PEACE BE WITH YOU – WHAT DID JESUS MEAN?

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Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”   Luke 24;36

Peace be with you but what did Jesus mean when he said this.

On Tuesday I went for a sermon prep walk, down to the coast guards cottages at Langton Herring on the Fleet in Dorset. It  was  so peaceful with an air of tranquility. It was so so peaceful, I cant really explain how I felt.Suddenly something spooked the birds and they started tweeting. In a field nearby a pheasant was calling and I suddenly became aware of the sound my feet were making as I walked along the gravel path  but this didn’t transcend the peace and tranquility. It was if the noises were God drawing my attention to the surroundings, say “hello, take a look, enjoy ,be inspired by the beautiful world that surrounds you”
I felt the sun on my face and just could’t stop but think what a beautiful part of the world, and how fortunate I am that God has placed me here.

His gift to me.

But it got me thinking ,what did Jesus mean. Was it just a greeting, Shalom, to his friends, is traveling companions or was it something deeper.

“Peace be with you” Those words are profound – through his gift of peace Jesus is healing their memories. They had vivid memories of their time with him, as fellow travelers on the road, but not all of their memories were good. There was the Garden of Gethsemane of course, the memory of how they had deserted Jesus, leaving him to face his trial and execution alone. And uppermost in Peter’s memory would have been the scene outside the high priest’s house when he had denied any knowledge of Jesus, and had sworn and cursed at the mention of his name. A memory that would have cut him to the quick, sickening him every time he thought about it, perhaps making him wonder whether he could go on living with himself. The sort of memory that only God’s forgiveness can heal.

And now the risen Jesus is with them, offering not anger at their betrayal, desertion and denial, but peace, healing and a new beginning. Their memories can’t be forgotten or wiped out; we know that in our own lives – yet they can be taken up, healed, and held in God’s peace. The power that bad memories have to blight and diminish lives is replaced by a greater power; the power of God’s forgiveness, won through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. That power, that peace, set them free and it can do the same for us today.

Then I thought about  Philippians 4:7 where we have a wonderful promise: “The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is important to note the context of this promise, because that’s where we find the condition: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” God’s peace is promised to guard those who pray—with thanksgiving—about everything. This peace will transcend our ability to understand it.

The believer who places his or her full confidence in a loving God and is thankful in every circumstance will possess a
supernatural peace. An inner calm will dominate the heart. The faithful believer will know peace—his heart and mind are “guarded” by it—despite the tempest raging without. No one, especially those outside of Christ, will be able to fathom that peace. To most, it will remain a mystery how someone can be so serene in the midst of turmoil.

The peace that comes from being in a right relationship with God is not the peace of this world. The world’s peace depends on having favorable circumstances: if things are going well, then we feel peaceful; when things go awry, the peace quickly dissipates. Jesus made the distinction between His peace and the world’s vacillating peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27).

God’s supernatural peace surpasses natural understanding.

God’s supernatural peace is beyond our understanding.

God’s supernatural peace is personal to us all.

God’s supernatural peace is at the heart of out relationship with him.

God’s supernatural peace is for us all

Amen

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The Fleet, Weymouth ,Dorset

They tried, but didn’t succeed.

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Pilate asked him, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”

He answered, “If you say so.” The high priests let loose a barrage of accusations.  Mark 15;2

They tried and tried to tangle our Lord in barbed wire with questions ,clever questions they thought.

But nothing they said could hold him fast upon the wire.

He replied to their questions not with the answers that were hoped for,

for he answered not with words that would condemn him,

he answered with questions  which challenged their authority and understanding of the scriptures.

They tangled him in the wire because he knew his hour had come.

Nailed to the Cross for us and for our salvation,rising on the 3rd day, no longer held by the wire.

Escaping  the wire that held him,   setting us free to bear witness to his teaching here on earth.

Margaret Preuss-Higham

CARRY YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME.

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Jesus call us to take up our cross.

MARK 8.34-38 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel will save it.  For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?  Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Today we are challenged by Jesus to take up our Cross. We carry the Cross, we received at our baptism. However, just because we wear it and carry it doesn’t mean to say that live our life any differently from those who don’t wear the Cross. We have to chose to live by the cross,to follow Christ,listen to his teachings and carry them out.To carry the Cross will not be a walk in the park , it is not to been viewed as the  road to wealth and ease. It will be a life of self denial and sacrifice, a walk towards the riches of a deeper relationship with God.

I found this song by Scott Krippayne which I share below;

Cross of Christ

I will lay down the burdens I’ve spent my life bearing
And confess I’m a sinner for whom Jesus died
I will live every moment in the light of His mercy
And I won’t take for granted His loving sacrifice

I will carry the cross of Christ, hold to the hope I’m given
Reach out to those in need and show them love, yeah, yeah
Yeah, with all of my soul and strength, as long as my heart is beating
I’ll follow the one who laid down His life for mine
And carry the cross of Christ

I will make it my mission to serve those around me
To care for the broken and pray for the lost
I will walk in the footsteps of my Lord and my Savior
And I’ll live out the gospel no matter what the cost

I will carry the cross of Christ, hold to the hope I’m given
Reach out to those in need and show them love, show them love
Yeah, with all of my soul and strength, as long as my heart is beating
I’ll follow the one who laid down His life for mine
And carry the cross of Christ

And I will not lay it down ’til I lay it at His feet
No, I will not lay it down ’til I touch eternity, yeah

I will carry the cross of Christ, hold to the hope I’m given
Reach out to those in need and show them love, show them love
Yeah, with all of my soul and strength, as long as my heart is beating
I’ll follow the one who laid down His life for mine
And carry the cross of Christ

I will carry the cross of Christ, hold to the hope I’m given
Reach out to those in need and show them love, show them love
Yeah, with all of my soul and strength, as long as my heart is beating
I’ll follow the one who laid down His life for mine
And carry the cross of Christ

IS GOD DRIVING YOU THROUGH YOUR LIFE?

