WELCOME!

April 16, 2019

Welcome to the website of the churches of
St Michael’s and St Barnabas, Devonport.

We meet for worship every Sunday,
10.30am at St Michael’s.

For details of our social activities and all other meetings, see the side bar … together with links to our Facebook pages and all sorts of online resources.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

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Easter Sunrise service

April 21, 2019

Early in the morning, on the first day of the week … Christians from across Stoke and Devonport gathered to greet the sunrise and celebrate that Christ has risen …

 

He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!


Holy Week – Sunday

April 21, 2019

Resurrection Sunday

(For a full account of the events of this day, see Matthew 28:1–20Mark 16:1–8Luke 24:1–53,John 20:1–21:25.)

Early Sunday morning, some of Jesus’s friends set out for his grave to anoint the body of their friend and teacher. When they arrive, however, they are greeted by what one Gospel writer calls “a man dressed in lightning.” He tells them Jesus is not there, as he said. He is risen.

In the week leading up to his death, the Good Shepherd went out to meet the wolves of judgment, sin, and death—and he did so with all authority. One might wonder, what good has it ever done anyone to die for some cause? This is the glorious beauty of the gospel. Jesus didn’t die as a martyr for a cause. He was never in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was never at the mercy of anyone. He lived, died, and was buried because he meant to be.

No one took his life from him. He laid it down. For whom? For his flock, his people.

And he laid it down only to take it up again (John 10:18). The point of the cross was not just to die, but to die and rise again, defeating the prowling wolves of sin and death themselves.

Easter says of Jesus, “He meant it! He meant to lay down his life for you. And as surely as he has taken it up again, he knows you and loves you.”

Extract from Gospel Coalition US
‘Easter Week in real time’


Holy Week – Saturday

April 20, 2019

Saturday—The Forgotten Day     

(For a full account of the events of this day as found in the Gospels, see Matthew 27:62–66.)

Less is written about the Saturday following Jesus’s crucifixion than any other in the scope of this week. Yet what makes it unique is that this is the only full day in history where the body of Christ lies buried in a cave.

Yesterday, he was crucified. Tomorrow, he rises from the grave. But what about today? Though we may not make much of this day, when we look at the few verses the Gospels give us about it, we find it was by no means forgotten by the chief priests who had handed Jesus over to death. During his earthly ministry, Jesus repeatedly said he would die in Jerusalem at the hands of the chief priests, yet on the third day rise again (e.g., Matt. 12:40; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34).

Of course, the chief priests scoffed. But they didn’t forget it. On the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Jesus’s prediction preoccupies their thoughts such that they simply can’t leave it alone. Matthew 27:62–66 tells the strange story of how they can’t dismiss out of hand the possibility that Jesus might know something they don’t.

Extract from Gospel Coalition US
‘Easter Week in real time’


Easter

April 20, 2019


Holy Week – Friday

April 19, 2019

Good Friday

(For a full account of the events of this day, see Matthew 27:1–61Mark 15:1–47Luke 23:1–56,John 18:28–19:42.)

On Thursday night in Gethsemane, Jesus was arrested—betrayed by one of his disciples and abandoned by the others. The chief priests and the Sanhedrin called for secret trials in the dead of night, and the verdict handed down was that Jesus would be crucified. This is something the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate, has to execute. And reluctantly, he does.

After a severe beating, Jesus is nailed to a cross where he remains for six hours until dead. Never before or since has more been lost and gained at the same time. The world gained the atoning sacrifice of Christ. But for those present, either the significance of the moment is lost on them or their hearts break as the One they thought to be the Savior of the world dies at the hands of Rome. They can’t stop it, and they don’t realize it’s for them. They hoped in him, and though he’d told them he would suffer many things and rise three days later (Mark 8:31), how could they have possibly known this was what he meant?

Extract from Gospel Coalition US
‘Easter Week in real time’


Holy Week – Thursday

April 18, 2019

Thursday

(For a full account of the events of this day, see Matthew 26:17–75Mark 14:12–72Luke 22:7–71John 13:1–18:27.)

The Thursday prior to Jesus’s crucifixion fills many pages in Scripture. It begins with John and Peter securing the upper room. There, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet, explaining he is there to make them clean.

As they begin to eat, Jesus announces one of them is about to betray him. Each wonders if he means them. Then he dispatches Judas to do what he intends.

During this last supper, Jesus sets apart the Passover bread and cup and reassigns—or better, perfects—their meaning. The bread is his body. The cup, his blood. This meal will no longer remind them of God’s deliverance primarily from the external tyranny of Pharaoh, but from the internal tyranny of their own guilt and sin against God.

Jesus prays for his friends and those who will come to know him through them—that his Father would make them one (John 17). Then Jesus and his friends leave for the Mount of Olives to pray (Mark 14:33). But he isn’t there only to pray. He is also there to wait. Soon a line of torches snake their way toward him in the darkness. This is what he has been waiting for.

Extract from Gospel Coalition US
‘Easter Week in real time’


Holy Week – Wednesday

April 17, 2019

Wednesday

(For a full account of the events of this day, see Matthew 26:6–16Mark 14:3–11Luke 22:3–6.)

The past several days have been a rush of tension and anger for Jesus’s opponents—and of unflinching resolve for Jesus. Words have been his currency, and he’s spent piles of them. But on the Wednesday before his death, Jesus is still.

He is in the home of Simon the Leper, a man known by what’s wrong with him. During their meal together, Mary of Bethany—Lazarus’s sister (John 12:3)—comes to Jesus with an alabaster flask of perfume. She’s been saving this perfume, worth a year’s wages, for this exact occasion (John 12:7). She begins pouring it on Jesus’s head and feet, which requires breaking open its container (Mark 14:3). Like popping the cork on a $20,000 bottle of champagne, this was a deliberate act. She is offering Jesus everything she has. By giving her most valuable possession to him, she is expressing her knowledge that what he’s about to give of himself is for her.

What Mary does is beautiful, and Jesus wants everyone to know it. She is preparing him for burial. There is honor and kindness in her gesture. Jesus returns the honor by saying history will never forget her act of beauty. And we haven’t.

Extract from Gospel Coalition US
‘Easter Week in real time’