THE FLEET

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The Fleet

It sits betwixt and between
shingle shore and yonder green bank
haunt of smugglers in times past
home of fishermen,
yesterday,
today,
and tomorrow.

a place of peace,
a place of tranquility,
a place to reflect,
that place,
The Fleet.

home to the swan,
majestic and white,
so pure,
so strong,
so elegant,
as it glides across the fleet,
serene,
with head held high.

a place of peace.
a place of tranquility,
a place to reflect.
that is the Fleet.

the boats traverse the fleet,
through strength of men,
that they may catch fish
In order to feed the soul.

a place of peace,
a place of tranquilty,
a place to reflect
on Gods created world,
that is the Fleet.

Margaret Preuss-Higham

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Restored

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Restored

What was it he said? Ah, yes I recall

“Knock down this temple in three days,

it will rise,

it will return”

And so it was,

It could not be broken

Stone rolled away

Cloth discarded

Tomb empty

“Why do you weep” said he

“My Lord has gone” Said she

She could not see, She could not hear

Through her tears, Through her sorrow

“Mary” said he

She heard

“Rabboni” said she

The temple restored

An earthly friendship resumed

For but a short while

Christ is Risen

Alleluia Alleluia

Margaret Preuss-Higham

John 20;15 & 16

Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?” She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.” Jesus said, “Mary.” Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”

Judas

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I have sinned; I have brought an innocent man to death

Words spoken by the repentant Judas but not often heard

This is not easy to write about. Traditionally Judas is seen as the figure of evil,the betrayer who put Jesus on the cross. However without this betrayal the Messiah could not have fulfilled the scriptures foretelling of a trial in rejection by his people. Judas was instrumental in bringing about the peoples ultimate salvation from Rome only he did not comprehend the enormity of his actions at the time. The angry return of the money only solidified his guilt and his decision to commit suicide was a last, desperate human effort to allay his shame. By providing the mechanism by which the Resurrection could be fulfilled, some suggested Judas became the first martyr for the church.

Judas was handpicked by Jesus to be a disciple empowered to preach the gospel. Given authority to heal the sick,to cast out devils however he had weaknesses as did the other disciples. He was not among the most intimate of the group as Peter James and John. Judas might have felt one reason for this was because he was an outsider and not from Galilee, coming from Kerioth in the district of Jerusalem. On this point I asked you to consider whether Jesus may have specifically chosen an outsider that’s the one whom he knew would betray him in order that they would be no recriminations against the remaining 11 disciples and their families as they all came from Galilee.

Scripture tells us that Judas was a man of financial ability,, trusted to keep the common purse even though Matthew, the tax collector would have been better qualified.Judas was a man persuasive reasoning reflected by a scene in the home of Mary of Bethany. Mary had anointed Jesus with a rich appointment. Judas saw this act of love as a waste of precious money and should be sold and the money given to the poor. He was above suspicion by the other disciples after the final hours of his own life. At the Last Supper Jesus is that in the place of honour.. Maybe climbed near the Lord on the left so they could talk quietly. The composite picture of Judas as an ordained apostle of financial competence, with persuasive verbal abilities and the persona to command personal respect has compelled some to have compassion for him. Judas has been portrayed as almost virtuous, presented as a merely misguided patriot who actually love the Jesus and only hung himself because his scheme to force Christ into political leadership against Rome did not materialise.

It has been suggested that Judas used his reason in a clear sighted and call manner to discern that the Ministry of Christ was over I’m Judas saw a head on collision with the Roman authorities so he simply arrange to have the Lord arrested with the expectation that Christ would be out of harms way. Or was Judas so caught up in the hype of being one of the chosen is one, and by bringing about a confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees, Jesus would be provoked becoming the leader of a politically motivated uprising against Roman occupation. Judas would in turn become one of the select few and therefore become the master of a very large common purse. But when Jesus didn’t fight back and the Romans took control of Jesus judas lost his resolve. The 30 pieces of silver he received was only a small amount which would not having surety safety following the betrayal, nor would it has provided him with a lifestyle free from guilt. Is this an indication that his motive was was financial? Probably not as he wanted to return it but then what was his motive for the returning of the money was it to distancing from the event. We know that he knows he made the wrong choice and regretted it taking his own life. The second century Greek teacher Origon suggests that as soon as Judas fully realised just what he had done he rushed to commit suicide in order to meet the Lord in Hades replace of all the dead and there he intended to break the Lord’s forgiveness.