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Is God in your driving seat?

Last week we had Jesus being tempted/tested by Satan. Satan appears again this week, but in the person of Peter who seeks to prevent Jesus from doing what he must do.
Why does Peter do this? He has not “set his mind on” the things of God, but on human things. Jesus’ harsh critique of Peter involves more than just the few words spoken on this occasion. Jesus say to Peter” Peter get out of my way! Satan ,get lost! you have know idea how God works.Even after the clear words from Jesus, Peter still hasn’t got the proper picture. He needs an “attitude adjustment”. He is seeing with “human eyes” rather than through the will and eyes of God. He tells Jesus what is and what is not going to happen — typical of first-born children? He wants to be a leader, not a follower. Are we ever guilty of having such attitudes?

Jesus then proceeds to tell those around him the following him how things will be.
“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.
You are not in the driving seat, I am.”

Something that is not always easy to let somebody else be in the driving seat. As Christians we must accept that God is in the driving seat, he has our route planned from the very beginning. I take you back to the words we heard a couple of weeks ago “ this is my son ,listen to him”

God is in the driving seat.

Being a follower of Christ means making sacrifices, the disciples left their families, not knowing where they were going or what they would end up doing. Following the teachings of Christ doesn’t make for an easy life,it is not a paved road to wealth and an easy life.It involves hard work, persecution,deprivation and deep suffering.
Peter saw only parts of the picture and we must be careful not to make the same mistake.

As Satan tempted Jesus, life brings us many temptations, the temptation to turn away in time of difficulties when the cross gets to heavy to carry. At times it is so hard to love your neighbour. The message says ‘we must not run from suffering’ our suffering and the suffering of others. Jesus calls us to embrace suffering. He says follow me and I will show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to save yourself your true self. Jesus wants us to choose to follow him rather than lead a life of sin and self-satisfaction. He wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny let him direct us as I said before he is in the driving seat and he knows better than we do what real life is about he also submission, He asked us only to lose our self-centred determination to be in charge.

Jesus addresses the crowds saying “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up the cross and follow me”. We wear the cross of Christ crucified from our baptism, we carry his cross and as I said last week we cannot walk away from this cross it is with us always whether we remain faithful.
Jesus call us to self-denial so that we may continue to evolve spiritually as God intended. By learning to lives together unselfishly in this life, we may be preparing ourselves for the next great evolutionary leap forward, when individuals willingly sacrifice all so that we may live together in love. If you had begun to imitate Christ, you are ready for the next step in the great adventure of life the God puts before us here for.
We have a duty, we are trustees not of the church but of the christian faith. we are responsible for the continuing faith in this place and in the country, so no pressure. When reading compline at Abbotsbury I was reminded of the benedictine monks who did the same nearly a thousand years ago. Will there be a christian community here in a thousand years time.? if we do as jesus directs and we continue to carry his cross, listen to God and do his bidding and above all let him, God, be in the driving seat.

Red sky at night shepherds delight

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God spoke: “Light!”
And light appeared.
God saw that light was good
and separated light from dark.
God named the light Day,
he named the dark Night.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day One.

The sun slowly goes down over the horizon.As it disappears, the burning light of the sun dulls and becomes a huge disc of orange and yellow.The sun’s orange  mingles with the light blue colour of the sky and  produced a vast contrast of different colours like flames of fire, gold, bronze,orange. It is like watching a screen slowly changing colour. The scene is truly beautiful. The dull light of the sun somehow illuminates everything. Everything was almost still and the effect of the light made the scene look like one in a painting. The sun was gradually going down and by the time it almost disappeared, the sky had patterns of different colours, from light purple to a dull blue. The scene is mesmerizing. I stand quiet and watch and this golden disc gradually disappears to rise in another place. the birds are just silhouettes in the sky.

The sunset  signalling   a time of rest for, a time to recuperate from the trials of the day.

The stillness gives time to reflect  on Gods creation.

Beyond the sunset,
O blissful morning,
When with our Saviour
Heav’n is begun.
Earth’s toiling ended,
O glorious dawning;
Beyond the sunset
When day is done.

Beyond the sunset,
No clouds will gather,
No storms will threaten,
No fears annoy;
O day of gladness,
O day unending,
Beyond the sunset,
Eternal Joy.

Beyond the sunset,
A hand will guide me
To God, the Father,
Whom I adore;
His glorious presence,
His words of welcome,
Will be my portion
On that fair shore.

Beyond the sunset,
O glad reunion,
With our dear loved ones
Who’ve gone before;
In that fair homeland
We’ll know no parting,
Beyond the sunset
For evermore!
Virgil Brock

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Good Friday

The day is near, the time has come

Bread is broken, Wine is drunk
The deal is done, Fate has been sealed
Sealed with a kiss, the sign of love, no less
How times have changed, how people change
From cries of love, to cries of hate
The awaited one came, they couldn’t see
He healed, taught love but, still they did not see
Now time has passed, they’ve had their chance,
they chose their path
Hand are washed, backs are turned
The cross stands high, one of three, for all to see
Bang, bang, bang,
Nails,
one, two and three
The crown of thorns, to crown a king
Spills blood for sins He came to bear
The sky, it darkens
Father
Forgive , forgive, forgive
It’s over

BUT NOT THE END