STUDIES THROUGH THE CHURCH YEAR

 

The studies provided here are based on the main Sunday lectionary readings for the church year (Year C). You are welcome to use these studies for your own meditation, for Home Group sessions, or as an additional resource to complement and reinforce the message of the Sunday sermon.

 

Our studies for Lent have been well used and appreciated. Thanks for the good feedback from our Home Groups.

As we move from Lent into Passion Week and Easter celebrations, further studies will be added on a weekly basis, with the aim of providing a devotional study each week throughout the remainder of the church year. Past studies can still be accessed in document format at the bottom of this page.

Palm Sunday (April 14th) – The Shame and the Glory

Our readings for today contrast the close, intimate relationship between Jesus and his Heavenly Father, against the toxic and confrontational relationship between Jesus and the religious leaders of the day. Although they – and the large majority of the Jewish people –  rejected Jesus as Messiah, Jesus faithfully fulfilled the work that the Father had given him, perfectly fulfilling the commandments of the law, living a life of righteous obedience, and bearing our shame on the cross. But the cross proved to be the place of Christ’s final victory over sin and death. His is the triumph and the glory.

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Easter Sunday (April 21st) – Heaven Opened

The appearance of the angels at the empty tomb reinforces the Gospel message that Christ has opened the door to heaven. By his death and resurrection, the curse of sin has been reversed, and there is longer any barrier preventing us from coming boldly to the throne of grace. And because Jesus has risen, we too will rise to eternal life. HALLELUJAH, CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED.

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Easter 2 (April 28th) – What Next?

Over the past 2 Sundays we celebrated the most significant events in our Christian calendar – remembering Christ’s passion, his death and his resurrection that brought us the hope of eternal life.

For Jesus’ disciples, these events were first unbelievable devastating, confusing, and in the end filled with joy and a new sense of purpose. But there was a period of time when they just had to adjust to a new sense of reality – their own lives had been turned upside down. What to do next?

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Easter 3 (May 5th) – Shadow of the Cross

In his book “The Ordinary Hero”, Tim Chester argues that “the pattern of the cross and resurrection – the pattern of suffering followed by glory – was not only the pattern for Jesus, but is also the pattern of the world. The pattern of the cross and resurrection applies in the same way to believers… We follow the way of the cross, not the way of glory. But we follow the way of the cross sustained by the hope of coming glory.”

In today’s readings, we are reminded that both Peter and Paul were challenged by God to follow in the way of the cross. What about us “ordinary disciples”?

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Easter 4 (May 12th) – One Step at a Time

In Acts 9, Jesus leads Peter, gently but firmly, to the point where he is ready to accept the invitation of Cornelius’s messengers and carry on from Lydda and Joppa to Caesarea. Peter needs some heavy persuasion, by means of the vision he receives while resting on the roof of Simon the Tanner’s, but there is no sense of criticism or rebuke from God concerning Peter’s failure to grasp God’s purpose and slowness to reach out to the gentile community… just a clear direction from a firm but gentle shepherd, saying, “This is the way forward… this is now the time to overcome those cultural inhibitions… just follow me!”

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Easter 5 (May 19th) – Crossing Cultural Barriers

In a fallen world, tribal attitudes can affect all spheres of human life, whether it’s in sport, politics, ethnic origin or religious background. But in God’s purposes for his heavenly community, there is no room for attitudes of rivalry, jealousy or cultural superiority. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

WEB VERSION     DOC FILE

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Download previous studies

ADVENT 1       (Dec 2nd) – Keeping Faith in the Promise
ADVENT 2       (Dec 9th) – Better than the Routine
ADVENT 3       (Dec 16th) – God is Right Here, Right Now
ADVENT 4       (Dec 23rd) – A Body You Prepared for Me
CHRISTMAS 1 (Dec 30th) Jesus at the Temple

EPIPHANY      (Jan 6th) A Mystery Revealed
EPIPHANY 2   (Jan 13th) Baptism of Fire
EPIPHANY 3   (Jan 20th) First Miracle – A Wedding to Remember
EPIPHANY 4   (Jan 27th) First Sermon

5th BEFORE LENT     (Feb 3rd) First-born son – Presentation of Christ at the Temple
4th BEFORE LENT     (Feb 10th) First Disciples – serving a mighty God
3rd BEFORE LENT     (Feb 17th) First Risen from the Dead – blessings and woes
2nd BEFORE LENT    (Feb 24th) First in Honour – Jesus calms the storm
NEXT BEFORE LENT (Mar 3rd) First Glimpse of Glory – the transfiguration

LENT 1   (March 10th)  There but for the Grace of God…
LENT 2  (March 17th)   Grace rejected… but never withheld
LENT 3  (March 24th)  No excuse for unfruitfulness
LENT 4  (March 31st)   When the world lets us down
LENT 5  (April 7th)  All for God