⛪ Share Your Church Service!

Every week, share as much or as little of your service with one another! It’s a great way to share your church with other people, or get some sort of church service if you don’t have one of your own!

This week my church was talking about the Methodist movement of John Wesley, and how he used to be an Anglican priest and professor at Oxford. He saw problems with how a lot of Christian thought seemed stagnant, and sought “revivals,” where Christians can emphasize passion and learning, using your mind and your heart alike to renew their faith and take it further. Reason and faith are important parts of Christianity.

The pastor also emphasized the need for a Christian revival even today by sharing a story of a woman who was shunned from a Christian camp and asked to not return unless she broke up with her girlfriend. She later ended up leaving Christianity because she kept being told she wasn’t welcome, so she believed it. Experiences like this are pretty common nowadays, judging by polls I’ve seen, and we, as a church, need to really wrestle with this issue.

Also, the pastor emphasized that we shouldn’t have a “spiritual life” and a “normal life,” but rather, that everything is spiritual. Faith should pervade everything we do! John Wesley challenged his congregation to take Christ’s love even further, asking them to love their enemies, even “enemies of God,” as much as their own souls. It’s a tough task, and Oxford wasn’t a big fan of such “critical” sermons, even if they were, at their core, an invitation to grow even stronger in their faith.

Kinda meandering, but all interesting and important stuff, I thought!

I listened to a broadcast from one of our church leaders who talked about a few things we’ve learned from the pandemic. One of them that really stood out to me was that we should strive to make our homes places of holiness, refuges from the world, and centers for learning about Christ. Someday we’ll be back to meeting regularly with our congregations in our regular church buildings, but even then we should remember the importance of making our homes a place where we can feel the Spirit of God.

Today was Good Shepherd Sunday, and the gospel was John 10:11-18, where Jesus talks about how he is the Good Shepherd. The priest then preached about how this was a very relevant analogy in Jesus’ time, but over time, as society became less agriculturally centered, the idea of a Shepherd has been romanticized by things like paintings of a shepherd boy sitting on a green hillside under a blue sky watching his flock grazing. Raising sheep turns out to be a very difficult business, and it especially was in Jesus’ time. A truly “Good Shepherd” was hard to come by, and was worth his weight in gold. A shepherd has to stay out with his sheep in rain or shine and always has to be on the lookout for predators and poachers. Sheep are also not the most attentive, and can easily get themselves into danger. A Good Shepherd also knows every single one of his sheep, and can tell them apart from each other. With all the time shepherds spend with their sheep, they form a strong bond with them, and will care for them no matter what, not because of duty, but because they truly have a connection with their sheep. A Good Shepherd has no preferences for his sheep, he will take care of every one of them, from his most well-behaved to the one sheep who always runs away when you look away. And that’s why we call Jesus the Good Shepherd. He truly cares about us, his flock, so much that he was willing to give his live for our salvation.

This week we continued the sermons on John Wesley and the origin of the Methodist Church!

He was so dedicated to God, that he created a rigorous regimen, following almost robotically in his devotion. He did a lot of good with it, but still, it became needlessly taxing. Such as hosting 5:00 AM prayer services every day of the week and refusing communion on Sunday to anyone who didn’t go every day. This was a point where this “methodism” wasn’t serving faith, but impeding it. It was pushing him from others, not toward God.

And then when his “let’s be single together” not-girlfriend ended up getting engaged to someone else, he got so mad he ended up in jail. So… he eventually escapes back to England, a bit of a failure. But as he returns there, he starts to realize the ways he’s been going about things, however, well-meaning, have been pushing people away from him, his church, and ultimately from God.

Also, a random (probably paraphrased) quote from the service I appreciated:

“God does not hurt us or bring us pain. God brings healing through us so a hurting world can know grace and peace.”

This week was Mother’s Day and Senior Sunday at my church! :open_mouth:

The sermon was about how part of grace is not just forgiveness, but also perseverance, the drive to always move forward and bring change. God never gives up on us, and we should never give up on us either!

But most of the service was high school seniors talking about their great experiences with our church, youth group, work trips, and stuff like that!