Archive for May 2021

sermon.jpg

The Lord's Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever.
Amen.


We come to perhaps one of the best known passages of the Bible, in what we call the Lord’s Prayer. Most of us here tonight are I am sure familiar with it, if not over familiar with it. It is a prayer which is common to all churches of all denominations, just as it is known to those of others faiths and indeed, no faith at all.

Why the Lord’s Prayer? Personally, I find it helpful to regularly go back to basics, to what should be familiar territory for somebody who has been a Christian for about 35 years now. I need to be reminded of the things that we commonly cal the basics. So reflecting upon and pondering upon what the Lord’s Prayer means, is part of those basics to me. And if you are not like that, it is still a good thing I think to go back every so often and be reminded.

This prayer is recorded for us by both Matthew and Luke. Luke’s account is written to enlighten those who need to know how to pray, and Gentiles were his main readership. Matthew however is writing primarily to Jews who knew how to pray but wanted to know how to pray correctly. So that is where we are as we commence. Download the mp3 using the link below to hear the rest of this message!

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
I heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

PartakersPrayers.jpg
Partakers Prayers

4th May 2021

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together!

 Today we pray this prayer of the Ancient Church to encourage ourselves and others!


Tell, tongue, the mystery
of the glorious Body
and of the precious Blood,
which, for the price of the world,
the fruit of a noble Womb,
the King of the Nations flowed forth.

Given to us, born for us,
from the untouched Virgin,
and dwelt in the world
after the seed of the Word had been scattered.
His inhabiting ended the delays with wonderful order.

On the night of the Last Supper,
reclining with His brethren,
once the Law had been fully observed
with the prescribed foods,
as food to the crowd of Twelve
He gives Himself with His hands.

The Word as Flesh makes true bread
into flesh by a word
and the wine becomes the Blood of Christ.
And if sense is deficient
to strengthen a sincere heart
Faith alone suffices.

Therefore, the great Sacrament
we reverence, prostrate:
and the old Covenant
cedes to a new rite.
Faith stands forth as substitute
for defect of the senses.

To Begetter and Begotten
be praise and jubilation,
health, honour, strength also
and blessing.

To the One who proceeds from Both
be praise as well.
Amen,

Alleluia.

A prayer of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)

 

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
I heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

COVIDPrayer.jpg

 

Once again, we are praying a prayer together concerning the Corona Virus Pandemic. I am sure each of us knows somebody who has contracted this virus, and quite possibly succumbed to it and died because of it. Come! Let's pray together!

O great God, as you know,
we are in the midst of this wretched COVID-19 global pandemic.

O Great Comforter,
embrace those grieving the loss of loved ones and wipe their tears.

We don’t know the right way to combat this pandemic,
but we know and trust that you do.
Therefore, give wisdom and courage to all those involved
in its treatment, prevention, cure and vaccine,
including our government and leaders.

May the vaccines be distributed diligently, justly, quickly and efficiently.
We thank you O God that they were prepared by wise people.

We thank you for all those caring for others during this time –
carers, nurses, medics and others.
May you O God, give them courage and wisdom.

Amen

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
I heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gif
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

 

Read Full Post »

ExploringIslam_logo.jpg

Exploring Islam

12. The Jesus of Islam

Part 3 – The Cross

In light of what we have previously outlined regarding the Islamic view of Jesus we are now going to finally consider what happened at the cross. For the Christian the crucifixion of Jesus is fundamental and indeed is ultimately why he came as the Saviour of the world. However, as we have seen previously regarding salvation in Islam no such atoning sacrifice is possible. Whilst the Qur’an does not deny the historical event of the crucifixion, it is does deny that it was the Islamic prophet Jesus who was killed.

Qur’an 4:157 – ‘"Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them.’

This is a fascinating verse which many Muslims are aware of given the prominence of Jesus in discussions with Christians. It is reliant upon the understanding that Allah respects his chosen prophets to such a degree that a humiliating death by crucifixion would not be permitted. Nothing more is said regarding this matter in the Qur’an and it begs the question from a non-Muslim perspective of proof. Outside of this verse there seems to be no other supporting evidence that this was the case. And I guess this is to be expected as the concept itself suggests that all present at the crucifixion and presumably all the subsequent historians were hoodwinked into believing the opposite.

