Lent Thought for the Day

 

April 16 – Easter Sunday Mark 16: 1 – 8 The Journey Continues…

The ending of Mark’s gospel is cliff-hanger. It leaves you asking “well what happened next?” It is so sudden and so abrupt, that later writers tried to add on a neater ending to round up the story with a satisfying conclusion.

But the cliff-hanger was intentional. While it seems abrupt, the author of Mark has actually given us everything we need to believe in Jesus: he’s told us about his life, death and now his resurrection.

So rather than telling us what happened next in the story, the author challenges us to ask “what’s next” for us? What are we going to do with this story, how will it affect our lives? The Gospel of Mark was not written to act as just a historical, but as a means for people to encounter the risen Jesus here and now.

As you look back on this time of Lent, and all God has in your life over the last 46 days, what is next for you?

Today’s final Thought for the Day for Lent is from David

April 15 Mark 15: 42-47 To Boldly Go

Joseph went boldly into the presence of Pilate to request Jesus body and then went and took it down from the cross. Making himself unclean on the eve of the Sabbath, by touching the dead and in contact with blood, Joseph it can be assumed would be the subject of accusation and insinuation because of his compassionate actions.

Joseph had clearly decided that being close to Jesus even in death was preferable to the opinion of others.

Which do we prefer, to live boldly being close to the living Lord having being made clean by his blood or holding onto our positions and the favour of those who seek to silence the truth of who Jesus is?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Emma

April 14 – Good Friday Mark 15: 33 – 41 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me

This evening at 7.30pm in the church – service for Good Friday. The church is also open today between 10.30am and 12.30pm for prayer stations for Holy Week.


Probably the most complicated bit of Christianity is the whole concept of the Trinity. How do Father, Son and holy spirit relate to each other? Even the best human attempts to describe this relationship fall short.

What we do know is that they have existed eternally as a godhead where the three are one and the one are three. At least until Jesus experienced the isolation of the cross as God the Father could not look on him as he bore our sins.

For the first time ever, that eternal communion was broken and it was broken for us!

Take a moment to consider the cost that God paid for your redemption.

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Norman

April 13 – Maundy Thursday Mark 15: 21 – 32 How the price was paid

This evening at 7.30pm in the church – Maundy Thursday Communion. The church is also open today between 10.30am and 12.30pm, and again between 6pm and 7.30pm for prayer stations for Holy Week.


With very few words, Mark describes the crucifixion scene with stark simplicity.

We are told how Simon of Cyrene carries Jesus cross because he was so weakened by the beatings and flogging he had received. The reference to Simon’s two sons suggests that early readers of this gospel would know who they were. There are also the details of Jesus being offered drugged wine and the gambling over the sharing out of his clothes.

But there is no grisly or gruesome description of the actual crucifixion, one of the most painful ways the ancient world had of killing someone slowly and painfully.

But the most striking of the details Mark gives us is the fact that the passers-by derided Jesus. They mocked him and hurled insults at him. However, there is real irony in what they say – “He saved others, … but he can’t save himself!” It is precisely because he is dying in order to save others, that he cannot and must not save himself!

This is the first time Mark uses the title King for Jesus – the people then did not recognise their Messiah and King – many still do not do so today.

Let us take a few moments to meditate on the fact that Jesus did not come down from the cross precisely because he loved us enough to pay the price for our sin.

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Derek

April 12 – Holy Week Wednesday Mark 15: 16 – 20 Christ the King

This evening at 7.30pm in the church – short meditation for Wednesday of Holy Week. The church is also open today between 10.30am and 12.30pm, and again between 6pm and 7.30pm for prayer stations for Holy Week.


The Roman soldiers thought they were just playing a game. To them Jesus was just another failed rebel, so they toyed with him by giving his a “coronation”. The crown, the cloak, the hails and acclamation; they were all just a cruel joke to them

But little did they know that this coronation was more than a joke. Because the prisoner they had in front of them, truly was a King and this was his coronation. Jesus’s kingship would not be life of palaces and luxury, but a reign of submission, suffering and sacrifice. On the cross Jesus redefined what it means to be a King.

