Family Worship – Road to Emmaus

Opening Prayer
We need your presence on the long road, Lord.
The road between fear and hope,
the road between the place where all is lost and the place of resurrection.
Like the disciples walking the road to Emmaus, we are in need of your company!
Jesus, stand among us, in your risen power, let this time of worship, be a holy hour. Amen
(From Re:Worship)

Song – In Christ Alone.

Game – I Spy

Theme – If you haven’t guessed by now, our theme for today is all about seeing. We’ll have a story in a few moments about two men who couldn’t see what was right in front of them.
Sometimes we don’t see the things around us. Like our game, we needed more than one guess know what is around us.

To be able to see something, we need to look for it. That sounds simple enough, but we don’t always do it.
I remember when I bought my first car. I was looking at different styles, and even different colours. And after I’d seen a car I liked, I was surprised in the days after how many of the same car I’d seen!!!

It also happened to me in school, when we were learning about something in particular, like birds, or the project we did about litter and rubbish, you start seeing it everywhere.

We need to make a special effort to see what is around us.
Before we hear our reading for today lets (try) and sing our second song (with the words)

Song – God’s not dead.

Story – The Lion Storyteller Bible – The Road to Emmaus

Talk – It’s easy for us to look at these two men, these friends of Jesus as being very silly and stupid. How could they not see their friend?? I’d hope that if I started walking with you down the street, that you would recognise me, and not think I was a stranger. But these so called friends didn’t know they were walking with Jesus.

They thought he was dead. They’d probably seen him die, just a few days earlier. So the last thing they had been expecting was to see Jesus, alive and walking around. Jesus felt very far away for them.

Sometimes Jesus seems very far away from us as well. We know that Jesus is alive and is with us. But we don’t always feel it. And there are many things that can stop us seeing Jesus in our lives. One of the most common problems is that they are too busy.
We have lots of things in our life that keep us busy don’t we. Work, school, families, friends, tv, reading, playing, shopping, gardening, cooking, cleaning, going out, and so on and so on. There are only 24 hours in each day but we like to fill them all up.
And when we get too busy, often the first thing to go, is our time to talk and listen to God. We forget about God, and we stop seeing him around.
Selfishness can also stop us from seeing Jesus around us. When we think only about ourselves and what we want. Or when we think, ‘What can I get from God today?’ ‘What can God do for me?’

This is not the belief that we share because believing in Jesus means that our questions are not about what we can get, but rather, what can I do to give thanks for this world God has given us, and this life, with all its good things.

If we think only about ourselves, we will miss Jesus, when we talk only about ourselves, we miss Jesus, when everything is about us, we will miss Jesus.

Jesus’ friends were so busy talking, and walking, that they missed what was in front of them until they stopped that evening. It wasn’t until they stopped and shared something together that they realised Jesus had been with them the whole time. And it’s not until we stop and listen that we’ll realise that Jesus is always with us.

Jesus told us that we have to love God, and we have to love each other. And when we do these two things, we will see Jesus around us.

So what can we do?
We need to stop sometimes. We need to make time to talk and listen to God. And we need to be reminded of all the things that we have around us. We need to stop and look, and see what is in front of us. And then say thank you.
Lord, help us not to miss you. Help us to stop and open our eyes to you at work in our lives.
Amen.

Song – Open our eyes Lord

Prayers – Post it thank you.

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Song – Alleluia, alleluia

Blessing and dismissal

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Jam Sul & BBC Radio Cymru, April 2014

Jam Sul, BBC Radio Cymru April
Jam Sul April

I’ve written before about Jam Sul, but this month Radio Cymru came to record and interview people in Jam Sul about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. It was really good to have them here.

Here is what they broadcast on the 18th April.

The Next Jam Sul is the 4th May
image

Kayne West – Jesus Walks

Kanye West is an American rap artist and has been producing records since 2001. Like many similar artist, he has a chequered past, and present. He’s been in the news recently for getting into a fight with a photographer.

This is a song from his first solo album, and it talks very strongly about his faith. This song was so important to him that he made three videos to go with it.

I’ve picked one of them for us,

The video follows three people who are down and out, an alcoholic living on the street, a prostitute, and a drug dealer. All of whom find someone to help rescue them, the alcoholic is protected from the traffic by an angel in a wheelchair, the prostitute is protected from a lecherous driver by two children who help her over a fence. And the man who is caught up in a life of dealing drugs flees for his life, but is pursued and knocked to the ground, he is helped up by a bearded angel.

These protectors are persecuted themselves by people from the street, and each of them transform into doves and flies off.