Admittedly, Christianity faces a similar but I think less taxing burden of proof in their defence of a risen Jesus from the tomb on Easter morning. So instead of dying on the cross, the Islamic Jesus was taken up into heaven during this mystical switch and remains there to this day.

Again, this is a unique aspect of Jesus within Islam which no other prophet including Muhammad can claim. Jesus has a further role to play in the grand scheme of history according to Islam. At the end of time before judgement day comes, Jesus will return to the earth still as a physical man and successfully lead all those chosen by Allah into Islam. The Qur’an does not speak much of this aspect leaving Muslims to rely strongly on the traditions contained in the Hadith.

Unlike in Christianity who affirms Jesus’ role in judgement, the Islamic Jesus finally dies before this happens and leaves Allah to judge the world. So this marks the conclusion of the Exploring Islam series. I have enjoyed preparing and writing these podcasts and I hope that you have benefited from them. Remember my original goal was to dispel some of the misunderstandings of Islam which are so prevalent in Western societies and can be the source of much tension with our Muslim neighbours.

Even though there are significant differences between Islam and Christianity I hope I have equally showed that there are similarities even bridges for discussion. I have found the best way to facilitate this is from the attitude of respect and friendship, things which Muslims themselves value highly.

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

You can view the rest of this series by clicking here (will open in a new tab/window)

 

This now is available to buy as a book on Amazon :

UK/Europe - £3 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exploring-Islam-exploring-diversity-Christian/dp/1507774567/

USA - $7 - http://www.amazon.com/Exploring-Islam-exploring-diversity-Christian/dp/1507774567/

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
I heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

ExploringIslam_logo.jpg

 

Exploring Islam

11. The Jesus of Islam

Part 2 - Jesus remains a man not a god

Despite Jesus’ unusual birth to a virgin Islam still considers him to be simply a man chosen by Allah to be a prophet. He is viewed as a created being from the dust just as Adam was (Qur’an 3:59). To consider Jesus as anything more than his humanity would be to ascribe to him some status of divinity, and as we have seen previously this is a serious sin.

Allah reveals himself through the Qur’an as being one, and in being the only one. He is if you like singular in construction and the only one of his kind. During Muhammad’s life the early Church was spreading rapidly throughout the world and he would have heard of their radical concept of a Trinitarian God – that is a God which is three in one.

Such a paradox, which is accepted in Christianity through faith and the testimony of the Bible, seemed to simply be a wilful act to distort the truth about Allah and elevate a man into a deity. If you remember from one of the first podcasts in this series at the birth of Islam Muhammad was reacting against an Arab people who were polytheists, that is belief in and the worship of many different gods and spirits. Muhammad placed the Christian view of Jesus into this category.

The Qur’an summarises all of this in the following: Qur’an 4:171 – ‘O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter anything concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three" - Cease! (It is) better for you! - Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty that He should have a son.’

Interestingly, there are two aspects regarding the Islamic view of Jesus which are not fully explained. In the previous verse you may noticed that Jesus is referred to as a ‘word’ and a ‘spirit’ from Allah. What exactly does this mean? The Qur’an does not make any further reference to it and they are unique to him.

From a Christian perspective Jesus being described as a ‘word’ is familiar as it is found in the opening verses of John’s Gospel to denote his divinity. Alongside this, the Qur’an also makes the unexpected claim that Jesus was holy, faultless, pure, or righteous depending on your translation from the Arabic in Qur’an 19:19.

These characteristics are commonly associated with divinity outside of Islam and offer a stark contrast to Muhammad who required forgiveness for his sins (Qur’an 48:2). Many Muslims are not aware of this last verse and can take offense at the suggestion that their greatest prophet is in fact sinful, so refer to it with care and respect.

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

 

This now is available to buy as a book on Amazon :

UK/Europe - £3 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exploring-Islam-exploring-diversity-Christian/dp/1507774567/

USA - $7 - http://www.amazon.com/Exploring-Islam-exploring-diversity-Christian/dp/1507774567/

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
I heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App