Take a moment to think, what does it mean to follow a King who expresses his power through humility and sacrifice? How does that affect how we think about power today? Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from
David

April 11 – Holy Week Tuesday Mark 15: 1 – 15 Can you hear the silence?

This evening at 7.30pm in the church – short meditation for Tuesday of Holy Week. The church is also open today between 10.30am and 12.30pm for prayer stations for Holy Week.


The chief priests could barely wait until it was morning to hand Jesus over to Pilate. Their plans made in darkness, also showed the depth of the darkness within. Crucify, one of those words which brings us close to the horror and depravity of the most extreme form violence and inhumanity. Crucifixion was the threat which assumed for most compliance or at least denial of accusation or justifying of their actions. For Jesus the threat of crucifixion produced no such reaction.

Jesus does not condone or condemn, does not beg or justify himself.

In silence he stands.

Silence can often be more powerful than words and sometimes words are not enough only silence can adequately say all that needs to be said.

Take a moment to sit in silence to read the verses and consider Jesus reaction and your own to all that is said and left unsaid.

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Emma

April 10 – Holy Week Monday Mark 14: 66 – 72 I don’t know him

This evening at 7.30pm in the church – short meditation for Monday of Holy Week. The church is also open today between 10.30am and 12.30pm for prayer stations for Holy Week.


There is a verse from the Old Testament that says ‘even the fittest may stumble and fall’. It is very appropriate here in that Peter was one of the strongest disciples yet even he denied Jesus. We should never consider our faith so strong that we will never fall or fail. Given the right circumstances every one of us is capable of denying Jesus.

The only way to guard against that is to be wise and recognise we need Jesus help every day to keep the faith.

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Norman

April 09 – Palm Sunday Mark 14: 53 – 65 Truth and lies

This passage describes Jesus’ trial before the Jewish Council or Sanhedrin. Given the way the proceedings are handled, the verdict is a foregone conclusion. The court witnesses give false evidence and even contradict one another. When Jesus confirms who he is, the Court states that no further evidence is needed – Jesus is condemned.

The contrasts are striking: the court’s witnesses tell lies – Jesus tells the truth; the accusers are irrational and incompetent – Jesus shows poise and composure; the guards humiliate and beat their captive – Jesus rejects violence.

Jesus was willing to speak the truth in the face of the threats made against him, and willing to be condemned and to die for us.

Does thinking about Jesus’ courage, give you and me a greater motivation to follow him and to speak the truth about him, whatever the cost?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Derek

April 08 Mark 14: 43 – 52 Fight or Flight?

As part of our basic survival instincts we have a Fight or Flight response. When threatened, our instincts are to stay and fight of the threat, or to run away from the danger. It is a legacy from when facing deadly animals was an everyday part of human life.

The disciples exhibited both responses. First, they tried to fight off their attackers, and then they ran away. But Jesus didn’t fight or fly, instead he faced his arrestors calmly. He knew that to be truly brave in this situation he needed against his natural self-preservation instinct and do what was right.

Do you ever find your instincts get the better of you, make you do things that you know aren’t the best?

Think about what those could be for you, and how God might be calling you act differently.

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from David

April 07 Mark 14: 27 – 42 Beyond trouble

Jesus, talks of Simon’s denial, the disciples being scattered, He knows Judas will betray him and yet despite this tells the disciples “after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” In the midst of the worst kind of selfish behaviour we see Jesus try to focus the disciples eyes on what he has told them ,on what will be the most significant and amazing part of his ministry.

His resurrection.

It is a common human reaction in the midst of unpleasantness or trouble to put ourselves first, despite our best intentions, to allow others to stand alone sometimes when they need us the most.

Focusing on Jesus and the resurrection is a corrective to focusing on ourselves it gives us confidence that God’s promises are true and that He goes before us today and each and every day.