Yo, we at war
We at war with terrorism, racism
And most of all, we at war wit ourselves
(Jesus walks)
God show me the way because the Devil’s trying to break me down
(Jesus walks with me)

You know what the Midwest is?
Young &Restless
Where restless might snatch yo’ necklace
And next these might jack yo’ Lexus
Somebody tell these who Kanye West is

I walk through the valley of the Chi of death is
Top floor, the view alone will leave you breathless
(Uhhh!)
Try to catch it
(Uhhh!)
It’s kinda hard
Getting choked by the detectives yeah yeah now check the method

They be asking us questions, harass and arrest us
Saying, “We eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast”
Huh? Ya’ll eat pieces of shit? What’s the basis?
We ain’t going nowhere but got suits and cases

A trunk full of coke, rental car from Avis
My momma used to say, Only Jesus can save us
Well momma, I know I act a fool
But I’ll be gone till November, I got packs to move, I hope

(Jesus walk)
God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna to break me down
(Jesus walk with me)
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
(Jesus walk)

And I don’t think there’s nothing I can do now ta right my wrongs
(Jesus walk with me)
I wanna talk to God but I’m afraid cause we ain’t spoke in so long

God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna to break me down
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now

And I don’t think there is nothing I can do now ta right my wrongs
I want to talk to God but I’m afraid cause we ain’t spoke in so long
So long, so long
(Jesus walk with me)

To the hustlas, killas, murderas, drug dealas, even the scrippers
(Jesus walks with them)
To the victims of welfare for we living in hell here, hell yeah
(Jesus walks with them)

Now hear ye, hear ye, want to see Thee more clearly
I know He hear me when my feet get weary
‘Cuz we’re the almost nearly extinct
We rappers as role models, we rap we don’t think

I ain’t here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I’m just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathy Lee needed Regis, that’s the way I need Jesus

So here go my single dawg radio needs this
They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tape
But if I talk about God my record won’t get played, huh?

Well if this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then hope it take away from my sins
And bring the day that I dream about
Next time I’m in the club everybody screamin’ out

(Jesus walk)
God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna break me down
(Jesus walk with me)
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now

—————

People are constantly at war with their environment and with others, the root of all conflict lies internally.
Life is not easy, especially in the city, so many bad things go on.
‘I walk through the Chi of death is, Top floor the view alone will leave you breathless’ – play on psalm 23, Chi = Chicago. Double play – top floor, top of a sky scraper or heaven?

‘God show me the way because the Devil trying to break my down’ calling on God for help!
Welfare reference – free money but given a sub standard living condition.

‘You say you can rap about anything except for Jesus’ because that would just be weird. Interesting psychology going on. By calling out the record industry and challenging them to play a song about Jesus, the record got played a lot in the USA.

‘Then I hope this take away from my sins’ – atonement

Jesus Walks, Jesus Walks with them, Jesus Walks with me – John 14:6-9 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Linkin Park – What I’ve Done

Just getting round to putting my Mothers Union songs up. I’m including the lyrics, video, and the note I made from my reflections and their reflections. Hope they make sense and will help you.

 

Linkin Park are an American band who formed in 1996. The song we’re going to listen to is called ‘What I’ve Done’ which was released in 2007. It was also used as the main theme for the Transformers film. Ironies of humanity, and the ill effects we have on the world are the focus of the video. It juxtaposes various pieces of footage, for example a large well fed man eating fast food,  a woman measuring her waist and a man who is so malnourished that his rib cage is visible.

One of the band say the song is about “admitting to your faults of the past and kind of accepting it and moving on and trying to become something better”.

In this farewell
There’s no blood
There’s no alibi
Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies

So let mercy come
And wash away

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands
Of uncertainty

So let mercy come
And wash away

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

For All I’ve done
I’ll start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m forgiving what I’ve done

I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
What I’ve done
(Na-na na na)

(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
Forgiving what I`ve done
(Na-na na na)

(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na)

 

Mercy, reconciliation, politics, sin, repentance, regret.

‘So let mercy come, and wash away’ – baptism reference?

Question over title, ‘What I’ve Done’ is it talking about us individually or the whole of humanity?

God’s forgiveness – our need to move beyond our guilt.
Needing to face issues before we can move beyond them.

