23 January 2022

23 January, 2022 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

Luke 4:14-21

14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.  16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”


DISCUSS

1.  1.    How has your week been?  

2.    How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3.    Read the passages again. 

4.    What is the context of this reading (what happens before and after)?

5.    Why do you think Jesus chose this passage to read? 

6.    What is challenging in this passage?

7.    Is there anything else the passage is saying to me?

8.    What am I going to do about it?

9.     Who am I going to share it with?

10. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY  

Give us the wisdom to seek you, light upon you may we respond with willingness and grace.

graciousness to worship you and generosity to lay our gifts befowith humble hearts to respond to nd to serve you, who are our King and our God for ever and ever.

Amen. 

View

16 January 2022

23 January, 2022 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

John  2:1-12

The Wedding at Cana

1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9 When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.  12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.


DISCUSS

1.    How has your week been?  

2.    How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3.    Read the passages again. 

4.    Why do you think Jesus turned water into wine?

5.    What does this passage tell us about Jesus or God?

6.    What is challenging in this passage?

7.    Is there anything else the passage is saying to me?

8.    What am I going to do about it?

9.     Who am I going to share it with?

10. Be prepared to share back next week.


PRAY  

Lord Jesus thank you for this glorious day.  We join with you to celebrate times of joy and celebration.  Help us not to take things too seriously but to live and celebrate God’s goodness and grace.  Lord may you continue to challenge us to live life in all its fullness and abundance.


View

2 January 2022

10 January, 2022 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

Matthew 2:1-12

1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ”

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


DISCUSS

1.   How has your week been? 

2.   How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3.   Read the passages again. 

4.   What are the signs that you see of God at work around you?

5.   Matthew lists three responses to Jesus - hostility(Herod), indifference (his advisors) and worship (wisemen). How do you respond?

6.  What is challenging in these passages?

7.   Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

8.   What am I going to do about it?

9. Who am I going to share it with?

10. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY  

Lord, may we be like the Wise Men who were guided to you by a star.

Give us the wisdom to seek you, light to guide us to you, courage to search until we find you,

graciousness to worship you and generosity to lay our gifts before you, who are our King and our God for ever and ever.

Amen. 

View

9 January 2022

9 January, 2022 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

 The Baptism of Jesus

21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

DISCUSS

1.   How has your week been? 

2.   How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3.   Read the passages again. 

4.   What do we learn about Jesus from John?

5. What do we learn about Jesus from God?

6. Luke emphasises Jesu' focus on prayer. Look up the following references

here at the baptism (3:22),

at the selection of the twelve disciples (6:12),

at Peter's confession (9:18),

at the transfiguration (9:28),

in Gethsemane (22:41),

on the cross (23:34). He tells us that

Jesus went repeatedly to the wilderness to pray (5:16)

Loving GodJesus spent whole nights in prayer (6:12). 

6.  What is challenging in these passages?

7.   Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

8.   What am I going to do about it?

9. Who am I going to share it with?

10. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY  

Loving God

we thank you for the gift of your son and for his life and witness.

Like Jesus may we draw closer to you in prayer.

Like Jesus may we hear your words "You are my Son or daughter, my Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

May we know and live out this truth in our life.

In Jesus name we pray. Amen. 

View

25 December Something is here - Jesus

24 December, 2021

READ  

Is 9:2-7 

2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.

3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.

4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders,

the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.

5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood

shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders;

and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

 

Lk 2:1-20

1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And sud-denly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

DISCUSS

1.   How has your week been? 

2.   How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3.   Read the passages again. 

4.   How does the first passage relate to the second passage?

5.   We all know the story of the birth of Jesus. Did you notice anything different today?

6.   How do you relate to the shepherds in the story?

7.   What is challenging in these passages?

8.   Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

9.   What am I going to do about it?

10. Who am I going to share it with?

11. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY   

Sweet Child of Bethlehem, grant that we may share with all our hearts in this profound mystery of Christmas. Put into the hearts of men and women this peace for which they sometimes seek so desperately and which you alone can give to them. Help them to know one another better, and to live as brothers and sisters, children of the same Father. Reveal to them also your beauty, holiness, and purity. Awaken in their hearts love and gratitude for your infinite goodness. Join them all together in your love. And give us your heavenly peace. Amen.

–Pope John XXIII

View

19 December - Share the Story - Love

19 December, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

Micah 2:2-5a

2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted.

5 Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.

