Track and Trace... JESUS
Preparing for what’s ahead!
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Preparing for what’s ahead
Outside – Message 1 - Beep Beep… in B & Q… we know there’s a pallet truck coming so we have to get out of the way… we see a blue light in the rear view mirror… all traffic veers off to one side to make way for what’s coming. There’s a sense of urgency. I love the way everybody does that! We’re making way for one coming through… as we start a new series this weekend, from Mark’s Gospel, we’re gonna find out about one whose job it was to ‘make way’ for one that was coming through… he had a message to get people ready… but then… stand aside… God was coming… we want to prepare the way for Him too… and the last thing I want to do is to get in the way! Vid Clip – Wear masks properly (0.06)
Café – Message 2 – You might be feeling a bit stuck as to what to do… the rain has meant we can’t get out, Covid rules mean we can’t mix, why not plan to make a difference to someone’s life! We can do that very simply through what’s become known as the ‘Shoebox Appeal’… Sarah is going to tell us more. Vid Clip – Sarah on Shoebox Appeal (3.08)
Later today we have our Puppets. I’m also thrilled that we have Professor Terrence from Poundbury Theological Seminary actually here with us in the Church building today… thank you so much for coming today Professor…
If you have been watching our Broadcast each week I’d like to thank you. This could be the last of these, certainly for a while, as we are going to re-open the building next Sunday. Booking a seat will be like you do for a theatre or cinema ticket, either on line or by phone. These will be limited to 35. Details of how this will happen will shortly be available on our website… but don’t worry, we are still planning to record what happens on the Sunday so you sense the full flavour of ‘Church’… we also hope to live stream in the near future too.. which means you’ll be able to watch and experience ‘Dorchester Community Church’ as it all happens… it’s the beginning of a new journey! And talking of that…
John Mark is so impacted by Jesus that he wanted to record it. Probably written in Rome about AD60, so most people who read this would have still been alive when it was written and could have disputed this if events hadn’t occurred. He probably draws on the preaching of Peter, and then acts as a kind of Editor. Pat is going to read the first few verses of Mark’s amazing book.
Reading of Mark 1: 1-8 by Pat Chaplin
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b] 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” —
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with[e] water, but he will baptize you with[f] the Holy Spirit.”
Two Ronnies Clip – Axe in head! (0.41) With either coming up at the bottom or on screen after… “This is dedicated to Chris Hawthorne, who upon listening to the Bible on his headphones, was heard to say… “I’m trying to get ‘Acts’ in my head”… think about it!!
FRONT – Message 3 - Kicking off with siting “the beginning” which no doubt alludes to Genesis ch. 1 as well this being the start of what Jesus will do. When it comes to ‘beginnings’ then Jesus is always to be found, that’s true of the Creation account (see John ch. 1 for that), but also of course in terms of the message he came to bring. The word “Gospel” means ‘Good News’ and the news back then, and for us, is that God has provided salvation through the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus. Our role is to make this known, in the same way that Mark’s was when he wrote his book here…
SIDE – Message 4 – ‘Beginnings’ and ‘Good News’ is quite topical for us right now… we have been thinking about being able to re-open our building for the first time since Covid, and from next Sunday we will do that! That’s going to be good news for many people, even though we are currently restricted regarding numbers. It’s felt a long wait hasn’t it… but let’s give ourselves a reality check… it’s been 6 months and there’s been nothing we could have done about it… but how long did God’s people have to wait? Well, for centuries His people had been talking of a Saviour, One who would come in God’s Name, sent by God Himself for the ‘redemption’ / ‘forgiveness’ of all those who chose to come to Him, to believe in Him… but then the Prophets fell silent, and between the ending of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament was a gap of 400 years… seemingly nothing going on. It can be tempting to think that nothing’s going on, I know, but God is never inactive. In our current situation, there has also been much activity going on behind the scenes, invisible to the majority maybe, but certainly not inactivity…
FRONT – Message 5 – Then Jesus comes, and Mark is one of the eyewitnesses who puts the word around as to what this means for his hearers, indeed for the whole world, and that extends to ourselves in the here and now!!! There’s the beginning of something, there’s good news, let’s get excited!! Steady on, not that much!!
