|During Lent as a Church we read through Mark’s Gospel. Many people have commented
how much they enjoyed reading through a biography of Jesus in that way instead of just
short passages read out of context.
As August is quite a quiet month with very few meetings why not take time to read through
John’s Gospel. There are twenty-one chapters, so you could read one chapter each day from
Monday to Friday. Here are some themes to look out for as you read the biography of Jesus
written by one of His closest friends.
One of the main themes is glory, it is found in related ideas and words like ‘lifting up’ and
‘exalt’. What John shows us is that the glory of God is seen best in the death of Jesus on the
Cross. There He is lifted up, and there He becomes the Saviour of the world.
Another theme is the Holy Spirit, at work in Jesus and promised to us. John uses two main
images for the Holy Spirit: water and breath. When Jesus dies He ‘gives up His Spirit’ and
the risen Jesus breathes on His disciples and says to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Perhaps the main theme of John’s Gospel is discipleship - following Jesus. He emphasises the
call of the Twelve to follow Him. Jesus teaches the nature of a disciple. It is to ‘abide in Him.’
The chapters after the Last Supper leading to Jesus’ arrest in Gethsemane are some of the
most profound teaching on what it means to be a Christian.
Simply put to be a disciple is to be rooted in Jesus (chapter 15) and to be filled with the Holy
Spirit (chapters 16 and 17), called in John’s Gospel the Helper or Counsellor or Advocate (all
translations of the Greek word Paraclete).
The Gospel ends with some of the most challenging words in the Bible: “As the Father has
sent me, so I send you.” This is what it means to be a Christian. Then come the comforting
words: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” It is only by abiding in Christ as a branch in a vine and by
having the life breath of Jesus in us that we can fulfil our calling.
I pray that as you read through John’s Gospel in the next month, you will be filled with the
Holy Spirit, like a river of water bubbling up to eternal life (John 7:37-39).
|Following Jesus; Celebrating Life; Welcoming All
We are here to help people love and worship God.
We aim to be, and encourage others to become, committed and active disciples of Jesus,
who love God and worship him, who know the power of the Holy Spirit and who show
God’s love in every part of their lives.
|Prayer for the month
|Thought for the month
|Below you will find extracts from this month's Parish Magazine
First Words..., A Prayer for the Month & A Thought for the Month
|This month’s prayer is simple, memorable, ancient and powerful. It is simply:
“Come, Holy Spirit.”
I pray it before leading worship or preaching. It reminds me that the Church and its ministry
belong to Jesus; it reminds me that I can only be fruitful if I abide in Christ. I pray that God
will take my words and make them His.
I often pray this aloud at the beginning of a Church service or a time of worship; because as
we gather in Church, as we raise our voices in prayer and praise, we want above all to meet
We gather in Church for many different reasons. Some come seeking to give thanks while
others are asking for forgiveness and a new start. Still others come with heavy hearts,
praying for a person or a situation in which Christ’s healing presence is needed.
I pray, “Come, Holy Spirit” before I minister to someone in prayer, knowing that my words
are not what is needed. Instead I pray for the powerful, life-giving, life-changing Spirit of
God to work through me as I pray.
Mostly I pray, “Come, Holy Spirit” every morning at the start of the day, dedicating my
day and my life to God, asking that by God’s grace I may live to the Father’s glory.
Throughout the day this is my constant prayer as I hold in my heart the people that I meet,
the people that i love, and the people that I have promised to pray for.
Paul in his letters calls Christians temples of the Holy Spirit. When we turn to Christ God’s
Spirit falls on us and dwells in us. We cannot please God, we cannot be the people that God
calls us to be and we cannot do the things that Christ calls us to do in our own strength -
either as individuals or as a Church. We need the Holy Spirit in us and working through us
So, this is our prayer:
“Come, Holy Spirit.”
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|I cannot believe that August has already arrived! I say it every year, but I cannot believe how
quickly 2018 is disappearing.
August is traditionally a quiet month in the Church’s Calendar, a time for holidaying and a
time to relax and enjoy the summer. There are not even many weddings this August.
We are still looking for people to ‘Church Sit’ on weekday mornings 10 until 12 during the
school summer holidays. We are looking for cover on Mondays, Wednesdays and
Thursdays. If you can help out, please see Tim or one of the Church Wardens.
For those not tied to having the family holiday when school is out, there are a few special
events at St Marys though. On Saturday 11th August we will have our monthly Prayer
Breakfast starting at 9am. If you have never been before just signup and come along - you
will be very warmly welcomed to a time of prayer and fellowship.
There is a second chance to train as a Church Guide. Part one of the training will be held on
Tuesday 13th August at 7pm in Church.
On Sunday 26th August the Mother’s Union invite you and your family to Afternoon
Tea at 4pm, followed by Songs of Praise at 6.30pm. Come along to meet with friends and
sing your favourite hymns. Tickets for the tea are available now.
Advance notice of the Daytime Alpha Course. We will begin on Thursday 20th September at
11am in Church. If you would like more information, see Tim.
On Saturday 8th September in place of the monthly Prayer Breakfast there will be a
Morning of Renewal; a time to go deeper with God. There will be worship, teaching and
prayer ministry. We will begin at 9am with breakfast, and begin the worship at about 10am,
ending at about 11.30. All are welcome. For more information see Tim.
God bless you, Tim
|Twitter - keep in touch with Tim Gill @RevTimGill
|St. Mary’s Church, Ecclesfield, a Grade 1 listed building, has received confirmation
of a grant of £220,000 for major repairs to the church roof and the installation
of a state of the art security system.
Click here to read the full Press Release
|Facebook - keep in touch with Tim Gill