We are an Evangelical Church in the Village of Barston.....
Loated near Knowle and Solihull, in the West Midlands, UK
We aim offer you a warm welcome to our services and events, however:
Services in Church Buildings are currently suspended
CHURCH IS OPEN FOR PRIVATE PRAYER 4th & 8th July 9.00 am to 5.00pm
The Church has requested permission from the Diocese to improve disabled access.
See CHURCH ACCESS for information
A SIMPLE WORD, CAN YOU HEAR?
It has been said that a picture can paint a thousand words... yes that may well be true. But it can take just one word to ‘spark a forest fire’. One word spoken out, either in error or by design and the consequences can be catastrophic. We have all heard of fake news and remember leaders who have said ‘watch my lips’ as they promise one things and then end up breaking the promise. But communication is much more than just words. There are all the subtleties of expression gesture and the look in the eye. Actions speak louder than words.
Also the reverse can be true a picture can be painted with a thousand words. Jesus, in his telling parables, paints pictures for the people of his time and us today, to gaze at and to wonder. We call them parables and the gospel reading today must be one of the most known parable... ‘the parable of the sower’ as we have come to know it. There have been many words written about this parable and the explanation Jesus gives as to its meaning....the difficulty we have is that we have just the words on a page...we have not heard Jesus tell this story....so I invite us all now to imagine we are hearing it for the first time. Close your eyes and get someone to read it (Matthew 13. 1-9) what did you hear what picture came to your mind’s eye. Did you hear the final words, ‘you who have ears, let them hear’.
Hearing is the problem. This parable is about the difficulty of hearing. At first we may decide not to hear. It can be as impossible as sowing seed onto fleshly laid tarmac if we are not prepared even to try to hear what is said. There is so much fake news and so we close our ears choose not to listen and so miss the one voice that can give us hope.
Sometimes we do hear. We see the picture, it excites us and we go with the flow. We make a good start, but enthusiasm wanes as the congested, self centred parts of our lives take over.
Sometimes we do better, we hear it we register it, and plan to give time to process the message, but the busy life, the books we are told we need to read, TV programs, and the like squeeze out the time. Henri Nouwen, a Catholic priest and theologian, admits to God:
“I am so busy with other things, that I cannot hear you; so preoccupied with what to read, what to write, what to say or what to do that I do not realize that all these problems would not exist if I listened to you and stopped listening to my inner turmoil”
We are distracted by words, good, interesting, wholesome words and unintentionally miss the Word!
Jesus is giving us a lesson on hearing, offering us all the word of life, if only we would listen and hear. We hear not just what he said, but what he did. We have heard it that many times and yet we still let it sail past us. Today as we are faced with so much, the effects of the pandemic and its long lasting impact on the way we live, our social interactions, life events, our economy and how commerce functions, racism, and much more it can be all too easy to choose not to hear the word. And what is the word, well its simple ‘Love’. God is saying to all of us ‘I love you’. We hear the word and we live the word as we love each other. It’s easy to say ‘I love you’ but we know the person does love us by what they do....we know God loves us, because of what God has done for us. Let us show we have listened and heard, let us live his love in what we do for each other in the coming months and years in this new ‘Covid era’
Links for Sunday Service
Alleluia sing to Jesus https://youtu.be/tu25M8Hzt1M
Be Still https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbYAa8ZIw7M&feature=youtu.be
Father I place into your hands https://youtu.be/Ybc5PGhQ_Y0
ORDER OF SERVICE