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Emma

April 06 Mark 14: 12 – 26 Seeing beyond the moment

Meals are poignant occasions. I am sure you can think back to a family meal that carries a particular significance; that perhaps you never realised until after the event. There is no doubting that the disciples did not fully realise what was going on here. They were taken up with the immediate question of who was going to betray Jesus.

They missed the deeper meaning by being overly concerned with the ‘immediate’.

If you look at your life right now are you living so much in the now that you are missing the deeper significance of things?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Norman

Celebrate Easter at Granton

OUR EASTER CELEBRATIONS THIS COMING WEEK

Sunday 9th April

Palm Sunday : 10.30am

Monday 10th April

Meditation and reflection for Holy Week Monday : 7.30pm

Tuesday 11th April

Meditation and reflection for Holy Week Tuesday: 7.30pm

Wednesday 12th April

Meditation and reflection for Holy Week Wed: 7.30pm

Thursday 13th April

Maundy Thursday Communion : 7.30pm

Friday 14th April

Service for Good Friday : 7.30pm

Prayer Stations for Holy Week

Come and see or participate in a series of sensory prayers stations, focusing on the last week and passion of Jesus’ earthly life.

The church will be open each day for reflection and prayer between 10.30- 12.30 and on Wednesday and Thursday evening between 6pm and 7.30pm.

Sunday 16th April : Easter Sunday
Easter Morning Breakfast : Served by the men of the Men’s Breakfast Group : 09:00
Easter Morning Celebration Service : 10.30am

April 05 Mark 14: 1 – 11 Devotion and treachery!

This passage tells us that two days before the Passover, the authorities were working out how to arrest and kill Jesus.

Mark then presents us with a powerful contrast between the woman’s loving generosity and Judas’ wicked treachery.

Nard is a hugely expensive aromatic oil and, we are told, was worth a year’s wages. The disciples (see Matthew’s gospel) were indignant at this waste, claiming it could have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor, something which was a tradition at the Passover. John in his gospel is more specific and points the finger at Judas as the one who complained.

Jesus, however, interprets her actions as an anointing of his body for burial. The scent of nard lingers for a long time and it is interesting to speculate if Jesus’ body would have retained this aroma as he hung on the cross.

Today, do we show our devotion to Jesus in costly service or do we let him down by our sinful and uncaring words and actions?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Derek

April 04 Mark 13: 24 – 37 The End is Nigh!

List of dates predicted for apocalyptic events

For those of you viewing online the link above will take you to the Wikipedia article titled “List of dates predicted for apocalyptic events”

For those of you who can’t look it up, it is a list of all the times people have tried to predict the end of the world. There are well over 100 entries arranging from 66AD to the 29th July 2016. The next prediction is the year 2020 by American Psychic Jeanie Dixon (this was her revised prediction, her first guess was February 4th 1962)

Many people have become obsessed with predicting the end times. Even great figures like Martin Luther, Isaac Newton and John Wesley have fallen into the trap. But Jesus is clear no one knows when the world as we know it will cease to be, not even he knew and he is the Son of God! Instead of wasting our time trying to predict the end of the world, we should learn to value each and every day.

How will you make today a meaningful day?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from David

April 03 Mark 13: 14 – 23 Time reveals all

Jesus words in various places in Mark’s gospel contain warnings, some scholars argue this specific warning is about an idol in the synagogue. It was something that shouldn’t be in a sacred place and was so obviously out of place that it served as warning as to what would come.

We could argue that it about the destruction of the temple in 70A.D. or about events at the end of time. But it’s also about today. There are some things that are true throughout time. Some dangers are obvious, other are revealed through time.

Time doesn’t not change people’s characters it just reveals who they are. Jesus warns over those who would seek to distract even God’s chosen people from him and the methods they would use.

Just as those deceiving are revealed over time so are we as his followers or not.

