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follow url Matthew 14:22-36 – Jesus walks on water. One comment at Gloucester Outdoor Church: Jesus must have believed that God really was God in order to walk on water. Also that Jesus allowed the disciples to straining at the oars for so long before coming in order to prove their faith. God gives us what we need not what we want. One person: “I want more!” The answer: No you have what you need.
follow url Matthew 2:11: “they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Comment at Gloucester Outdoor Church: “Gold represents purity, frankincense gets rid of spirits. This is all about purity.”
Matthew 9:20 “A woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.” Comment at Gloucester Outdoor Church Jan 2017: “You have to choose hope. When you do that, it’s like you reaching out to touch the robe of Jesus.”
Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you”. Comment at Gloucester Outdoor Church 31/1/2017: If we want to treat others in the way we want to be treated, then if we hurt others then we want to be treated the same way. Judging by the world, we hate ourselves, because we hurt others so much, so we must want to be hurt.
Matthew 18:12-14, parable of lost sheep. Comments at Gloucester Outdoor Church Dec 2016: “The 99 are safe in a flock: the 1 is the vulnerable. It may only be a sheep but its’a living being. God still loves animals. He wants to re-unite the flock. Some of the flock might be the sheep’s Mum or Dad or brothers. Maybe the sheep is pregnant – so it’s even more valuable because it can make more sheep. The sheep was probably very relieved when found.
This all shows Jesus has a heart: he is our shepherd. We look out for each other. It’s nice to listen to people: it helps them to get stuff off their chests.
The world is full of noise [this day we had to compete with a noisy lawnmower]. That’s a bit like us trying to hear God’s voice. When you’re doing an assignment you draw evidence from 3 sources: like God who has to speak through people / TV / other things to get our attention. God may speak but we only realize it later.”
Matthew 26:43-44: “When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.” Just as olives are pressed 3 times, Jesus had to pray 3 times. Sometimes we are crushed because it’s a wake up call. Comment at GOC: “My parents’ double suicide was a wake up call for me to get off drugs.”
Comments at Gloucester Outdoor Church:
Matthew 2:1-23 – the story of Jesus’ birth: astrology pointed to Jesus. The timing of his birth and death were vital.
Matthew 5:1-12 – the Beatitudes: This shows that Jesus was a universally cosmic wise man. He was compassionate and spoke real stuff.
Matthew 6:1-18: “God will always be with people whether they feel it or not. You don’t have to show your goodness in front of others do it behind closed doors because God knows it.
Matthew 9:18-26 – Jesus could heal people with or without faith.
Matthew 13:16-17: “God has blessed you. You understand what you see with your eyes. And you understand what you hear with your ears. 17 I can assure you, many prophets and godly people wanted to see what you now see. But they did not see it. And many prophets and godly people wanted to hear what you now hear. But they did not hear it.”
Comments at Outdoor Church: “Its all about perspective: facts don’t change but your perspective does change because it depends on the persons vantage point. 2 people who see a car accident the details will change depending on where that person is standing. You ears hear things that others don’t because of their perspective. Some scriptures don’t help some people now but can help others. So what can we do to change our perspective?” “It’s about an amalgamation: we take the good from everything and add it in together.”
Matthew 16:18: “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” One comment at Gloucester Outdoor Church: The church is not a building but our hearts. You can knock down bricks and mortar, but a heart can be broken … but then mended in God’s love … and is only destroyed at death.
Matthew 18:21-13: “Don’t forgive 7 times, but 77 times.” One comment at Gloucester Outdoor Church: “When someone sins once or twice against you, you forgive. When it’s 10 times, you just let them get on with it: you surrender.” One comment on the whole parable about the servant who was let off the debt but wouldn’t let someone else off a debt: My Mum should have been told this. What do you do with someone who won’t admit they’ve done anything wrong?
Matthew 10:16: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Comment by person who goes to Gloucester Outdoor Church: “When a woman appears at my door saying “I’ve just broken up with my girlfriend, I need a hug”, then I give them a cigarette instead: I’m not engaging with them.”
Mt 18:21-35 Gloucester Outdoor Church: One comment on the parable of the servant who demanded his debt to be paid despite his own debt being written off by his master: “That’s like my Mum: she didn’t accept my partner when she learned he had a criminal record and is always criticising people, and she never admits she’s done anything wrong, so she doesn’t think God’s forgiven her.”
Matthew 10:28: “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. … Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell”- one comment from a street person: be afraid of him who made you.
Matthew 18:3 Unless you become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. One comment: babies love unconditionally, like God. My reflection: so we need to become more like God to prepare for union with God in heaven.
Matthew 18:12-14. Comment at Gloucester Outdoor Church in response to the question: “How do we bring in the lost sheep?”: “Keep listening. Stay open. Keep your arms open. Keep your heart open. Keep a light burning in the window.”
Matthew 23:1-12: “The teachers of the Law: … you must obey and follow everything they tell you to do; do not, however, imitate their actions, because they don’t practice what they preach” – comments on top of a local hill at outdoor service: Some Christians aren’t good people. But not all of them say they are good Christians – they admit they are flawed.
Matthew 23:6-8: “The teachers … love the best places at feasts and the reserved seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to have people call them ‘Teacher.’ You must not be called ‘Teacher,’ because you are all equal and have only one Teacher.” Comment -be true to yourself – be who you are.
Matthew 13:1-23 – parable of sower. We can reap harvest 100, 60, or 30-fold – as we go out to sow seeds e.g. telling fellow alcoholics about AA that is sowing seeds
Matthew 4:1-11: Tony (Gloucester) comment on the temptation of Jesus: Jesus wants to go into the desert to be left alone – the devil comes along and tries to drag him into the world. Jesus just says “Leave me alone”. The devil is saying “All this could be yours: the girls, drugs, rock and roll”. Jesus says “Leave me alone”. It is good to get peace and quiet – to be alone. But temptation is always there.
Matthew 7:1-3 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Andy (of Gloucester) says:”If you point one finger you have 3 fingers pointing back at you. This means you should think about yourself 3 times before you think about judging others.”
Note: I always ask permission of people before I quote them:
Matthew 4:4 – Tony (of Gloucester) says: “Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” I read the Bible and pray every day. I think the word that comes from the mouth of God is the Bible. God is talking to me more through the Bible. Man shall not LIVE on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God – so I think if I read more of the Bible I’ll have a bit more LIFE in me. Sometimes I don’t feel like reading the Bible. But I’m meditating on this bit of the Bible, to give me more motivation to read the Bible – because it gives me life. It’s a slow process to go from unredeemed sinner to saint.
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