St Ninian's OnlineDec 19, 2020
It's Advent... and so we wait. But we don't wait for Christmas... so, what do we wait for?
king of kings
When we call Jesus 'king of kings' what do we mean? And what does that mean for us? Join Stewart as we explore Matthew 25:31-46.
What is God like?
I wonder what you think God is like? It’s one of those big questions and our answer to it shapes our response to all kinds of things, probably more than we imagine. Do you think God is an angry absentee landlord? Or kind and loving?
What does God require of you as we stand in silence to remember?
do as they say...
What’s your reaction when leaders set hard rules and then don’t follow them? Should we ignore the rules too? But what if the rules are good rules? Rules to help us live well together or to keep us safe? And what does Jesus have to say about it?
love, love, love...
What’s the most important commandment? It seems like such a straightforward question, especially if you know about these things. It’s got to be the first one… Right?
Should you pay tax? For most of us the answer is,”Yes, we have to.” But for some people the answer is “only if you have to.” And this was a question in Jesus’ time too. Should you pay tax to the Romans? It’s a trap. It’s a question that Jesus is supposed to stumble over. But he doesn’t. Instead, he sets his own trap.
what not to wear
Weddings are fascinating! Who gets invited and who doesn’t can cause family rifts that echo for generations. If you do get an invite there’s the dilemma of what to wear! Who else will be there? What table will I be at?
A king throws a wedding party for his son and the people he has invited don’t show up! Worse they assault the people who brought their invitations… You can bet he’s going to be livid with them but he has all this food prepared… and it would be a shame for it to go to waste… wouldn’t it?
Speaking truth to power
They say power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Speaking truth to that kind of power can be dangerous. But if nobody ever does then nothing will every change.
On who’s authority? It’s a good question. One the should ask. But why would you ask. question when you’ve already made up your mind what you think. But as usual the answer from Jesus is an even better question.
How much money is enough?
How much is enough? And when you think about your answer to that are you wondering how much is enough for you? Or are you thinking about how some people have too much? Or are you wondering what a fair share for everyone would be?
Forgiveness is hard. Really hard. And yet Jesus seems very serious about how important it is.
how to end an argument!
Do you argue a lot? Get frustrated by other people who are obviously wrong? Wonder how we ended up in a world where everyone takes sides? What can we do about it? How can we settle our arguments in a way that’s fair?
what does your cross look like?
Have you ever felt on such a high one minute only to be brought down a peg or two the next? To be praised one minute and chastised the next? Well, in today’s reading that’s exactly what happened to Peter.
Who am I?
Jesus asks, 'Who do people say I am? And what about you? Who do you say that I am?' Identity is a big deal. We all want to be known… and known for the right things, but who is Jesus? And what difference does that make to me? Stewart Cutler explores a big question for all of us.
Crumbs of Mercy
Clean hearts. There’s a phrase that gets used often in churches. But what does it mean to have a clean heart? Today Jesus takes on the idea that it is practices and rituals that make our hearts pure… It’s not the things that go in but what comes out that shows what we are really like. But then the very next thing he does is have a really awkward conversation with a woman from a different culture to his. He calls her a dog. Not exactly a great example of what he’s just been talking about. So what’s going on?
When Jesus walks on the water we’re less than surprised. Sure, it’s unusual, but he’s the son of God and earlier that day he fed 5,000 men, along with all the women and children there with a few loaves and a couple of fish and he healed many diseases. So when Peter is bold enough to get out of a perfectly good boat so he can do some water walking we need to ask some big questions about what’s going on.
your daily bread
Jesus feeds 5,000 men. And there were woman and children there too, but only men counted. Some things haven’t changed much. They were hungry… but I think we perhaps forget to ask why? Why were they hungry? And what does Jesus do to change that?
the kingdom of heaven is like...
The kingdom of heaven is like… well, like what? It’s like a mustard seed, yeast, treasure found by accident, a pearl found after a long search and fish caught in a net. But how? How can it be like those things?
Don't be hasty!
Someone has ruined everything! They’ve sown weeds in beside the wheat. It’s an outrage. We should rip the weeds out. Even though we don’t know anything about farming or what impact that will have on the young wheat. And Jesus tells a story that causes us to pause… and reflect… and to see ourselves in a different light. http://st-ninians-stonehouse.org.uk
Jesus tells a story about a farmer who sows some seed. He throws the seed everywhere. and some doesn’t go where it’s meant to… and some lands on good soil and is fruitful. But I’m not a farmer so what does this have to do with me?
is it really that simple?
Have you ever been offered a fix for something, a solution to a problem that just seems too simple so you reject it? I wonder why we do that?
Are you welcome?
You are welcome here. No really. You are. But how would you know that you are welcome? How do we show welcome? And why does it matter?
Do not be afraid!
Go and tell your friends, neighbours and even strangers that their worldview is wrong and a new way is possible... and, the the way, some of them won't like it!
What does compassion feel like?
We talk about feelings all the time... but they are called feelings because we physically feel something. The emotion has an impact on our body. So, what does compassion feel like?
Who are you here for?
When Jesus comes for Matthew it's a statement. I'm here for people like him... who are you here for?
Go. Yes you! Go and make disciples… But how? How would we even begin to do that?
forgiveness is healing
Jesus stands among his friends and speaks words of peace and forgiveness... because forgiving is healing!
Want to know what God is like? Just look at Jesus!
Breath is life... but for Jesus it's more... more life that you could ever imagine!
Thrown back into the events of Holy Week we find ourselves confronted by familiar words, but in a different context. Jesus’ talks of many houses, mansions or dwelling places, and of leaving, going somewhere else but at the same time remaining. It’s confusing, sometimes difficult stuff so what does it all mean? And what does any of it have to do with us?
slow down & listen
Jesus is in sheep and shepherd mode... but his disciples have no idea what he's talking about. Do you?
An encounter with Jesus leaves a couple of his followers with burning hearts... will it do the same for us?
rumours of resurrection
It's almost the end of the day. It's getting dark... and Jesus appears to 10 of the disciples... but Thomas isn't there. He's out. And he misses out!
It's Easter Sunday!
Jesus trail and crucifixion...
Thursday of Holy Week
Bread, wine, washing of feet and betrayal...
Wednesday of Holy Week
Judas wrestles with his decision...
Tuesday of Holy Week
Some Greeks come to see Jesus and kick off a strange conversation about life and death, darkness and light...
Monday of Holy Week
Mary anoints Jesus... and Judas is annoyed...
his love endures forever
Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. People sing and cheer... and hope! Could this be the moment that everything changes?
Why did God let that happen? Why didn’t God do something? Jesus’ friend Lazarus has died. And Jesus wasn’t there. And now he is… The tomb has been sealed. It’s too late. Or is it?
When Jesus asks a woman for a drink from the well it's her that gets more than she could have imagined... but what about us?
Abram is just minding his own business, getting on with life... when God says "go!". And Abram goes... I wonder... would you?
Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust
Temptation... that's a thing we all face all the time. But the Bible makes a big deal of it. Why? And why does that matter to us?
What does it mean when Jesus is transfigured? And can we be changed? And into what?
Anger and lust... Choose life instead
Jesus keeps pulling the thread of the commandments and gets to the heart of all our problems...
Salt & Light
YOU are salt and light. Yes... you!!! But how? and why?
What does blessing look like?
We all want to be blessed. Why wouldn't you? But what does blessing actually look like? And why is it so controversial?
What would you give up?
When Jesus asks some young fishermen to follow him they leave their lives behind and go... but so did Jesus. He had a life, a job, a family and some big responsibilities... and he left them all behind to go and do something that mattered more. Would you?