AUG
17
St Martin's Church
St Martin’s Church Centre
Church Street
Liskeard
Cornwall
PL14 3AQ
Tel: 01579 347411 (Church Office)
Email: St Martin's Church 
Facebook: LiskeardPrayers
Twitter: @liskeardprayers
Click here for our church services
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Introduction

The following articles are designed to help people understand the Christian faith. It is always dangerous to summarise or try to simplify something as deep and meaningful as the Christian faith. Many devote men have spend their whole lives studying the bible and the meaning of faith. It is often true that the more you learn the more you realise that you know so little.

That said, please accept these articles as a humble attempt to raise some of the key aspects of our faith and the meaning of Christianity to us.

In the beginning ...

In the beginning God created all things, and created man in His own image to love Him. His relationship with man was good, but man turned his back on God and it all went pear shaped! Man’s perfect relationship with God was broken. This was not so good and had lasting consequences for God and for man.

So God called a man named Abraham, with his family, to become His chosen people. God promised Abraham that he would become the father of a great nation and that through His family line the whole world would be blessed. Abraham believed God’s promise, and left his home to follow wherever God led him.

God wanted Abraham’s descendants to love Him and to love one another. As before, God’s chosen people frequently broke their promises to Him. Guess what? More pears!

However, God did not give up on them. Time and again He chose men and women to bring them back into a loving family relationship with Him. They also pointed forward to God’s lasting solution, the coming of the Saviour of the world.

He loved the world so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to mend our broken relationship with Him. Jesus became a signpost to God, so that anyone looking at Jesus would know what God was like. He showed us that God is goodness, truth and love.

God still wanted a loving relationship with us, but first He had to remove the obstacles - our failure to love Him and to love one another. Rather than make us pay the consequences of that failure ourselves, Jesus chose to pay for them on our behalf, by dying on the cross.

To the world, Jesus’ death looked like failure. But God brought Jesus back to life, and showed us that through Jesus, we too can have life after death. All we have to do is believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and accept Him as our personal Saviour. Then God sends His Holy Spirit to be with us and help us develop our personal relationship with Him and with one another.

There is nothing that we have done in the past that is so bad that it prevents us from receiving this free gift from God. We cannot earn it, nor do we deserve it. Instead, because of what Jesus did, God gives this gift to anyone who asks.

Of course, we are still human and continue to make mistakes. But whenever we ask for God’s forgiveness, and want to change our ways, He does forgive us.

In the end, God will bring in a new heaven and earth, and we will live with Him, our perfect relationship restored at last. And the only pears will be on the pear trees!

If you would like to find out more about pears, and the other fruit of the Holy Spirit, please contact St Martin’s Church, or come along to any of our services.

Need there be a difference?

Many people question the biblical account of creation in Genesis, the first book of the bible. After all, everyone knows that the universe started with the big bang, didn’t it? Genesis is generally assumed to have been written by Moses, about 4,000 years ago. It was Moses who climbed the mountain and God spoke to him, giving him the Ten Commandments, and other rules for living.

So let’s imagine the conversation between God and Moses:

God: Moses

Moses: Yes God

God: Write down how I created the world so that my people will understand that I am the only true God. Are you ready?

Moses: Yes God

God: In the beginning, I created a singularity.

Moses: What’s a singularity?

God: It’s where matter collapses onto itself to create an infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense area.

Moses: So how big was it to the nearest cubit?

God: Well, rounding down to the nearest cubit it would be no cubits by no cubits by no cubits.

Moses: Sorry God, but I don’t understand

God: Never mind. Anyway, in the beginning there was nothing, and it exploded.

Moses: What does exploded mean?

God: It’s a big bang, like a volcano erupting; only this was much, much, much, more powerful.

Moses: So where did this take place?

God: Technically, that’s the wrong question, since space didn’t exist. You see, the singularity didn't appear in space; rather, space began inside of the singularity, if you follow me.

Moses: Oh …. Right….. I see … I think? Well .. um … well, when was this?

God: At the beginning of time, about 13.7 billion years ago.

Moses: What’s a billion?

God: A billion is a thousand million

Moses: A thousand million! Wow!! So the earth is nearly 14 thousand million years old?

God: No. The earth is about four and a half billion years old.

Moses: So what were you doing for the first nine and a half billion years?

God: If you’ll stop interrupting I’ll tell you! The next stage was for Hydrogen nuclei to capture electrons to create the first atoms. Then, after about 6 million years gravitational forces between these atoms created the first galaxies.

Moses: Excuse me God, but am I supposed to explain this to my people?

God: Okay, I take your point…. Right then. Well, what about this:

In the beginning I created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and my spirit was hovering over the waters.