So, why are we looking at Mark’s Gospel? His book centres on the basics, and about what matters most… Jesus… what he did, what he said, and just as importantly, what we should do about it… we are going to sing about this Jesus now, it’s a part of our worship to God, declaring who Jesus is… and then I’m going to hand over to Professor Terrence to unpack a little more of the significance of the words Mark quotes from way back…
Song – King of Kings (4.22) by Charlane & Clara
Professor Terrence – What a lovely song… Look, David, at where Mark chooses to begin his description of the good news about Jesus Christ: We read: As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”
The first thing we learn from Mark about this good news is that it is good news according to God’s plan. What we find here is actually a quote from both the prophet Malachi and the prophet Isaiah. It was common for the Jewish rabbis to combine similar or compatible prophetic quotes. And typically when this was done, the prophet considered more significant (in this case it would be Isaiah) would usually be the only one mentioned.
So sorry about that, er, Malachi haha! But what we learn from the prophet’s words, and how Mark uses the prophet’s words here, is what was foretold hundreds of years before. Isaiah spoke to the people of Judah 700 years before the time of Jesus. Can you imagine if something predicted and planned back in 1320 was perfectly carried through to its fulfillment today in 2020? That would be amazing. This is what happened through the prophets. Mark wants us to see that this Good News is according to God’s plan, and not man’s….
FRONT – Message 6 - Roger interrupts… that is truly remarkable when you put it like that Professor… what about this phrase “Messiah” or “Christ” mentioned here? That sounds quite a religious term, and difficult for us to get really…?
Professor Terrence – I thought you’d never ask! Well for starters when we hear the term ‘Jesus Christ’, we must not think that this is the surname of Jesus… like ‘White’ or ‘Young’ or ‘Owers’ or ‘Pinder’, far from it… It was a title, a Greek word that translated the Hebrew messiah or ‘meshiach’. Careful how you say it or you might cough something up… The messiah was that Saviour-King who was, according to the Israelite prophecies, coming to rescue his people from their enemies and reestablish God’s reign as King.
So as we read in Mark, we see that this was not an obscure word from a forgotten prophet that failed to ever materialize. This was good news that God was making a reality according to His perfect will. So much of our good news today is old news the next day. Covid is a prime example of course. Good news that restrictions are being lifted, then bad news when all that has to change again… which reminds me… (Professor gets up…)
FRONT Message 7 – Roger continues… Where are you going…?!?!
Professor Terrence – Forgive me, I forgot to have my temperature taken… (Prof takes his own temp). I hope you’ve taken yours or I’ll have to, er, shoot you, David! Now where was I… ah yes good news, bad news…
When our good news is solely according to human plans, it will eventually fade away, or fail, or be forgotten. We know that is the case. But… and here is the point David… when our good news is according to God’s plan, it will stand firm. The 700 years that elapsed between the time of Isaiah and the time of Jesus had absolutely no effect on the certainty that God’s plan would come to pass. Now that is something worth celebrating! And if that young man Mark were here today, or Isaiah come to that matter, although he was less young of course, well then both would warrant a chocolate I think… quite fancy one myself actually…
FRONT – Message 8 – Well thanks for that Professor, and I’ll tell you what… you can have one right now because I think there’s no better time for us to stop and have our own Celebrations… here you go Professor!
Congratulations on the birth of a baby boy to Lynn & Tim Ramsell! Weighed 7 lbs 2 ozs , name not yet known, mum and baby are both fine!
Pic – Lucy plastering
Vid – Bethany… another tooth!! (0.12)
Birthdays Monday 11th – Pic - Roger C Tuesday 12th – Pic - Francis King
Now it’s over to Sarah who has something for the kids this week!! Kids Slot – Sarah
FRONT Message 9 – Thank you Sarah… Well we have heard the background offered to us by Professor Terrence today… but now we turn our attention to what this means for us based on the message that John the Baptist brought… We’ve called today “Preparing the way ahead” and that’s very relevant for us as a Church right now with Covid, using the building again too etc, but the context in Mark’s Gospel is of one coming to prepare the way for this Messiah… this rescuer that Professor Terrence talked to us about…
SIDE – Message 10 – A man named John was in the middle of the desert, about 20 miles east of Jerusalem by the Jordan River, and he was “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” In other words… “Hey, whoever you are, make sure you sort your life out!” Known to us as John the Baptist, he was preparing the way… But what does this mean? Does it mean that he was out with a rake clearing off the road, that he organized a litter pick in the community, or that he was sorting out a B & B for the Jesus guy to come?
No, John’s preparations were focused on preparing the hearts of those who heard him. This ‘voice crying in the wilderness’ was announcing a radical call for ‘redirection’.
