30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #141 29th January, 2023
From the Minister Jesus and People Like Us?
There’s a long tradition of artistic representations of Jesus which portray him and his followers as ‘people like us’, whoever ‘us’ may be. Laura James, an African American woman, paints a dark-skinned Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount to a dark-skinned crowd. She does so in a style inspired by Ethiopian religious icons (there have been Ethiopian Christians for a lot longer than there have been Christians in North Shields). Károly Ferenczy (1862-1917), a Hungarian artist, who painted in Austria and Germany, filled the same scene with a light-skinned Jesus preaching to a light-skinned crowd, all dressed appropriately for late nineteenth century Europe (see below). Neither painting is historically accurate, since neither Jesus, nor those who heard his teaching, were African, American or European. Yet both illustrate a truth. Whoever you are, whatever you are, in Jesus Christ, God has come to you, loves you, and is reconciled with you. (And don’t forget, that’s equally the case for everyone else.)
10.30 a.m. at church ‘Blessed are …’ A service led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison, on the Sermon on the Mount and being a disciple of Jesus in today’s world
6.30 p.m. at church Our ‘last Sunday of the month’ evening service, on this occasion led by the Revd John Paul
Sunday 5th February
10.30 a.m. at church A service led by members of the congregation, continuing to explore the Sermon on the Mount. This week’s theme: Salt and Light
Livestreamed Worship from Saint Columba’s
Each Sunday morning we livestream our services from Saint Columba’s. To watch the service live, catch up with it later in the week, or view previous services, Click Here
Bible readings for this weekBaptism of Jesus
Micah 6:1-8 God, more concerned with justice, kindness and humility, than worship
Psalm 15 Don’t mistreat the poor then expect to turn up at worship
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 We proclaim what others find foolish – Christ crucified
Matthew 5:1-12 ‘Blessed are …’ You can read the Bible passages online at https://www.biblegateway.com/
Reflection on the Readings Up on the hill
Mountains and hills have special significance in the Bible. The great leader of the Jewish people, Moses (who gets referenced in Micah 6:4) was pictured going up the hill to meet with God. Likewise, the Jerusalem temple was on God’s ‘holy hill.’ (Psalm 15:1) And when the Gospel writer, Matthew, wanted to present Jesus’s teaching, he did so in the form of the Sermon on the Mount(ain): ‘when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain.’ (5:1) Also, at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is on a mountain when gives his disciples the ‘Great Commission’ to make disciples of all nations. Maybe when we’re up high we feel symbolically closer to God, to heaven. Perhaps the effort expended in getting there prepares us for a significant moment; makes us more receptive to hearing from God.
‘Fruit of the Spirit: Art From the Heart’ – a virtual exhibition
‘Fruits of the Spirit: Art from the Heart’, is a pioneering virtual exhibition from the Art and Religion research strand at the National Gallery. Follow the link to enter the gallery and view a diverse set of paintings, chosen to respond to words from the Apostle Paul’s: ‘the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.’ (Galatians 5:22, 23)
Church Action on Poverty Event in North Shields – February 19th 2023
You are invited to a Church Action on Poverty meeting on addressing child poverty. It is due to take place at St Cuthbert’s Roman catholic Church, North Shields, on Sunday 19th February at 3.00 p.m. Speakers include Sir Alan Campbell MP, Representatives from the Gateshead Poverty Truth Commission, Bay Food Bank, St John’s Baby Bank, and others. For further information, contact Fr. Chris Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Update – Sunday 5th February
Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in both the online and printed editions, please have it with him by Tuesday 31st January.
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.