One final observation: didn’t the Apostle Peter also betray the Lord by his denials? So, what’s the difference? Sure, Peter wept in bitter remorse for his betrayal, but Judas too confessed, “I have betrayed innocent blood” and gave back the thirty pieces of silver. So what’s the difference?

The difference is in the way that Peter and Judas see the crucified Lord. Peter had confidence in the mercy of Christ, and Judas did not! Judas’ greatest sin was not in having betrayed Christ, but in having doubted his mercy.

And so, here is what the story of our brother Judas should move us to do: to surrender ourselves to the one who freely forgives, to throw ourselves likewise into the outstretched arms of the Crucified One.

He sought out Peter after his denial to give him forgiveness, so who knows how he might have sought out Judas at some point in his way to Calvary! When Jesus prays from the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34), he certainly does not exclude Judas from those for whom he prays.

Horrible was the nature of my sins,

but boundless mercy stretches out its arms

to any man who comes in search of it.

This is what Christ’s Passover can do for each and every one of us.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;he’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverrbs 3;5-6

Today was my first Sunday without a church service to take as I have left my present post to move on. I was reminded the other day of a sermon I preached in March of this year and I find I am doing exactly as I preached. After 58 years living in my home town I am about to move away to a small group of village churches where I am to hold a house for duty post.

A walk of faith taken in trust.

The sermon can be heard ; http://www.bridport-team-ministry.org  – sermons

charmouth 048

March 16th 2014

Lent 2 Genesis 12,1-4

A couple of weeks ago I was handed a book with the accompanying words  “I think you might find it interesting”
The book presented by the ++John Sentamu was called“faith stories” 20 true stories of faith changing lives today.
Today we have heard as Tom wright calls it “The beginning of a great costume drama” the faith story of Abraham.We have heard of Abrahams submission to God, God tells him “to leave you country, leave your family and your father’s house and go to a land that I will show you. In the message it says” So Abraham left just as God said”, no questions ,he went off on journey with no idea as to where he was going and how long the journey would take but he had a reassurance from god that all would be well. Abraham had faith in God , he trusted God completely.
I’ll make you a great nation and bless you.
I’ll make you famous;you’ll be a blessing.
I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse.
 All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.
Abraham would be divinely favoured by God.

Abraham offered his beloved son on an altar in obedience to God. His submission allowed God to make the decisions for his life. He sacrificed his belongings, his relationships, his security and even his own child allowed God to act in his life.

I want to share with you a story very similar to that of Abraham ,it is of a young man who worked as a journalist, who in his words “lived a life that was exciting, dynamic and fun”. On a Sunday he could be found at the back of the church, complaining about how boring the service was and although everyone was nice it was just very very dull compared to his exciting life. One day he was challenged “ to be honest .I’m sick of you moaning. either leave or do something about it.”with the suggestion that he used his skills as a journalist to start his own service,he didn’t leave the church he accepted the challenge he used his skills and set up a Michael Parkinson/Jonathan Ross meets Song of Praise type service interviewing members of the congregation. slowly he began to enjoy church , people were laughing ,not bored. His church life became exciting, dynamic and fun as enjoyable as his journalistic life.
However, there came a point when God called him to leave to go to a new place, that place was to work for the church.
he was to set off on a journey to a new place, that place was to a leadership role, the same role as Abraham. Matt was going to leave behind the security of a well paid job, but he didn’t let that bother him he wrote to friends who agreed to come up with enough money to make the move possible. He became his church’s evangelist there to fill the empty pews. In his testimony he tells of how he felt he was in a scene in one of the Indiana Jones movie where the hero steps out onto an invisible bridge, he believes it is there but he knows that he is going to have to walk on it to test it. everything in his soul says to make the step, even though it looks like he could fall to his death. Both matt and Abraham took that step in faith, trusting God. As matt puts it we cant always see where god will take us next, or even if there is anything there if we agree to walk the bridge. it is hard and god will push us to our limits , but he will be there walking beside us.
Abraham’s and Matts story reminds us that faith and trust must involve more than hoping for the best in times of uncertainty. Faith often brings on uncertainty through acts of sub­ mission to God. Faith and trust often means taking a voluntary step from the known into the unknown in response to God’s leading. And faith often requires a voluntary giving away of persons, positions, or possessions in response to God’s nudging. It can involve acts of great, even heartrending, sacrifice. As Abraham’s life portrays, true faith in God means a life lived with God in active response to his guiding Spirit.
He gave up his comfortable homeland to take on a role beyond his imagining. In both Matt and Abraham’s complete act of submission and sacrifice, God showed himself trustworthy,providing all he had promised. Abraham didn’t grow in submission only to see his life whittled away and left empty and powerless. Instead, each sacrifice Abraham and Matt made resulted in richer blessing. some final words from matt who never went back to journalism, you my have guessed ,he is now a priest.