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Emma

April 02 Mark 13: 1 – 13 What’s a person worth

It is very clear from Jesus that the Christian life is not an easy one. He did not promise his followers a Disney like paradise on earth where their every whim would be taken care of. He called his people to stand up for others, to be a voice for the voiceless, to fight for the widows and orphans. In doing that you become a target because people do not like to be shown they are wrong. Yet that is what Jesus called us to do.

Are you willing to stand up for someone today even if it makes your life more difficult?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Norman

April 01 Mark 12: 35 – 44 Giving all you’ve got!

In the first few verses, Jesus makes it clear that the scribes’ definition of the Messiah as the son of David is inadequate. Using a quotation from the psalms, Jesus makes it clear that the Messiah, in his work and person, is greater than David.

And having shown the inadequacy of the understanding of the Messiah popular among the teachers of the law (scribes), Jesus goes on to criticise them as a group for their abuse of their respected position in Jewish society.

The reference to their treatment of widows gives Mark a link to the next few verses where the contrast between the poor widow and the rich who give impressive gifts reminds us how riches can be an obstacle to discipleship and obedience (Mark 10:17-31).

The widow giving all she had reflects the wholesale commitment Jesus looks for in his disciples.

Do we show the same commitment and devotion in our discipleship? Do we give sacrificially of ourselves?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Derek

March 31 Mark 12: 13 – 34 Whose side are you on?

It was a catch-22! The Pharisees had asked Jesus a killer question: answer one way and Jesus would be publicly going on record as a tax avoiding criminal, answer another and he would be selling out as a Roman collaborator. He couldn’t win, the Pharisees thought they had Jesus trapped. But Jesus did what they didn’t expect: he didn’t pick a side. Instead he stayed loyal to God first and foremost.

In our current political climate, we are constantly forced to choose a camp: left or right, leave or remain, open borders or immigration bans, Yes Scotland or No. Thanks. Everyday there seems to be a new issue that pushes us further apart from one another.

In such a divided society, what does it mean to follow God first and foremost?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from David

March 30 Mark 12: 1 – 12 Value Judgements

Jesus always provoked a reaction from those who heard him teach and those he healed. Some saw him as Joseph’s son, others dismissed or tried to trap him, some saw him as a prophet, others as the Son of God. We all make value judgements about who people are. Often we those values are based not on knowledge but our own prejudices and experiences and how what another says or does will affect our lives. Many people rejected Jesus as not worthy because there was too high a cost to them.

How often are we guilty of doing the same?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Emma

March 29 Mark 11: 12 – 33 Waiting for God

I have always thought the poor fig tree got a hard deal. It almost seems that Jesus was being petulant because it didn’t have any fruits for him. There is a deeper lesson being taught here, especially in verses 20 -26.

When you pray do you sit back and wait for your prayers to be answered or do you go on as if your prayers were being answered? Jesus clearly says that prayer should be followed by action. It is not about waiting for express permission from God but about trusting in God and acting. Are you waiting for something today?

Are you waiting for god to speak to you when he perhaps already has?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Norman

March 28 Mark 11: 1 – 11 The King and I?

With the entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem, the story enters its final phase. Normally pilgrims would have entered the city on foot and so for Jesus to enter on a donkey signalled something different.

Those familiar with the words of the prophets would have recognised the words of Zechariah foretelling a future king who would enter the city riding on a donkey. The spreading of cloaks on the road was a gesture of great respect appropriate for people such as kings – some at least had understood the significance of Jesus arrival.

Jesus arrives as a king, but a different kind of king – he has arrived on a donkey and not on a warhorse or in a chariot. And all too soon, his crown will be one of thorns and his throne will be a cross.

Do you think that this a king whom we can follow with confidence?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Derek

March 27 Mark 10: 46 – 52 Voices from the Margins

Bartimaeus was a nobody. He was blind, unemployed and poor, in a society where even one of those things would make you an outcast. When he shouted to Jesus people tried to shush him, important men like Jesus weren’t supposed to talk to lowly beggars like Bartimaeus.

