Online Services by Rev'd Chris & Bible Study

I hope everyone has had a good week and been able to enjoy a little of the relaxation of lockdown.

This week's service has been completed and can be found at Sunday 12th July Service

Again, I've managed to get a couple of hymns in and, despite some very windy conditions, we've tried to do as much outside as we can. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts.

Attached below is a transcript of Mike's homily which you may wish to read.

Although the government has announced that churches may be opened, the guidance still remains complex and in discussions with PCC members there seems to be a consensus that we do not return to church until the 2nd August at the earliest.

Therefore our churches will remain closed for public worship until then - but All Saints, Lydd will be open for private prayer between 9.00am and 1.00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Please stay safe and continue praying for one another.

Blessings#

Chris

THE SOWER  MATTHEW 13 vv 1-9 , 18-23      12/7/20

Hello and welcome to our garden on the edge of New Romney. No, you haven’t tuned in to Gardener’s World, and in any case I would be a poor substitute for Monty Don!

Historians tell us that about  800 years ago, this area around me would either have been covered by the sea, or would have been part of the shoreline. This accounts for the kinds of soil we have here. It’s a mixture of sand, shingle, topsoil, oyster shells and builder’s rubble! It is, in fact, quite a good cross-section of the kinds of soils which Jesus talks about in what we know as the Parable of the Sower.

Having lived here for many years, we have a pretty good idea of what will grow and what won’t, and the best places to sow particular seeds. We gave up growing root vegetables years ago because the soil is unsuitable. Fortunately, other crops flourish.

Jesus had a good knowledge of gardening and agriculture. Many of his stories are based on plants and crops, so we see references to vines, figs, cornfields, trees and so on. In fact, if you look at your Bible, you’ll notice that it begins with a garden in Genesis and ends with one in Revelation.

So back to the sower. Jesus is challenging us to make choices and to do this he uses four different kinds of growing environments. These choices reflect the attitudes towards the Christian faith which we see in our society today, so this parable is as relevant now as it was 2000 years ago.

So here they are:

Firstly, we have a reference to those who have heard the message about God’s kingdom, but give it no further thought. They see no connection with God their daily lives and dismiss a relationship with Him as meaningless. They put their trust in what they can see and hear for themselves.

Then we have those who suddenly become enthusiastic about the Christian faith, start to find out more, but then lose interest. Maybe it’s because life has dealt them a few bad experiences, which lead to blaming God, without giving Him a chance.

Next come those who have started on the Christian journey, only to find that the consumer society with all its tempting imagery is too strong to resist. They become overtaken by a lifestyle which is self-centred and where “I” and “Me” become the dominant words in their vocabulary.

And so to the final group. These are the people who have heard the Good News which Jesus brings and stick with it! This news is centred on the fact that God has come into His world to bring us back to Him in a relationship of love, forgiveness and reconciliation.

God wants you and I to live in peace and harmony with Him, no matter what we’ve done or who we are. I love the story we know as the Prodigal Son, where the Father welcomes His wayward son back home, and treats him as if nothing has happened. In the same way, God wants us to be reconciled to Him, where our past is washed away and we have a new life ahead of us.

So these are the choices open to us. Our lives are the seeds, and we decide the kind of soil we want to grow in. God is waiting for us to flourish in the knowledge that He loves each one of us and wants to welcome us into His Kingdom.

The choice is yours. Which shall it be?

Amen.