Holy Week: The Good and The Bad

 

table

Scripture Reading — Matthew 22:1-14

“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.” — Matthew 22:2

The food was prepared for the feast. Everything was ready and everyone who was invited was told it was time to come but they chose not to.

What if we were invited to the banquet of a great leader or king? Would we decide we were too busy to go? Would we decide not to go because we didn’t like that leader’s political views?

The king in the parable then decided to do something quite extraordinary he would invite everyone else in the kingdom—the nobodies, the good and the bad, homeless people, illegal immigrants, the people from the food bank, criminals—everyone his messengers could find on the streets. All were invited—and the wedding hall was filled!

This parable about a wedding feast for the son of a king is really about Jesus. Jesus is speaking about his heavenly Father inviting everyone to a banquet of great blessings to celebrate the marriage (the Joining) of Jesus with his church, the people of God, for everlasting, abundant life together in the Father’s heavenly palace.

The question to ponder is this: Are you going to accept the invitation?

You are invited! Everyone has been invited! All we need in order to have full, abundant life is to accept the King’s ­invitation and follow Jesus and do as he would have us do.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I do not want to miss your invitation! I want to be at the banquet for your Son, Jesus. Thank you for inviting me into your kingdom. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Murdo Campbell  2020 c.

Holy Week: Cleansing the Temple

come

Scripture Reading — Matthew 21:12-17

He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.
Matthew 21:12 

Recent excavations in Jerusalem revealed a great wooden barrier that kept Gentiles from drawing near to God in worship. The poor were also prevented from worshipping God as God intended.

God had commanded that no one “should appear before the LORD empty-handed. Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way your God has blessed you” (Deuteronomy 16:16-17). The place for buying animals for sacrifice and the exchange of money had always been outside the temple courts. But the religious leaders had moved the marketplace inside the temple. Worshippers were allowed to sacrifice only those animals they had bought in the temple court. Offerings too were to be of money exchanged only by the official money changers who overcharged. Barrier upon barrier erected to exclude Gentiles and the poor from knowing God’s forgiveness and God’s love. In other words they went away still hungry for the food of sins forgiven the food of God’s grace.

And so it was that Jesus overturned the benches of the dove sellers.

Jesus’ point is clear. He gets angry when people are prevented from worshipping God. The message is let all come to God who are need of his mercy and grace- do not stop them.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you always have a heart for the poor. Thank you for loving us all and for showing us that we all need you. Make us more like you each day. In Jesus name, Amen.

Online Church: 5th April (Palm Sunday)

A very warm welcome to our Palm Sunday service.

Our hymn is ‘Hosanna, hosanna’ and our reading is from Matthew Chapter 21.

Children (of all ages!) are invited to join us for Sunday Club with Lynne, as we continue the story of Joshua.

This is the song with actions for today’s Sunday Club:

Donkey

Scripture ReadingJohn 12:14-19

Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it …
John 12:14 — 

Jesus carefully chose the mount that carried him to his God-ordained destiny. After all, his means of travel was prophesied in the Old Testament: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).

Why a donkey? Well, in those days warriors rode on horses, and donkeys were used by people who were travelling in peace.

The purpose of Jesus’ coming was to fulfil the promise the angels announced at his birth: “On earth peace to [all] on whom his favour rests” (Luke 2:14). An old hymn says it better than I can:

For not with swords’ loud clashing
or roll of stirring drums
with deeds of love and mercy
the heavenly kingdom comes.

Lead on, O King eternal;
we follow, not with fears,
for gladness breaks like morning
where’er your face appears.
Your cross is lifted o’er us,
we journey in its light;
the crown awaits the conquest;
lead on, O God of might.

The greatest deed of love and mercy is the sacrifice Jesus made by dying on the cross for us, making peace between God and humankind.

Therefore, “Do not be afraid,” These are words we need to hear as we struggle with fears in our lives. Jesus comes to assure us of God’s constant loving care.

Prayer

We know, Lord Jesus, that when you come again, you will remove all that is wrong and the brokenness in this world, establishing your kingdom of peace forever.

In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Murdo M Campbell 2020 c.

Donating to Strathblane Parish Church

We have had some enquiries at this time about how people can continue to give their offering to Strathblane Parish Church when we are required to self-isolate.

There are three ways of doing this:

  • You may choose to set up a standing order (If you are already doing this you need take no further action). This can be done in two ways – either using online banking or by posting a paper Standing Order to your bank. If this is something that you would like to do, please email or call Jean Strachan -email: fastra@aol.com and we will supply details of the Church bank account and also email you a downloadable Standing Order form if you wish to use the postal method.
  • You may choose to use BACS to make a donation. (again contact Jean Strachan – fastra@aol.com for the bank details to make a BACS payment).  If you include your name on the donation you make we can claim gift aid.
  • Once the church re-opens, if you have been filling your free will envelopes you can bring these along in the usual manner.