But Jesus was listening for the voice at the back of the crowd. He heard Bartimaeus’s plea and he brought him from the margins right to the centre of the crowd. Jesus had plenty of other people to keep him busy, but always paid attention to the people at the fringes, the people that others had cast out. And so he healed the beggar Bartimaeus and made him one of his disciples.

Who is on the margins in our society? What does it mean to listen for the voice at the back of the crowd today?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from David

March 26 Mark 10: 32 – 45 Repetition

Children when they are very small learn by repetition. Getting on their feet, falling, getting up again, one foot in front of the other until they learn to walk. Jesus is again repeating what will happen how he will die and it goes right over the disciples head as they follow their own agenda and again talk about who will be the greatest and closest to Jesus . What is God trying to tell us perhaps repeatedly that we need to hear and what agendas do we need to let go of to hear Him? Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Emma

March 25 Mark 10: 17 – 31 The Rich young man was a really good guy

He seems the kind of person your parents would have been happy to be dating your sister. All his life he had done everything right and met everyone’s expectations. Yet Jesus recognises that his good, safe life was cushioning him from really living for God. He had made his faith safe.

Could that also be said of us? Have we made our faith safe? Have we found a place for faith where it has minimal impact on our lives?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Norman

March 24 Mark 10: 1 – 16 How do we see ourselves?

In this chapter, Jesus begins a new block of teaching on marriage and children (today) and possessions (tomorrow), all of which could be seen as earthly ties which might have an impact on discipleship.

This incident is another one where the Pharisees try to test or trap Jesus. If we recall what happened to John the Baptist who commented on the marital affairs of King Herod, it may well be that the intention of the Pharisees was to entrap Jesus into saying something which could be seen in a similar light and end in the same way!

Nonetheless, Jesus’ response and teaching is extremely radical – he gave women and children a status which they did not have at that time. Only men had the absolute right to divorce a wife and children had no legal or social weight with which to make claims for particular treatment.

So, for Jesus, if we are to be like a child, then we are unable to make demands – we are solely dependent on the good pleasure of God. But, if we imagine we are somehow worthy of God’s favour, that we have a certain status, we will not receive the kingdom of God.

How do you and I see ourselves?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Derek

March 23 Mark 9: 42 – 50 Letting go

It is easy to be scared by this passage; it is full of vivid, somewhat gruesome language, of judgement and punishment. But behind it is a message of love. It reminds us that first and foremost, God wants a relationship with us, and he wants nothing to stand in the way of that. And this is what the season of Lent is all about; a time where we give up things that might be separating from God.

How is your Lent journey going so far? Are you feeling closer to God, or do you need to remove something that is getting in the way?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from David

March 22 Mark 9: 30 – 41 The in crowd or not?

Only selective people casting out demons, a closed group that has a hierarchy, these were the things the disciples wanted Jesus to approve of as they sought to be his disciples. But he refused instead getting them to reconsider how mistaken they were in their thinking and living. The child and the outsider were symbols of his Kingdom not the holy huddle or the ability of a few.

In what ways do you think Jesus wants us each to reconsider how we think about , welcome and value another’s contribution to God’s Kingdom ?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Emma

March 21 Mark 9: 1- 29 Will the real Jesus please stand up

First impressions do not always ring true. Speak to most people today about Jesus and you will get a variety of answers, from he was a good man to he was the baby in the manger. Yes he was all those things and more! This passage called The Transfiguration gives us a glimpse of the other Jesus we have yet to see. Not a meek mild lamb but God. A Jesus Pure and Holy.
Being Christians, when people look at us they see Jesus in us; which Jesus do we portray?

Do we show Jesus as a harmless baby who never leaves the manger? As a political operator who worked against the authorities? As the Son of God? From your actions this week, what kind of Jesus will people see?

Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Norman

March 20 Mark 8: 27 – 38 The cost of discipleship

This section begins with a repeat of the labels for Jesus which we have seen before, but in this case Peter seems to have recognised who Jesus is and we have an open acclamation of him as Messiah.

