is clear - now is the time to change your ways.

March 06 - What is true righteousness? - Luke 18:9-17
Another challenging story, (vss.9-14), with an interesting sequel (vss.15-17). Jesus makes the point that the rules of his kingdom are often very different from the ways of the world.

March 13 - Investing in the future. - Luke 19:11-27
What have God's people done with his investment? He has given them so much, and expects a return, but does he receive it?

March 20 - New tenants in the Kingdom. - Luke 20:9-19
Jesus has now arrived in Jerusalem for the final showdown. Obviously the ultimate Challenge, and recognised as such by the teachers of the law and chief priests (vs.19). Jesus is now provoking a challenge, and pushing his enemies towards the final act of the cross.

(All links should open in a new tab/window)



WEDNESDAY FELLOWSHIP
Round-table Bible Study, Prayer, Fellowship, fuelled by coffee and the Holy Spirit
7:45pm in the Cafe.


BIBLE IN A YEAR
Wednesdays 7:45-9:30pm at St John's

Dave and Nick are planning a 2018 Bible School, with the aim of teaching every book of the Bible in 46 weeks. We will use the Lion Handbook to the Bible (about £15) as a basic course book.

Every session will include: By the end of the 2018, those who do the whole course should have a basic knowledge of every book of the Bible, and some skills in applying it to our everyday lives.

It would be great if people did the whole course, but, if that is not possible, just join in for the bits that interest you, or the weeks you are able to do.

(All links should open in a new tab/window)



THURSDAY LUNCHTIME
12:40pm Holy Communion.

MARK ON JESUS

Mark's Gospel is the earliest of the 4 Gospels. It is also the shortest Gospel, and, therefore, invites questions about why Mark included some material, omitted other events and reports relatively little of Jesus' teaching. Mark allocates a large part of his Gospel to the last week of Jesus' life, showing something of his theological priorities. He shows Jesus as a man on a mission, often in conflict, shunning publicity, heading relentlessly for the final showdown in Jerusalem. Look out for the so-called "Messianic secret" passages - Jesus persistently tells people not to tell people about him, until he is ready to show the world who he is!

JANUARY 04 - MARK ON JESUS: The beginning
Malachi 3:1-5, Mark 1:1-20

JANUARY 11 - MARK ON JESUS: The Messiah Revealed
Isaiah 42:1-4, Mark 1:21-45

JANUARY 18 - MARK ON JESUS: CONFLICT
Jeremiah 1:17-19, Mark 2:18-3:6

JANUARY 25 - MARK ON JESUS: PARABLES
Isaiah 6:8-10, Mark 4:21-34

FEBRUARY 01 - MARK ON JESUS: POWER OVER ALL THINGS
1 Kings 17:17-24, Mark 5:21-43

FEBRUARY 08 - MARK ON JESUS: FEEDING THE PEOPLE
Exodus 16:11-18, Mark 6:30-56

FEBRUARY 15 - MARK ON JESUS: WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?
Galatians 3:26-4:7, Mark 8:27-38

FEBRUARY 22 - MARK ON JESUS: THE TRANSFIGURATION
Exodus 24:15-18, Exodus 34:29-35, Mark 9:2-13

MARCH 01 - MARK ON JESUS: BACK TO EARTH WITH A BUMP
Ephesians 6:10-18, Mark 9:14-32

MARCH 08 - MARK ON JESUS: QUESTIONS AND CONTRASTS
Philippians 3:7-11, Mark 10:13-34

MARCH 15 - MARK ON JESUS: THE POWER OF PRAYER
Isaiah 42:1-7, Mark 10:46-52

MARCH 22 - MARK ON JESUS: MAKING AN ENTRY
Zechariah 9:9-12, Mark 11:1-33

MARCH 29 - MAUNDY THURSDAY

(All links should open in a new tab/window)

 
[Home Page] [Disclaimer] [Copyright Notice] [Privacy Statement] [Acknowledgements] [Contact] [Sitemap] [Top of Page]