FRONT – Message 11 - John was saying, “You are going the wrong direction in life. You need to turn around.” This is what repentance is. It is a changing of our mind about the direction of our lives. It is remorsefully admitting you are going the wrong way. We don’t like doing that because we don’t like being told how to live our lives! Here, people obviously got it as loads were streaming forwards to get right with God. The way John was ministering to these people was through a symbolic act of immersion or washing. That’s all baptism means. Just as the water cleansed their skin, John wanted them to see that this symbolic act of redirection signified a washing away of their sins. John’s baptism was simply getting people ready, getting them turned in the right direction for the ‘way of the Lord’ that was going to be revealed.
SIDE Message 12 - Are you right with God? Are there things you need to put right? Do you need God’s forgiveness? John called his hearers to make a commitment, hence the baptism. I would like to give an opportunity to make a commitment to God, to the Jesus that was shortly to come, to deal with your sin and mine… we are going to play a song, but it’s also written as a kind of prayer. Sing it as you mean it as we invite God to take us as we are… but before that, listen to the words of another reading from Psalm 139, from a different translation, read by Jane, and then Mark will lead us in prayer… then we can continue in worship and make our own response…
Reading & Prayer (with loud clock ticking in the background!) – Jane & Mark (5.30)
Song - Take my Life and let it be (2.21)
Pic – funny Tescos Quote…
FRONT – Message 13 - If you sang or prayed that from the bottom of your heart, God is smiling right now!! Would you tell us too? Get in touch about what you’re feeling or what it is that you’re wanting God to do for you…
Before we close, there’s one more thing that’s important to say from today’s message…
The fact that John wore a coat made of camel hair and ate locusts surely means that we should emulate this… only kidding!!! It’s the final verse here that should grab our attention…
And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The One who was coming was worthy of so much respect and reverence, that John was not even worthy enough to untie His sandals. In ancient cultures, this untying of one’s sandal referred to the job of a slave serving his master. But in the Hebrew culture, even slaves were not called to stoop to this level. Master’s had to take off their own sandals. But John says, “I am not even worthy to do this for the One who is coming.”
In contrast to Jesus, he considers himself even lower than a slave.
SIDE Message 14 – We need to be baptized by God’s Holy Spirit, but what does this mean? Labelling can be unhelpful. Debating can be divisive. What matters is His indwelling.
The Bible teaches that we receive God’s Holy Spirit upon ‘conversion’. EVERY Christian has His Spirit, but NOT every Christian is ‘filled’ with His Spirit. This is why the Apostle Paul encouraged believers to “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5: 18), and the tense implies that this should be our ongoing experience. “Go on being filled!” God sometimes does this directly, sometimes when we wait on Him, sometimes through others praying for us or their laying hands on us (not that there will much of that going on the next few months!) We don’t promote any one way here… what we encourage is that we each seek to be filled with God’s Spirit.
Use this final song as a further prayer for you to crave more of God in your life…
Song - More Love More Power (2.28)
Café – Message 15 – Roger summarises the teaching here… I’d like to thank all those who have been so committed to this ministry over the last 6 months… to those who have done the filming and the editing especially, that’s Andrea, Leo, Charlane, David, Bruce, Sue and Lee… to Rich behind the scenes on our website and uploading the audio version of the Broadcast, to Liz and Jon for sending out CD’s, notes and letters to those members who are not on the internet… and they’ve done this in their own time EVERY week for over 6 months now!!!
Thank you too to our Community Kids team, to Sarah, Clare and Laura for their weekly creativity… and to our worship group who’ve spent hours piecing songs together, making videos etc. Thank you to those who have read or prayed or been willing to be interviewed… and to our ‘ministry of puppets’ for putting a smile on our faces!
Thank you to those of you who have encouraged us as a Team – especially Lisa, Elsie, Robin, Jane, Ian, Thelma, Chris Llewellen, Dave Enwright, and Roger Collins. What stars you are!
And finally, thank you to Professor Terrence for making the time despite his heavy lecturing schedule on line.. we really are most grateful…
No, you’re right, it’s not David… Well, all the best to you Professor!!! Do make sure you look him up or why not buy his latest book, “Another side of me”… it’s a fascinating read and for a moment I honestly thought I could see myself through its pages…
The Puppets put a smile on our faces… may they bring you sunshine wherever you are…
But first, here’s a reminder of how easy it is to get peoples’ names wrong…
Vid Clip – Trigger & Rodney (0.54)
Puppets – Bring me Sunshine (3.01)