However, when we move on, Jesus teaches the disciples that he must be rejected, suffer and die and then be raised up again after three days. On hearing this, Peter starts to give Jesus a telling off and finds himself on the receiving end of some harsh words from Jesus, who calls him Satan! Clearly Peter and the disciples haven’t fully realised who Jesus is or understood God’s plan.

Jesus then calls the disciples and crowd together and explains to them what the cost of discipleship will be. Jesus makes it clear that if we want the new life he offers, then our old life must die – it’s either/or, not both/and!

Following Jesus might cost us friends, family or reputation, but as the 20th Century missionary and martyr Jim Elliot said “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Do you agree?

Today’s Thought for Lent is from Derek

March 19 Mark 8: 22 -26 Sharing our Story

This passage is perhaps one of the most touching in Mark’s Gospel, as a blind man describes sight for the first time as being like seeing trees walking around. His honest and genuine answer is a powerful testament to the way Jesus has transformed his life.

As Christians, we believe that we were once blind, but that God has given us new sight that allows to see the world in new and exciting ways. Just like the blind man we have a story of ‘seeing’ for the first time, of how our lives were transformed by the power of God.

What is your story of how God has acted in your life? How can you share it with the honesty of the blind man?

Today’s Thought for Lent is from David

March 18 Mark 8: 11 – 21 How much proof do you need?

In this age of science, we all love to be sure that everything can be proven to be true and real. The people of Jesus day were no different they always wanted to be sure that Jesus was the One that God approved of. So, they challenged him to perform miracles on demand. Not to increase their faith but to trap Him. They always wanted more proof yet we have to question whether it would have changed their hearts. So how much is enough proof?

Jesus healings, teachings, miracles, control over the wind and waves, His death, his resurrection his promise of return, his presence in our lives. If this is not enough then what would be for us? or would anything be enough? Is it that we are just reluctant to change and by trapping Jesus into not performing on demand give us the excuse to remain how we are?

Today’s Thought for Lent is from Emma

March 17 Mark 8: 1 -10 Another miracle feeding only 4000 people this time.

It’s interesting that although Jesus was here to usher in the Kingdom of God he never forgot people’s human needs. A lot of the time it was their humanity which gave him opportunity to bring God into the encounter. That’s a challenge for us because humanity is messy. Getting involved in other people’s lives is messy. Yet that’s where opportunities arise.

Who around you needs your help today? What positive difference can you make for them?

Today’s Thought for Lent is from Norman

March 16 Mark 7: 24 – 37 Telling others the good news

The amazing significance of this passage could easily be missed, but it lies in the words that Jesus went off to the territory of Tyre and Sidon and then into the Decapolis – in other words, he went into Gentile country.

The stories make it clear that whilst Jesus’ ministry might firstly be to the people of Israel, it was also for the Gentiles, for all peoples.

In the story of the deaf and dumb man, Jesus shows real pastoral care for the man by taking him aside from the crowd. By Jesus’ actions, the man’s ears were opened and his tongue was released, and at that moment in time, the more Jesus cautioned him not to talk about what had happened, the more enthusiastically he did it.

The command not to speak out no longer applies to us – most of us have ears to hear the message or eyes to read it, but are we as enthusiastic about telling others what Jesus has done for us?

Today’s Thought for Lent is from Derek

March 15 Mark 7: 1 – 23 With the best of intentions…

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Pharisee”? someone who’s judgemental, legalistic, more interested in rules than people?

But did you know the Pharisees weren’t always the bad guys? At a time when the Jewish people were under threat by empires and new ideas, the Pharisees fought to preserve Jewish culture through its traditions and customs. They thought it was up to all Jews to hold onto their distinct identity and remain faithful to God.

But the Pharisees went too far. With the best of intentions, they became obsessed with rules and regulations, until tradition became more important to them than people. Jesus had to remind the Pharisees that God had not instructed his people to be good rule followers, he had told them to love one another.

Have you ever let tradition become more important than people?

