30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #142 5th February, 2023
From the Minister Salt and Light
Jim* was on kitchen duty for the after-service tea and coffee at Beatitude Place URC*. He switched on the boiler, put out the tea, coffee and biscuits, and refilled the sugar bowl. A couple of minutes after the first thirsty church-goers had been served, however, there were cries of dismay and distress. Unwittingly (or so he says), Jim had refilled the sugar bowl with salt. ‘You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world.’ (Matthew 5:13, 14), says Jesus to his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount. But that’s only true about salt and light when they are in the right place, being used for their proper purpose. Christian salt and light are welcome within a church congregation, but Jesus seems to have had the world in mind, not a religious assembly. So there’s a place for sharing Christian perspectives with others, whether in family, work, community, or other settings. Done with appropriate humility, it adds flavour to the debate, insight to the discussion. Done heavy-handedly, it can leave a bad taste, or lead to arguments that obscure rather than illuminate. We need the bravery give it a go, combined with wisdom to know when enough is enough. Trevor * individual and church names have been changed to protect identities! Image by David_Loe from Pixabay
Jesus Christ, Son of God, make yourself known through me. Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, speak through me to others. Amen.
(Episcopal Church in the USA)
Worship Services 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
6.30 p.m. Zoom Communion service
Our ‘first Sunday of the month’ Zoom service, led by Trevor Jamison, on the theme, How Do We Figure Out What God Wants? Link to take part in the service is here
Sunday 12th February
10.30 a.m. Communion Service at church, led by Trevor Jamison, continuing to explore the Sermon on the Mount – ‘Anger, Adultery, Divorce, and Swearing’
3.00 p.m. Messy Church Worship
Messy Church ‘God is Love’ – participative church for all ages – activities, worship, plus eating and drinking together
Come along, and bring your family and friends!
Bible readings for this week
Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12) Acting justly is the sort of ‘religion’ that God wants
Psalm 112:1-9 (10) Those who act justly are blessed by God
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16) Paul claims, ‘we have the mind of Christ’
Matthew 5:13-20 Being ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘light of the world’
‘ For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God.’ (1 Cor. 2:11) The Apostle Paul is writing to Christians in the Greek city, Corinth. He is pondering what he calls ‘the mystery of God’ (1), which previously he proclaimed to them in terms of ‘Jesus Christ, and him crucified.’ (2) That God should work through the suffering and death of God’s beloved Son is deeply puzzling for us, and some find it disturbing. There are various theories about what God accomplishes for the world through the death of Jesus, and it’s right that we should use our God-given intellect to seek understanding. All the same, as Paul points out, there is always going to be a limit to how much we understand. Being human enables us to comprehend human things (we have a ‘human spirit’). Only God, though, can truly comprehend how God works, and we humans depend upon God – upon a gift God’s Spirit – for greater understanding of what God has done and how we should respond.