Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fanciful readings of Psalm 1

Given that Jesus is the supremely Blessed and only perfectly Righteous One, we may see him as the tree described Psalm 1.

He is the fruitful vine of John 15.

Jesus was hung on a tree (Gal 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24). His death would bring life.

Streams of living water flow from him (John 4; 7:38; 19:34).

Does the tree of Psalm 1 recall the Tree of Life from Genesis 1? Remember that a river watering the garden flowed from Eden. (Genesis 2:9-14)

May we see the Tree of Life and this tree as a type of Christ?

Revelation 22:2 seems to echo the Psalm.

Jottings for a Harvest All Age Talk or two

which could be used at Easter, too

(using some bowls of different varieties of seeds and the fruit or veg they grow into)

John 12:20-36 and 1 Cor 15:20-23, 35-44a

Some seeds, some of the things they grow into – come and have a look!
Amazing really
People plant, water, feed, take care of the crops
God gives the growth
Science can explain what’s going on but a wonderful miracle
A fantastic world God has made
Thank you to God

Listen out for what Jesus says about seeds:

John 12:20-36 (p1080)

Jesus is talking about the death he’s about to die.

V24: Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
Death and resurrection
Life through death

Jesus’ death and resurrection bring us spiritual life, eternal life

* * *

Listen out for seeds & harvest

1 Cor 15:20-23, 35-44a (p1156)

V20 – Jesus’ resurrection the firstfruits of the resurrection
Like the first bluebell of Spring – soon the wood will be full of them – huge carpet of blue
Tells us that the resurrection is going to happen; Jesus’ resurrection guarantees our resurrection

V36b – “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies”
The same thing we were just thinking of from John’s gospel:
Life through death, death then resurrection

V37 - Paul says that we plant the seed, not what will grow from it – different from each other
V38 - And God gives each kind of seed its own different fruit or vegetable “body”
God’s great power changes these into that (seed into fruit or veg)!

Game / challenge – match the seeds to what it grows into

What is planted is very different from what’s harvested
Our resurrection bodies will be different from our bodies now
V42 - “The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;
43 it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory;
it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”

A wonderful transformation!
Spiritual resurrection bodies.
Gloriously changed, renewed, upgraded

2 things we can learn from seed and their fruit:
(1)    Life through death (2) A wonderful resurrection transformation

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Some possible Harvest Bible Readings / Preaching Texts

Genesis 1  esp vv11-13, 20-25, 29-31 – Creation

Psalm 1 esp vv3-4: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.”

Psalm 65

Psalm 67:6; 85:12   - the land will yield its harvest

Psalm 104

Matthew 6:25-34 – Do not worry – the birds of the air and the lilies of the field

Matthew 7:15-23 – Good and bad trees / fruit

Matthew 9:35-38 – Workers for the harvest field

Matthew 13 – The parables of the Sower, the weeds, the mustard seed

Matthew 21 – The parable of the tenants in the Vineyard – v34, v41, v43

Mark 4:26-29 - The parable of the growing seed

John 4:35-38 – “Do you not say,`Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying`One sows and another reaps' is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour."

John 12:23-25 – “Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

Acts 14:8-18 – v15, v17: “Yet he [God] has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."

John 15 – Jesus the True Vine

1 Cor 3:5-9 – “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labour. For we are God's fellow-workers; you are God's field, God's building.”

2 Cor 9:6, 10 – “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously…. Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.”

1 Cor 15:35-44a – “But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?" How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendour of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendour of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendour, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendour. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;”

Galatians 5:22f - The fruit of the Spirit

1 Peter 1:23-25 – “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands for ever." And this is the word that was preached to you.”

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Spotting repeated words in Ephesians

1v19 – God’s incomparably great power
2v7 – God’s incomparably rich grace

Walk not in the ways of this world etc. (2v2) but in the ways God has prepared for us to walk in (2v10).