Bible – 1 John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, let us argue it out says The Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

 

Mothers’ Union talk – finding the sacred in secular music

MU_LOGO-rgb-1A few weeks back I did an afternoon for the Mothers’ Union. It was meant to be a ‘Quiet Afternoon’ for three local groups coming together, but I failed on the quiet point. It was my first event for the Mothers’ Union, the group in the parish always meets on a Friday which is usually my day off, and my previous incumbent was an active member as well as our lay reader, so there was little need for me to get involved.

I struggled to come up with a theme for the afternoon, the woman in charge of my local group told me, We don’t like silence, but we don’t like too much taking or discussion. People have done things where we have to move around, and we don’t like that…..but…we don’t like saying still on those hard chairs.’ Another member asked me ‘please…just do something different’.

So after much thought and prayer I decided to stick with something I know about, music. So I got videos for 4 pieces of music that all been popular in the last few years. I also tried to pick different genres so there might be something they all like….???

The most popular comment I got at the end was that they were ‘shaken’. I have to admit, I have never been more proud of feedback in my life. I SHOOK the Mothers’ Union.

I’ll need to do this in different parts because WordPress will only allow me to include one video per post.

__________________________________

This afternoon we will be looking at images of Christ in the secular world, in particular God in popular music which either talks about the artists faith, or could be used in worship but have also been huge hits.

We often despair with the younger generations we see around us, their values and priorities often seem so alien and to many it seems like they even speak a foreign language.

The church is (as we all know) very good at childrens work, but when they get to teenagers and young adults, they seem to drift away and disappear. We are in the 2nd, 3rd or sometimes 4th generation who have not been involved in church.

But not is all lost!!

There are still many places where Christ can be found. Christ is still present in many places where the church is not.

If we can be aware of where Christ is speaking, then we have a greater opportunity of meeting people where they are.

so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.” Titus 2.10

And maybe these can inspire us in our own faith, and in passing it on from generations to generation…

Song 1 – Linkin Park ‘What I’ve Done’ (2007)

Post can be found here.

 

Themes- repentance, confession, redemption, salvation, forgiveness, baptism, politics, environment, regret

 

 

kanyejesuswalksSong 2 – Kayne West ‘Jesus Walks’ (2004)

 

Post can be found here

Themes – personal faith, difficulties in life, pleading to God, Jesus is with us all – regardless of what we do.

 

 

 

Song 3 – Mumford & Sons ‘Below my Feet’ (2012)babel mumford

Click for video with lyrics (there is no official video for this song)

Themes – death, loss, hope, finding comfort, remaining grounded, keeping on track

 

 

 

 

Swedish-House-Mafia-hd-wallpaper-studio-shot-portrait1Song 4 – Swedish House Mafia ‘Don’t you worry child’

Post can be found here

Themes – do not worry, plans of God.

 

 

Jam Sul – April 2014

Jam Sul poster April 2014Ok, so Jam Sul is an experiment of ‘cafe church’ that we have been trying out for the last few months. This is our third month and I think I’m safe in saying so-far-so-good. Attendance has grown with each one and the word is getting around that the church is doing something new – ‘shock’! Our intention has been to do something truly family friendly for people who would not dream of coming to an average Sunday morning service, those on the fringe of church, and those who we’ve just been able to drag in.

It’s true that at first some people came along without even knowing it is a church event. They just came to play some music, to ‘jam’. We had a lovely comment after the end of last months from one of the guitarists, he said ‘I never thought I’d be hanging around with people [Christians] like you’.

This month we had the title of ‘Alive or Dead’, which initially we thought of doing the Easter story. But on second and third thought we decided we’d like to try and get some people coming to our Holy Week events, so we shifted to the story of Lazarus which was the set gospel for this Sunday (Lent 5 Year A).

The set up is very relaxed, people sat around tables, in the location we;re currently at there is a cafe next door which people can get drinks and cake from, and there are some welcoming activities to get people talking; this time it was drawing faces with different expressions on and identifying the different emotions on drawn faces. We have some modern Christian music played by our ‘band’, usually 4 or 5 songs in the time, and a range of different activities, crafts, games and stories all based on our chosen theme. Towards the end of the hour there is usually some quiet time and space for reflection with a psalm being read out with some incidental music played in the background.

Each time has been different.

We are going to be continuing the experiment and seeing where it takes us. Watch this space……..

 

Open the Book – The Storm on the Lake

Open the Book - The Storm on the Lake

We did the story of the storm on the lake this week in Ysgol Llanbedr, and Ysgol Dyffryn. From my point of view it was the best story we’ve done ever! We got the kids to sit in the shape of a boat, one of our team had made a cool mast, and I got to play the sea and squirt the kids with water pistols when the sea got rough. Who said the Bible was boring????