And I said, "Let there be light," and there was light. I saw that the light was good, and I separated the light from the darkness. I called the light "day," and the darkness I called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Moses: Wow – this is great stuff! Then what happened?

The Beatles sang:

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
speaking words of wisdom
"Let it be"

Of course, the wise words of Mary in full verse were, "Let it be to me as you have said." The Angel Gabriel had just told her that, though she was young and unmarried, she was going to have a child, the Son of God, and he was to be named Jesus, which means God Saves.

Now Jesus was certainly born into times of trouble. Poverty, sickness, injustice, oppression - they all flourished two thousand years ago as they do today. Jesus knew more than his fair share of them: born homeless and became a refugee as a baby; misunderstood and reviled as a young man; then unjustly condemned and put to death before he could grow into middle age.
All of that was ‘as God had said’, not despite his special status as God’s Son and Saviour, but because of it. That was how he did it. In Jesus our times of trouble became his time of trouble so that his death could end it and give us life. Before Mary said “Let it be to me as you have said", the Son of God had said “Let it be to me as we have said.”

So, in trouble and turmoil or peace and plenty we have Christmas.

Let it be to you and me as he has said.

Go out again - a poem based on Luke 5 verses 1 - 11

Jesus was preaching, he stood in a boat

It was quite like a pulpit but this one could float.

It was borrowed from Simon who’d fished through the night

And was feeling depressed as he’d not got one bite.

He was cleaning his nets with two of his men

 

When Jesus said “go out again”

 

Simon said, “You’re a carpenter, that’s very good

And I’m sure you’re an expert at sawing up wood

And I couldn’t make you a neat dovetail joint

Or fit sturdy hinges, but that’s not the point.

We’re fishermen, Jesus, that’s what we do –

And frankly, we don’t need instructions from you

Look at these guys, they’re experienced men

 

And Jesus said, “Go out again”

 

They looked at each other, they looked at the skies

And then they looked straight into Jesus’ eyes

Then they pushed out their boat from the edge of the lake

And let down their nets – though it seemed a mistake.

John said, “We’ll catch water – that will be nice,

We can fry it or grill it and eat it with rice!”

James said “water won’t grill, mate, it’s always too wet”

Then Simon said “Hang on, I can’t move the net!

 

The catch was enormous, the boat almost sank

They only just got it back safe to the bank

And that was with help from a few other men

 

After Jesus said “Go out again”

 

Simon fell to his knees and said, “Lord, I’m a sinner

Please leave us alone – take some fish for your dinner!”

But Jesus said Simon, you’ve seen nothing yet

You’re still going fishing, but not with a net

I need disciples, go fishing for men

Get up, Simon, go out again.

 

 

So Simon went out, and the others went too

And made lots of disciples, like me and like you

And the work is continuing, year after year

Which is why, I suppose, we are all sitting here.

And Jesus still sends us on his great commission

You can still hear his voice if you try hard to listen

Above all the noise of two thousand and ten

You’ll hear Jesus say “Go out”

Again

When Jesus had gone back to Heaven
The disciples were feeling quite low
And none of them knew what they all ought to do
And nobody knew where to go.

So they met in a room like they used to
To see what they all could agree
It was “Peter’s Collection of Christians”
So they called it the first PCC

Then a great rushing wind came around them
Some screamed and some cried and some laughed
And Thomas, as usual complaining,
Said “I don’t like this room – there’s a draught!”

Then great tongues of flame rose above them
And settled on everyone’s head.
Peter tried to stay calm, but he thought – with alarm –
“If this isn’t from Jesus we’re dead!”

Then they all felt the power inside them
Cos the flames were the spirit of God
And they called out in praise – but in strange foreign ways –
Although none of them thought it was odd.

From all around people came running
To see what was causing the noise.
There were people from all round the world there
Old men, grannies and young girls and boys.

A foreigner said “Aru Humbar”
As he turned round to talk to his wife.
Which means “That bloke is speaking our language-
But I’m sure he’s lived here all his life!”

And everyone else said the same thing
They couldn’t believe their own ears
Then a bloke in the crowd, just a LITTLE too loud
Said “they’ve all had too many cold beers”

Then Peter stood up, feeling big, brave and burly,
Saying “Friends, we’re not drunk – for a start it’s too early!
But we’ve got a message from God, up in Heaven
To send round the world – yes – even to Devon”

Then he told them of Jesus who’d been crucified
He said “You were all there so you all know he died,
But he came back that Sunday as fit as a fiddle –
(apart from the holes in his hands and his middle)

The crowd were astonished and many believed
And that’s how the first Christian church was conceived.
And the gospel’s still travelling – good news for the lost
Unchanged since it set out – that first Pentecost.

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