Please note that the final part of Peter Crundwell’s course, Making Sense of the Bible, due to take place tonight, has been postponed to next Tuesday 26 June. At the usual time 17:30 to 18:30
Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.
Our theme this week is on issues of justice. Lord, there are so many issues and experiences of injustice, oppression and inequality. Help us as a congregation to look beyond ourselves to these issues; to respond in ways that bring freedom from bondage and oppression; may the floodgates of your mercy be like a healing balm to those who need it most. Let us pray for:
• Those who feel trapped in poverty, which often leads to choices that would not be the norm just to put food on the table and provide a roof over their heads.
• Our education system – decision makers at national and local government levels, educators and learners.
• Our police and security company personnel – that they would all work to ensure safety and security for all who call SA home.
• Communities to work together to root out crime, violence and corruption.
• The correct management of parastatals, especially the current crisis within Eskom, and the threat of strikes that could affect the whole country.
• The eradication of misconduct at SABC.
• The reduction in statistics of 31% of municipalities who are not financially viable.
• Those affected by sexual harassment in school by teachers.
• Give thanks for the repaired equipment at the Addington Oncology unit.
• Pray for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe on 30th July.
• Continue to pray for our leaders.
We pray for righteousness to be restored in our beloved country, work for all and hope for future generations.
“When the enemy comes with shame and blame, tell him to go measure the distance from East to West and get back to you – Louie Giglio”
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 11 – 17TH June 2018)
ICE BREAKER: Share a personal experience of a waterfall.
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ Luke 4:14-20; Amos 5:21-24 and Isaiah 1:16-17
1. Luke records in verses 18-19, the words spoken by Jesus as recorded in Isaiah 61. Most of us have heard these words proclaimed many times. What do they mean for you? Share with your group.
2. Justice is a word that is bandied about quite a lot as we see many atrocities and acts of injustice and inequality. What are your thoughts on matters of injustice and inequality?
3. Closer to home… there are many hot potato issues in SA – political strife, land issues, failing education and health systems, economic uncertainty to name a few. So often when faced with these issues our response is to flee into self-preservation mode. Why do you think this is so?
4. Let’s look a little deeper on this issue… we cannot ignore the deeper issues and causes of injustice, oppression and inequality, that are often designed to keep the poverty stricken in that place, or those trapped in life styles not necessarily of their choosing. How can the church – HMC and the broader church – offer a faithful, Gospel inspired, critique of systemic injustice that causes inequality?
5. Amos 5:24 is a beautiful passage – the NIV reads, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-ending stream.” One of my favourite spots in the Berg is a waterfall at the foot of the Bushman’s Nek mountains. When the rains have come, and the river is flowing strong, it’s a steady and endless flow of water over the rockface into a deep pool; onto some rapids and into the deeper quieter section, which just keeps rolling as the river meanders onwards. Imagine this and hold the picture in mind as you consider that Jesus came to right injustice… Where in your life or circle of influence could this verse in Amos be an outworking of your faith that brings justice and righteous living?
6. In his book, My Beloved Community, Andrew writes: “It’s a damnably hard thing to get people to look beyond themselves. It’s a true mark of maturity to do so. Your maturity in Christ is a movement from self-concern to an abiding concern for others.” In your praying, studying and worship do you sense the Holy Spirit at work within, maturing you to see beyond yourself to others?
7. What fruit could be borne and continue to be produced and harvested as a community that strives for justice and righteousness?
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 4th – 10h June 2018)
ICE BREAKER: What robs you of peace?
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ 1 Kings 3:16-28, Matthew 10:5-16
1. READ: 1 Kings 3:16-28. Traditionally one would think this passage is about learning to exercise great wisdom. How does exercising wisdom bring about peace?
2. In what ways have/haven’t you been able to resolve conflict or disputes in your homes, places of work or even in the church? How have you made peace with the
outcome of this situation?
3. What’s the answer – violence or threat of violence? Does exercising violence bring about true peace?
4. READ: Matthew 10:5-16
The Jews were waiting for the Messiah to usher in the Kingdom of God. Jesus sends the disciples on a mission, with specific instructions. One of these is to give as
freely as you have received. How does generosity bring about peace?
5. We’re all eagerly awaiting this Kingdom – in Christ it has been realised, because Christ has already begun the Kingdom on earth in our hearts. What can we do to
play our part to realise this more fully, so that evil is resisted, and all people are able to live in peace with one another?
6. Shake the dust off your sandals seems like a strange instruction in a dusty land. What is the spiritual truth that Jesus is trying to convey here? Are you receptive to
new and different teachings?
7. When you’re facing hostility, how do you respond? Who do you run to for protection? How do you continue to do God’s work in the face of hostility?
Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.
“whoever watches the wind will not plant, whoever looks at the clouds will not reap” – Ecclesiastes 11:4
Please pray for:
- The people of South Africa to be positive about South Africa, to push forward in spite of the negatives they see around them, to invest themselves in the Country and trust God
- The people of South Africa to notice the good that is being done for others and for our Country
- Our diverse population to work together in a healthy and productive way
- Our children to grow up without the injustices from the past being perpetuated
- Equal opportunities for all
- Continued prayer for Cyril Ramaphosa – To seek God’s guidance daily as he steers our country and makes decisions; and roots out corruption.
- Continue to pray for rain in the Cape – for the drought to be completely broken
- Pray for our Circuit Pentecost Service on 20th – may many lives be touched through our witness.
- Pray for our Methodist Churches during Mission Month – may lives be changed and new life be sparked in those who serve and who are served by our churches.
- Pray for our Bishop and the District Executive as they prepare for Synod later in the month – my God’s Spirit guide the preparations and the hearts and minds of those attending that we may discern the mind of Christ in matters that affect our life together as church.
- Pray for the peace of Christ to guard our hearts and minds as people, community and nation.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 14th – 20th May 2018)
ICE BREAKER: Share an overwhelming experience – what impact did it make on you or those with you?
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Acts 2:1-21
- Think of a time when you were buffeted by the wind. Think of the power behind that wind – one can only marvel at this power. Think about the initial appearance of the Holy Spirit that manifested its tremendous power in the movement of the wind and tongues of flames. Think of the dry bones that became covered with flesh and that put breath in Ezekiel. In the same vein as the ice-breaker is there anything you’d like to add now that you’ve reflected a little more? Share this with the group.
- Another thing you may have noticed in the Acts reading is that the Holy Spirit touched everyone in that Upper Room – people from all over the known world, from different faith beliefs, cultures and languages. How do you feel about the work of the Holy Spirit today – on the belief that the Holy Spirit is at work amongst all peoples, how can you be part of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis?
- What else do you notice about the work of the Holy Spirit amongst the people on that day of Pentecost, and in the prophecy in Ezekiel?
- There is a strong call to salvation, and reaching out to the marginalised, in both texts. Have you experienced the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you (or perhaps someone else) to share the message of salvation with others, perhaps especially with those whom you would have least expected it? Share this experience with the group.
- So we’ve been looking to the work of the Holy Spirit through you to others… but what about you – how have you experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in worship, in Holy Communion or witnessing a Baptism, or during a prayer or study time or some area of service. What impact did these personal experiences make in your belief in God and in your faith?
- Have you experienced moments of courage, or power to deal with a challenge or grief and to be faithful in following Christ?
- How has the Holy Spirit revealed more of Christ to you – his love for you, and to be more open in your heart and mind to learn more about Christ and being a Christ-follower?
NOTE: Prayers for SA & the World are posted on the website. Please encourage your group to pray together about these issues and during their personal devotional time in the week.
Sermon : Merle Vollebregt
Please click on the link below to listen to the sermon