6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

 

Lk 1:39-45, (46-55)

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Mary’s Song of Praise

46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,

48 for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

51 He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;

53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,

55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” 

DISCUSS

1.   How has your week been? 

2.   How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3.   Read the passages again. 

4.   What surprises you in Mary’s words?

5.   What resonates for you in Mary’s words?

6.   What is challenging in these passages?

7.   Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

8.   What am I going to do about it?

9.    Who am I going to share it with?

10. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY   

“Let me turn the spotlight on God’s greatness!

With all that I am I dance with joy over God, my saviour!

God has smiled upon me, though I was no one special.

Now I’ll be remembered forever as the favoured one.

The supreme God has done wonderful things for me.

No other name is in the same league as God’s.

In every generation, those who treat God with respect

are rewarded with showers of mercy.

With sleeves rolled up, God has made a show of strength,

and sent packing those who were so full of themselves.

God has kicked the power mongers out of office,

and lifted the downtrodden back to their feet.

God has put on a feast for those who were hungry,

and slammed the door on the rich without giving them a bite.

The Lord’s servant Israel receives a helping hand.

God always remembers them with tender care.

This is exactly what God promised long ago,

a vow made to Abraham and Sarah for every generation.”

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Translation of Luke 1:46-55

View

12 December 2021 Noticing the Signs - Joy

12 December, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

Isaiah 12:2-6 

2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted.

5 Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.

6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. 


Luke 3:7-18   7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”  15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.


DISCUSS

1.    How has your week been?  

2.    How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3.    Read the passages again. 

4.    Where do you see the signs of God at work around you?

5.    Where do you see the signs of God at work within you?

6.    How do you encourage others to recognise the signs around them?

7.    How do you or would you try and live out these verses in your own life?

8.    What is challenging in these passages?

9.    Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

10.What am I going to do about it?

11. Who am I going to share it with?

12. Be prepared to share back next week.


Prayer

Gracious God,

in this Advent of expectation you call us to be awake and ready

to recognise the signs of your kingdom in our midst

A kingdom of justice and mercy, of joy and of peace.

Open our eyes to your presence in our lives and in our world

that we may perceive and announce Christ’s saving presence to all who wait in darkness. Grant this through Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Amen. 

Through Christ, our Lord. Amen

View

5 December - Getting ready - peace

5 December, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

Malachi 3:1-4     

1 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?  For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

Luke 3:1-6

1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight,and the rough ways made smooth; 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ 

DISCUSS

1.    How has your week been?  

2.    How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3.    Read the passages again. 

4.    How do you prepare for Christmas physically?

5.    How do you prepare for Christmas spiritually?

6.    What are the paths that you need to make smooth in your life?

7.    How do you or would you try and live out these verses in your own life?

8.    What is challenging in these passages?

9.    Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

10.What am I going to do about it?

11. Who am I going to share it with?

12. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY 

Father, just as You sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus, help me to clear the path in my heart, too. Show me the distractions in my life that block me from all-out worship of You this Advent. Lord, I await Your coming! As I celebrate the first Advent––the first coming––I look toward the day where I will see You face to face. I imagine what it will be like. Give me a heart, Lord, that looks for Your coming on a daily basis. Help me to live my life where I'm constantly seeking Your presence. My offering to You today is my righteous life for I know I am only clean because of Jesus. Show me today how I need to be refined, purified, forgiven. Give me the strength to ask for forgiveness and to then change my ways.

Amen


View

28 November - The armour of God

28 November, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

Ephesians 6:10-18;

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

Isaiah 11:1-5

1 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3 His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.


DISCUSS

1.   How has your week been? 

2.   How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3.   Read the passages again. 

4.   How do you feel about the idea of spiritual warfare?

5.   What bare your spiritual battles?

6.   Do you find or use the armour of God to protect you?

7.   How do you or would you try and live out these verses in your own life?

8.   What is challenging in these passages?

9.   Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

10.What am I going to do about it?

11. Who am I going to share it with?

12. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY 

As we come to God in prayer let us put on the Armor of God

The Helmet of Salvation Thank you, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from You, and I declare that nothing can separate me now from the love of Christ and the place I shall ever have in Your kingdom.

The Breastplate of Righteousness And yes, Lord, I wear Your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Fit me with Your holiness and purity— defend me from all assaults against my heart.

The Belt of Truth Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Show me the truths I so desperately need today. Expose the lies that I am not even aware that I believe.

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace I do choose to live for the gospel at any moment. Show me where You are working and lead me to it. Do not let me become slack in my walk.

The Shield of Faith Jesus, I lift the confidence that You are good against every lie and every assault of the enemy. You have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me because You are with me.

The Sword of the Spirit Holy Spirit, show me specifically today the truths of the Word of God that I will need to counter the snares of the enemy. Bring them to mind throughout the day.

Then Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with You in everything—in all prayer as my spirit communes with You throughout the day.

Amen

View