If you are currently unemployed due to Coronavirus, then we understand you cannot contribute in the usual way.

We are grateful for people’s concerns and willingness to make sure that their giving continues to support the work at Strathblane Parish Church. Regrettably the running costs for ministry and building don’t disappear during this difficult period so your continued financial support is gratefully appreciated.

Keep safe and keep believing.

Blessings

Rev. Murdo Campbell

Reconciling Love

Prodigal

Scripture Reading — 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

God … reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18 

Imagine a mother embracing a grown child who has come back after rejecting her for many years. That’s reconciliation. But their embrace probably depends on removing roadblocks in their relationship. That’s what Christ does in our relationship with God. Pushing aside the roadblocks of our sin and guilt, God reconciles us to himself through faith in his Son. That’s what Easter is all about, God embracing the world through the death of Jesus on the cross. He has broken every road block down and reconciled us to God.

God also gives us the ministry of reconciliation. We are to treat others as God has treated us. This is difficult, and circumstances always seem to works against us. Reconciliation ministry means working personally and together to bridge interpersonal, family, and social separations. Reach out to someone today and treat them as Jesus treats you.

Prayer

Lord, we live in your loving embrace because of Jesus. May we, as your people, urgently take up the ministry of reconciliation. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

 

Murdo Campbell c.

In the Eye of the Storm

boat

Scripture Reading — Mark 6:45-52

Then [Jesus] climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. —Mark 6:51

Storm winds were raging as Jesus’ disciples fought to keep their boat afloat. Jesus saw their struggle from afar and walked out to them on the wild waves. When they saw him, they were terrified, thinking he was a ghost on the stormy sea.

Jesus could have remained on the shore and commanded the winds to tame down. At the very least, quieting the sea first might have made his walking out there easier. But instead Jesus joined his disciples in the turbulence, took the most difficult route, and then climbed into the rocking boat to be with them. “Don’t be afraid,” he said before calming the storm.

In this story, Jesus demonstrates the heart of God that still comforts us today as we battle life’s storms. Jesus sees our struggles, comes near to us, and goes through the storm with us—whether or not he decides to calm or stop it.

The night before my operation a surgeon came to pray with me, a friend from the Brethren Church had told him to go and visit me. I soon realised that God had sent him, that Jesus was in the storm with me, right beside me.

Have you felt the presence of Jesus in your storm? He is near. Listen closely as he whispers to you, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Prayer

Jesus, thank you that you don’t stand at a distance when we are struggling against the storms of life. Instead, you come before we even call. Please calm our fears as we cling to you. Amen.

 

 

Murdo Campbell. c.

Prayer for Today

child

Heavenly Father, we ask for:

Your mercy on our nation and other nations around the world. That you might stop this virus so that it doesn’t reach its full potential.

  • Your divine wisdom for our government leaders, business leaders, doctors, and health care leaders and church leaders. Help us all seek your wisdom that we would make good decisions that will save lives and benefit everyone.
  • Your protection over our elderly and vulnerable. We ask for your protection and blessings over our families, mothers and children needing to learn how to be patient with one another, husbands and spouses feeling the tension of confinement, our churches, our communities, our co-workers, our businesses, and our neighbours. Bless doctors and nurses and all medical practitioners who are putting themselves on the frontline to bring healing and comfort to those afflicted. Give them hope. Protect these nurses and doctors around the world as they face patients daily, often without adequate protection.
  • Your provision. We are used to thinking that everything is under control financially. That we know where our money is coming from and we know where our food and things we need are coming from. This shaking is causing us to realise that you are the only one who is unshakable. Jobs seem unstable. The economy has been adversely affected. None of us know what will happen. We look to you to provide for our families, loved ones, and communities. We ask you to allow us to be able to get the things we really need.
  • Contentment. Help us to be content with shelter, food, and clothing for today. Help us not to worry about tomorrow because you taught us that each day has enough trouble of its own. Help us rest in your love, your promises, and your goodness.
  • Your healing for us spiritually. We ask for you to use this crisis to help us focus on what matters—our relationship with you and with other people.
  • Your comfort for those who are suffering and grieving. We ask you to especially wrap your loving arms around those who are afraid, depressed, discouraged, sick or grieving. Help us to be a blessing to those who are suffering and to love them with your love.

In Jesus name we pray Amen

 

Murdo Campbell 2020.c