A Mixed Up Minister?
What insights does the book of Jonah have for ministers today?
Led by The Revd Tom Stuckey, a former President of the Methodist Church.
Upper Thames Bible Teaching Day 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 10:00 to 16:00
Our 2014 Bible Teaching day will be led by Rev David Hull. David is a Methodist Minister and is currently Head of Boarding and Housemaster of the famous Kings College School Cambridge. David has partuicular responsibility for the Kings College Choristers – think ”9 Lessons and Carols” on Christmas Eve ! David is also Chairman of MET – Methodist Evangelicals Together – the largest independent organisation within UK Methodism. He is much in demand as a Preacher and Teacher.
Theme : Rediscovering our First Love: Seeking a Greater Vision through the book of Revelation
Written to Christians facing severe persecution for their faith, the book of Revelation describes in vivid detail a vision the apostle, John received whilst he was exiled on the island of Patmos. Surrounded daily by the mountains and the mines, he saw a far greater reality. The book, with its central message, ‘Our God reigns’, provides Christians of all ages with a greater vision of the Lord. As humans grow older, things around them often seem smaller. The opposite should be true of the Christian’s view of God. C.S. Lewis captures it beautifully in ‘Prince Caspian’: ” ‘Aslan,’ said Lucy, ‘you’re bigger’. ‘That is because you are older, little one,’ answered he. ‘Not because you are?’ … ‘I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger’.”
Session 1: A Greater Vision of Jesus (Rev. 1:9 – 2:7)
John was exiled on the island of Patmos, suffering for his faith. Countless Christians, split into small groups, were persecuted for their faith. What was their greatest need? The answer is found in the opening chapter of the book of Revelation: they needed a greater vision of Jesus and that is exactly what they were given. After explaining the vision of Jesus in breathtaking detail, John then records the first letter Jesus commanded to be sent to a church: the Church in Ephesus. It is a letter that calls all Christians everywhere to return to Jesus and fall in love with him all over again.
Session 2: A Greater Vision of the Church (Rev. 3:7 – 22)
Having caught a glimpse of Jesus as he really is, we are then given a glimpse of the Church as she really is, seeing ourselves as Jesus sees us. In each of these letters, Jesus congratulates the churches for the things that are going well, criticises them for the things that have gone wrong and challenges them to put right that which is wrong, encouraging them to ‘keep on keeping on’ as they follow him in this world. Though they contain ancient words, the letters are a great challenge in the modern world, revealing Jesus’ vision for the Church today.
Session 3: A Greater Vision of the Throne (Rev. 4 & 5)
As we turn to Revelation 4 & 5, we are given a glimpse into the very throne room of heaven where great encouragement is found for those living in dark and difficult days. John sees very clearly that there is a throne higher than any throne on earth and it is occupied by the Lord God Almighty. This is a scene filled with symbols of power and grace; a sight which turns silence and weeping into singing.
Session 4: A Greater Vision of Eternity (Rev. 21 & 22)
Finally, we turn to the grand finale of the whole Bible: the final words of the final book. They are words of great transformation as creation reaches its final fulfilment and a new heaven and a new earth appear: the garden becomes a city; the curse becomes a blessing and the One who departed becomes the One who returns. That leaves us with a question: as we think about these great transformations, will we allow the One who brings them about to transform our lives too?
Highworth Methodist Church