He says
” often life can feel uncomfortable, but I am learning to trust God to take control; of my journey,and every time I do he sets me off on the most remarkable adventure. I let god in and he transformed me me from the inside out. he never fils to stir me, to change me,and to help me to be a better person.I ‘m just blown away by Christ and I can’t stop telling people about it, there’s no life like it”

Amen

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Easter Sunday Sermon

 Christ is Risen

 He is risen indeed

 Alleluia,alleluia

Last Sunday we heard of jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem with the crowds voices ringing with the words “Hosanna to the son of david”. on Thursday we remembered our lords last meal with his disciples and on Friday we read the passion according to Matthew where the words Hosanna changed to the “crucify him, crucify him” and now here we are on The day following the crucifixion a day that was a black for the followers of Jesus. Not yet realisingfully the truth of the resurrection, their hopes lay in ruins, Jesus the man who performed miracles ,who healed the sick ythe man who chose not to  run away and save himself. he chose humiliation he chose nails and the cross  he chose death to save us, to bring us back to God, healing our sins.
 the disciples they were on their own. Their Lord was dead. All that theycould do for him now was grant him a decent burial,so thewomen went to work preparingembalming spices with which to anoint the body.
Among the women were Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. With others they had travelled with Jesus on his journeys, takingcare of his day-to-day needs. They had followed him to the crossand stood beside him throughthe long day of hisdying, and had clung togetheras they shed tears of bitter grief.
According to some historians, Mary Magdalene and Mary ofBethany were one and the same. It is commonlybelieved that Mary Magdalenewas a prostitute though in fact no mention of this is found in any of the Gospels.She had been delivered by Jesus of ‘sevendevils’ – though this could also have applied to many that he encountered. Whateverthe facts, it seems certain that Mary Magdalene had found forgiveness and new life in Jesus, that she loved her Lord and had served him faithfully.
Now, heartbroken, early on the morning of the third day while it was still dark , Mary goes to the tomb to discover that  the stone has been rolled away.  The body she had come to tendis gone, so she does what I think we would all do and she runs for help, but to be honest the disciples that come don’t seem to provide much support, they looked saw that the body had gone and left. then  I ndespair, through her tears  asks the man standingoutside to tell her when i t has been taken.
At first she does not recognize his voice. may be her grief is so overwhelming that her senses are dulled, she is confused. It is only when he says her name “mary” that the she realizes to whom she has been speaking to all the time.
How many times have you walked along the street and uttered the words “oh ,sorry I didn’t recognize you”
I read a story the other day
a 6 yrs old girl was drawing a picture one day. her teacher said “what are you drawing”.the little girl said”I am drawing a picture of God”. The teacher was surprised and said”but do you know what god looks like”. the little girl carried on drawing and said “they will in a minute”
this morning morning prayer included the Song of Christ Glory
Christ Jesus was in the form of God, •
but he did not cling to equality with God.
  He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,
and was born in our human likeness.
 Being found in human form he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him,
 and bestowed on him the name above every name,
 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth;
  And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father
Chris took on human, he became one of us.
 we, you and I are made in God’s image, so would recognize God if you meet him in      Bridport, of course you would.
He is in you, he is in the person sat next to you, in acts of kindness you receive, he is in the person who supports you in times of difficulty,
Isaiah  41.13  reading from the message
That’s right. Because I, your God,
 have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
 I’m right here to help you.’