Today’s Thought for Lent is from David

March 14 Mark 6: 45 – 56 God with us

The people on the shore recognised Jesus immediately. They knew he could heal and sought him out bringing the sick to him. The disciples were not expecting to see Jesus. In fact on seeing him they thought he was a ghost so grave was the situation they were in. They had excluded the possibility that he could be with them based solely on their situation.

How often because of our situation do we close ourselves off to the reality that God cares and is with us?

Today’s thought comes from Emma

March 13 Mark 6: 30 – 44 People here get caught up with the miracle.

Feeding 5000 from only a few loaves and fishes would have been quite something to see!

What people miss is that over 5000 people were gathering to see Jesus. In fact, they were so focused on him they didnt go home when it was time for dinner.

As you consider your Christian faith do you ever get so excited about it you forget other things?

When was the last time you were excited about faith?

Today’s thought comes from Norman

March 12 Mark 6 : 14 – 29 Who rules in our lives?

Mark tells us more about the death of John the Baptist than any other gospel writer, because he sees John as Elijah, the great prophet who announces the Messiah and thus makes clear that Jesus is that Messiah.

Once again, people are wondering who Jesus is, and Herod’s guesses at the start of the passage are all wrong.

So, Mark’s purpose in telling this story is that his readers understand Jesus more clearly, and that in drawing the parallel with John’s death, he makes it clear that the Messiah too will suffer and die – not the kind of Messiah people would have been expecting.

Herod Antipas, the king in our story, digs a hole for himself and must follow through or lose face. The hints about his marital relations make it clear what kind of king he was. Jesus, in talking about the kingdom of God, gives us a wholly different picture of a king.

This leaves us with the question, who rules in our life and what does that mean for the way we lead our life?

Today’s thought comes from Derek

March 11 Mark 6: 1 – 13 Moving On

Today’s reading is a strange one. We focus so much on God’s unending love and abundant patience, that it’s odd to hear Jesus giving his disciples permission to turn their back on unwelcoming towns, to literally shake the dust of that town off their feet. How can we reconcile these two pictures?

Well Jesus knew his disciples were only human. While God’s love is infinite, our time and energy is not. So Jesus gave his disciples permission to walk away, save their strength and look to new opportunities.

Is there anything you are doing that isn’t going anywhere, you are pouring in energy but it is a lost cause? Perhaps you need to hear Jesus’s permission let it go and move on to new opportunities?

Today’s thought comes from David

March 10 Mark 5: 21 – 43 Last resort or first?

Jairus comes to Jesus seeking healing for his daughter and the woman comes for herself. We do not know how long Jairus’s child had been ill but for the woman it had been 12 years. In both cases Jesus was the last resort the last hope of healing when all their own attempts had failed.

I wonder how many times we come to Jesus as the last resort, when we have eliminated all other solutions to our problems? When we finally have to seek him out
because there seems to be no other way.

For us the challenge is to make Jesus our first point of contact instead of the last for all that ails us .

Today’s thought comes from Emma

March 09 Mark 5: 1 – 20 The Bible often offers us contrasts.

Today we have Legion, a man who experienced redemption when he met Jesus. Considered beyond care by society he was kept out of the village where he wouldn’t impact people’s lives. Then you have the villagers who were far more concerned about their wealth which they saw careening off a cliff into the sea.

Those who have much to lose often find Jesus call to follow him a struggle whilst those who have nowhere to go often find redemption.

I wonder today which category you fall into? Do you have too much to lose or do you have nowhere to go? Either way Jesus has something to say!
Today’s thought comes from Norman

March 08 Mark 4: 21 – 41 Who is this?

Today’s passage contains a group of sayings, two parables and a calming of the storm! So much food for thought.

Two things – firstly, Jesus taught in parables not to confuse people, but to ensure that they really listened and tried hard to understand. These parables tell us something about the kingdom, about why Jesus came, but so we don’t think that Jesus is simply a teacher, Mark then tells us about the calming of the storm: clearly Jesus is more than this. In this story, echoing the sayings at the start, something of the true significance of Jesus flashes forth, revealing briefly the full light to come.

