Passover

 

There’s a lot to be said for a simple meal with friends. We love having people over and sitting around our kitchen table putting the world to rights – so many of the best ideas start from these relaxed discussions. This is one of the reasons we are suggesting we all make time to do this with one another as part of our special sabbath practice on Wednesday evenings. Our example comes from Jesus himself. This Sunday we start to look forward to Easter and we start where Jesus and his disciples started: with Passover.

10.30am – Sunday – Inspire Church – Everybody’s Welcome Here!

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Easter 2017 // Don not be afraid

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Jubilee justice!

It makes me feel rather old but I still remember vividly the sunny day in 1998 when 70,000 of us gathered in Birmingham city centre to form a human chain around the G8 Summit meeting there. We were campaigning to end third world debt and in the years that followed a huge amount was done to relieve the debt burden in countries right around the world, freeing up funds for schools and hospitals. Clearly we didn’t solve the problem of world poverty but it did show that when we pull together campaigning can change things. (This is why we are planning to take a coachload of people from Levenshulme to the big Greater Manchester Citizens Assembly on 1st May to put pressure on our prospective mayors to do something about poverty in Manchester – details to follow).

On Sunday we are going to look again at the principle of Jubilee – in some ways the ultimate sabbath – and what it might mean to practise jubilee in a world no less indebted and enslaved than all those centuries ago.

10.30am – Sunday – Inspire Church – Everybody’s Welcome Here!

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Neighbours from heaven

We are blessed with the BEST next-door neighbours. They are always ready to help out in an emergency, support a spot of DIY and they’re pretty good at baking too – loving our neighbours is a piece of cake!! But looking further up and down the street and considering my own neighbourliness makes the challenge to love our neighbours that much more tricky. As we continue with our series on sabbath, this Sunday we will explore the last 4 commandments which are less "thou shalt not" and more encouagements to be committed neighbours.

We will also spend time during the service talking about our church approach to pastoral care. How do we look out for one another? How do we support one another in times of need? As we grow, do we need to become more organised to be better at this? You may want to have a think about this in advance.

10.30am – Sunday – Inspire Church – Everybody’s Welcome Here!

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Opting out

So who’s given something up for lent? Are you craving it already? (I am). Makes you realise eh? This Sunday we’ll be thinking about cravings and coveting and our general acquisitiveness and talking about how we cope. We’ll also be sharing communion – an antidote to self-satisfaction?

10.30am – Sunday – Inspire Church – Everybody’s Welcome Here!

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Against multi-tasking

In many walks of life, the ability to juggle multiple activities at once is often highly-prized. Some lunchtimes I can sit at my desk, eat a sandwich, take a call and browse my e-mails all at the same time. This normally leaves me with indigestion, amnesia and unanswered e-mails.

And so on Sunday – as part of our celebration of all things sabbath – we remember the virtues of mono-tasking and we rebel against a world that demands more, more, more.

10.30am – Sunday – Inspire Church – Everybody’s Welcome Here!

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Finding freedom

As we come towards the end of a busy working week – and with half-term on the horizon for some – many of us are no doubt all too conscious of the trials and tribulations of hard work. But sabbath says: STOP! Remember that God liberates us from slavery – just as he liberated the Israelites from their Egyptian slave masters all those years ago. Come and discover more … and relax with friends too.

10.30am. Sunday – Inspire Centre – Everybody’s Welcome Here!

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Light work

Our motto text for our sabbath year comes from Matthew’s gospel: Come to me … and I will give you rest … my yoke is easy and my burden is light. It doesn’t always feel like that does it?

But as we saw last week, when we enjoy the gifts and skills we have been blessed with, we can find real joy in our activities.

This Sunday we’ll be thinking a little more about this: about how we find our passion and what we do with it. We’ll also be thinking about what it is to be weary and heavy laden and offering prayers of healing.

Sunday. 10.30am. Everybody’s welcome here. Heavy laden or light as a feather.

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Commandment #4

During my teens there was a big campaign to stop the shops opening on Sundays. Many helpful and unhelpful opinions were shared on both sides of the debate. But the idea of keeping Sunday special goes back millennia – in fact, right back to the fourth commandment.

Amy is leading the service and she has asked for people to come prepared to share any stories of when they have ‘put God first’. There’s no pressure to do this but you may want to have a think.

10.30am – Sunday – Inspire Church – Everybody’s Welcome Here!

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Rhythm & rest

And on the seventh day, God rested. As we kick-off our new series on practising the sabbath we will begin with our first principle: rest.

Why is rest so important? How do we rest? When do we rest? Why did God rest? How do we tune in to the rhythms of nature? How do we listen to our bodies so as not to overdo it?

10.30am – Sunday – Inspire Church – Everybody’s Welcome Here! Bring a pillow!

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