Archive for the “Lent” Category

The Gospel of John is about revelation.

Who is Jesus?

Who are we?

All the encounters we have witnessed as we journeyed through this Gospel tell us the truth about Jesus, the people he met, and about ourselves.

The trial before Pilate lays bare humanity.

Our humanity.

It shows us just where power really lies

what love really looks like

and just how much we need God’s grace.

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The questions we ask expose our priorities.

Are you the king of the Jews?

That’s Pilate’s question to Jesus in John 18:28-40.  That’s the only question that matters to a political governor.  Are you a problem for me?  But Pilate is asking the wrong questions… so Jesus asks some of his own.

The exchange ends with Pilate asking the right question… ‘what is truth?’

I wonder…

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John 18:12-27

We jump ahead to Jesus’ trial this week on our journey through Holy Week, but in many ways the trial is secondary, at least for us this week.

We’ll explore that story and also the story inside the story… what happens in-between.  In the night.

Peter’s denials.

1… 2… 3…

Standing in the courtyard.  Waiting.  Trying to keep a low profile, but stay close enough to hear what’s going on.

Doesn’t he do what we all would do?  To save our own skin?

No.  I’m not with him.

Never met him.

I’m not one of his followers.

It’s as easy as 1… 2… 3…

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A reflection on Passover the Exodus…


a promise

a people

a promise to a people

a people of promise


a people who cried out together

a promise made by god

to a people chosen by god


a long time in the making

the promise

or was it the people?


through the escape

through the sea

through the wilderness

to a home


a long time in the making

the promise

or was it the people?


through the straying

through the arguing

through the harsh new reality

to a new set of rules, and new promise


a long time in the making

the promise

or was it the people?


through the hunger

through the thirst

through the heat of the day and the freezing nights

to a daily provision of bread


a long time in the making

the promise

or was it the people?


through the hope

through the doubt

through the threshold

to the fulfilment of a promise


but what was the promise?


was it the escape?

was it the place?

was it hope?


was it a promise to the people?

was it the promise of the people?

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It has been quite some feat by the Spill the Beans Team to pull this off over the festive season, but after a crazy deadline of 31 December for all the writing, the next issue of Spill the Beans is now beautifully formed and available for download. This is the Lent to Pentecost edition that sees us from 17 February all the way to 19 May 2013! And this edition is not limited just to Sundays, you also get ideas for each day of Holy Week too. It is a large issue.

Inside you will find worship ideas and resources, including Bible notes, stories, prayers, reflections, music suggestions, and more, and for age groups you will find suggestions for activities, crafts, games and teen discussion resources.

If you have already used Spill the Beans, you will know what a great resource this is, created by folks here in Scotland. If you haven’t, but are intrigued, have a look at this sample.

If you’d like to download a full copy of Issue 7 for use in your church or personally, then click the button below. It is a positive steal at only £12. You can make a secure payment via PayPal and then an email with secure link to the download should wing its way to you.

Please follow the instructions carefully. The Adobe pdf file is approximately 4 MB.

Buy Now and Download

You can also get involved in feedback and discussion on the Spill the Beans blog, where we try to put up weekly PowerPoint backgrounds too.

If you would like a print copy of Spill the Beans, Issue 6, then this can be arranged. The cost is £20+P&P and these can be arranged directly with the office at Lanark Greyfriars Church. Each issue is in full colour and comb bound for ease of use. We have had to raise the costs of the print copy from our initial issues as we have found the original costs were not covering the costs of producing the copies.

If you would like to order copies (which are all printed to order so there may be a few days to wait before you receive yours) then you can email office [at] lanarkgreyfriars [dot] com with your order details. An invoice will be issued after dispatch of your order. If you prefer you can contact Greyfriars Church Office on 01555 661510 and place your order over the phone.

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Is the world a better place because you believe in Jesus?

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There’s a tension in youth work between process and product.

We talk more and more about ‘outcomes’ and ‘results’ and ‘objectives’ which are all about the product, the end result.  We are more and more scared of process because it’s hard to measure and define.

It’s easy to make Easter all about the product.  But if we do then we miss the benefits of the process.

Process is all about how you get there.

Process is all about what you learn along the way.

Process is about travelling.

Lent is a process time.

Don’t rush ahead to the end.

Value the journey.

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