We too need to ask the same question – “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Today’s thought comes from Derek

Mar 07 Mark 4: 1 – 20 Taking Root

The parable of the sower has been told for generations. It is an object lesson for all of us to be good soil where the word of God takes root and brings forth fruit in our lives.
Too many times this doesn’t happen either because we squeeze it out with so many other things or we don’t allow it to change us at a deeper level. This is a challenge.

Take a moment to day to consider how God is active in your life and what steps you can take to make room for him.

Today’s Lent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Mar 06 Mark 3: 20 – 35 To fit or not to fit, that is the problem.

People did not know what to do with Jesus. The religious leaders thought he had a devil whilst his own family thought he was getting above himself. All because he was different.

Christians are followers of Jesus which means we are supposed to be different. We are meant to stand out because of how we live.

How much do you want to fit and how much should you be different because of faith?

Today’s Lent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Mar 05 Mark 3: 1 – 19 More than my jobs worth mate!

There were people in Jesus day who were zealous rule keepers. They had the best of intentions but because of the way they did it people were alienated from faith.

Take the man with the paralyzed hand. Some people were more interested in seeing what Jesus did than in actually helping the man. Jesus was willing to go beyond rules if it meant helping someone.

Are we missing opportunities because we are too focused on what seems to be the right thing?

Today’s Lent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Mar 04 Mark 2 Beyond breaking Point

Here in the UK we have not been tested in faith like so many across the world. We have freedom to worship and freedom to share the good news of Jesus. We can openly invite people to church. It’s a real privilege that often we do not appreciate.

If you were tested how far would you go? Would you make a hole in the roof to see Jesus? Would you give up one career to follow him into another?

Today’s Lent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Mar 03 Mark 1: 35 – 45 Why am I here again?

Jesus had a very clear understanding of what he was here to do. Even when he became really popular, with the disciples telling him, ‘everyone is looking for’, he did not waver.

That is often a contrast to us as we saunter through life and wonder what it’s all about. Christians should never saunter like that because we have a purpose.

Why not take some time today to consider why God put you here and what he wants you to do?

Today’s Lent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Mar 02 Mark 1: 14 – 34 The proof of the pudding…

It was one thing for Jesus to proclaim God’s Kingdom was here, another thing to demonstrate it. His call to the fishermen followed by his acts of healing showed to everyone that he was something different. This gave his message credibility and made people take notice.

What steps can you take to make your faith credible to those around you today?

Today’s Lent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Mar 01 Mark 1: 1 – 13 Welcome to the Main Event

Mark doesn’t mess around. He doesn’t talk about Shepherds or Angels but goes straight to John proclaiming the gospel. After just a few verses he introduces Jesus as God’s son in whom God is pleased. For Mark it was important to get to Jesus because the whole thing was about him. He did not want anything to come between his readers and the Messiah.

There are so many distractions in our world that cause us to take our eyes of Jesus, this is a good reminder of who the main event really is.

What kind of refocusing on Jesus might you need to do today?

Today’s Lent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Lent Breakfast Studies – start 26th March

Lent Breakfast Studies start on Sunday 26th March and run for three weeks through to Palm Sunday.

The studies will be held in the church and a light breakfast will be provided.

These Faith Sharing Breakfasts are open to anyone and will aim to encourage us to talk and think about prayer using as our focus The Lord’s Prayer.

Just turn up – no need to book a place.

Lent starts this week….

Thought for the Day during Lent

Each day throughout Lent there will be a ‘Thought For The Day’ from the ministry team here at Granton.

Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in our Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.

For that reason, we are publishing a ‘Lent Thought for the Day’ right through from Wednesday 1st March until Easter Sunday on 16th April.

If you are already signed up to receive our weekly eBulletin each Thursday you don’t need to do anything. If you don’t get the weekly email either have a word with Chas or go to the website and sign up.