Explore tomorrow: The Persecuted Church

Stephen, one of the early preachers, was arrested by the Jewish leaders for preaching about Jesus. When he did not recant his message but pressed it further, the Jews stoned him to death on the spot, making Stephen the first Christian martyr. This incident kicked off a round of persecution against new Christians that was so severe, many of them fled Jerusalem for their very lives.  As they did, they took the message of the Gospel with them to the surrounding provinces of Judea and Samaria.

Tomorrow in Explore we come face to face with persecution that Christians face in many countries, and how God redeems it.  11.15am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church.

Tomorrow at Explore: Pentecost

Although tomorrow’s Explore service has been advertised as a Communion service, we will not be having Communion after all.  It is a third Sunday in the month, so we will still have a Bring and Share Lunch after the service, for all who can stay for it.

Shortly after Jesus’ ascension, on the Jewish feast day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon his disciples. While they were gathered in a house, a sound like a violent rushing wind filled the place and flames of fire rest on each disciple, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began speaking in different foreign languages, with the result that many of the Jews from different parts of the world heard them speak in their own language. This and other notable miracles took place as the number of converts to Christianity increased rapidly in Jerusalem.

How does this link with the Old Testament covenant and festivals?  Tomorrow at Explore, Colin and Annette lead us through the roles of the Spirit and the Church.  There’ll be the opportunity to ask God for more.  The Tindals will share some stories of their work in recent weeks with young mothers in Kenya.  11.15am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church.

Tomorrow at Explore: Jesus ascends to heaven

The birthplace of the Church is Jerusalem.  After His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they receive the power of the Holy Spirit and then to be witnesses to Him in Jerusalem (their city), Judea and Samaria (the surrounding provinces), and the remotest part of the earth (the rest of the world). Then Jesus ascended into heaven right before their eyes.

In Explore tomorrow, Fiona Rimmer takes us to the next significant step in the Bible Timeline.   11.15am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church.  There will be no separate children’s meetings in this service, but it will be planned with all ages in mind.

Explore tomorrow: At Lake Galilee

In tomorrow’s Explore service, we look at a passage that tells us something about the work we set out to do in the world, and Jesus’ involvement in that work.  It’s quite an inspiration.  Join Roy and Pat at Ottery St Mary Parish Church, 11.15am.  There will be no separate children’s meetings in this service, but it will be planned with all ages in mind.

Explore tomorrow: The Empty Tomb

It feels like we’ve learned such a lot about Jesus’ death in the last two months at Explore.  So what about the Resurrection?  Roy and Pat make connections with other parts of the Bible Story.  There will be no separate children’s meetings in this service, but it will be planned with all ages in mind.

Tomorrow at Explore

How does the Crucifixion fit into the larger Bible story?  Was The Cross God’s ‘Plan B’ or God’s ‘Plan A’?  In tomorrow’s Explore meeting, Colin takes us back to God’s promises to Abraham and sees their fulfilment in the Cross.  Steve leads us in Communion, Colin sings a song and has three classic hymns including Thine be the Glory and To God be the Glory.  After the service there’ll be one of our popular Bring and Share Lunches.

Come and remember Jesus’ life and death with Scripture, teaching and Communion.  11.15am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church.  Come along, this really could change everything for you!

Tomorrow at Explore Bible Study: The plot to kill Jesus

Tomorrow is a fourth Sunday, no morning Explore meeting, but an afternoon Bible Study at Colin and Annette’s.  Jenny leads us again, this time looking at the plot to kill Jesus described in Luke 22:14-23.   What was going on here in terms of the bigger Bible story?  It’s always inspiring.  Bring some cake and join us from 4.30 – 6pm.  Kay and Jessica will be with us too.

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Tomorrow at Explore

Tomorrow at Explore, Colin leads us towards a high point of The Bible Timeline story, Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem as told in Luke 19.  For Jesus it’s a royal occasion and the people cheered and started to sing Psalm 118, a psalm we studied two weeks ago at Explore.

We’d love you to join us!  11.15am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church.

The Bible Timeline: The Gospels

The word gospel simply means good news and so therefore the four gospels are the good news of Jesus Christ. Not only do they teach us the teachings and life of Jesus Christ during his ministry, but they are also historically accurate. Those who would endeavour to decry the teachings of Jesus come up against the stone wall of the accuracy of the Biblical accounts which is not surprising when you consider the character of the writers
of the gospels. Matthew and John were both disciples of the Lord Jesus. Mark became a disciple of Peter so that in a sense Mark is Peter’s gospel and, of course Luke was a disciple of the apostle Paul.
Each Gospel tells the same story, often describing the same events in almost the same words.  Why, then, are their four accounts of Jesus’ life in the New Testament? The reason is that each of the Gospel writers shapes his account of Christ’s life for a different group of people in the first century Roman Empire. Matthew shaped his account for the Jewish reader, emphasising how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament’s prophecies about the Messiah. Mark shaped his account for the Romans, to show that Jesus was man of action. Luke shaped his account for the Greeks, to show that Christ was the ideal human being. John’s Gospel emphasises Christ’s deity, and was written to stimulate saving faith in Jesus, the Son of God.
(taken from The Bible: The Smart Guide to the Bible Series by Larry Richards)
While the Gospels are biographical, they are actually thematic portraits of Christ’s life that place very little emphasis on His early life and follow the chronology of His life,
but not slavishly. Not all the Gospels cover the same events in His life. When all four Gospels are put together and “harmonised,” only about fifty days of Jesus’ active ministry are dealt with.
Jesus came in fulfilment of the Old Testament prophesies of a saviour and offers salvation and the true kingdom of God. While some accept Him, most rejected Him, and He was crucified.
(taken from Understanding the Bible in 15 minutes a day by Max Anders)
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