Wesley Week 2020: May 25th to 31st
God sent His son they called Him Jesus
He came to love heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives
How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he brings
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain days because He lives
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives
And then one day I’ll cross that river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then as death gives way to vict’ry
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives
Message for the children, with Mrs Julie Caddick:
If we have not already heard from our President then we will be waiting today what is the next step which is planned about the lock down conditions in this country. I wonder what you have been hoping for during these last six weeks whilst we have been made to stay home and not go about our normal activities. Do you hope you will be able to go outside your yard to play with your friends, participate in sporting activities, be able to go to church and perhaps back to school? Perhaps you never want to hear the words “lock down, Corona Virus” or “Covid 19” again. What do you understand by the word “hope”? Talk with your family about this and each say what they are hoping for.
Hope in the way we use the word every day, is not something we can touch or feel. It is what we call an abstract noun. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. We all have different hopes but the one hope we have as Christians is the hope in Jesus Christ and what He has done and will do. Christian hope is not abstract – it is not a feeling – it is something concrete and this is what we will be looking at in the following sermon.
Message for the Youth, with Rev Nobuhle Sibanda
THEME: OBSTACLES SHOULD NOT DETER FAITH
-1992 Barcelona Olympics Derek Redmond, unforgettable story of Great Britain’s 400m runner, and wanted a medal whatever the colour. He started well, qualifying for the semi-finals by clocking the fastest time in this heat. The gun signalled the start of the semi-finals. Redmond charged out of the block, making good speed, over his 250m, as he was barely 20sec in the track he felt pain in his hamstring this is the one time British 400m record holder, all of a sudden he is in pain, he tries to be strong like a man, an athlete but the pain grew the better of him, and he was on his knees, crippled and his Olympic dream was over for him. What followed is one of the memorable moments in the Olympic history, he got back limping and tried to finish but could not run, imagine a man in tears in the track with more than a thousand spectators watching him, those who were behind him, ran away from him in the field. As against adversity, Redmond could only hop on one leg towards the finish line. Pain etched on his face as each step became more painful than the last crying in desperation he was joined by his father, who manoeuvred his way past the securities who tried to stop him but for the sake of his son could not hold back. Hugged his father, walked together, towards finishing line his father let him to finish on his own and that moment the 65 000 spectators were on their feet in a standing ovation. Few can remember the guy who won, but many remember Derek for not giving up.
SUBTHEME 1-IN THE JOURNEY OF FAITH WE ARE NOT SPARED FROM OBSTACLES-Beloved friends, when we are in the track we are not spared off from obstacles. In the race of life obstacles are bound to come up.In the text we read the obstacle that was there was of being paralysed, it is an obstacle as it limits one freedom to live a ‘normal’ life like others and not be depended on others.-Second obstacle was that the person who perceived to be able to help him, was surrounded by a throng of people but despite all that, he manages to overcome all that through the faith of his friends.-the obstacle that was there in the story l shared with you was Redmond’s injury that he incurred.-just like us in life, when we are near the finishing line obstacles arise, they may come in form of sickness, death of a loved one or sponsor of education but the texts reminds us that friends carry each other’s burdens.
SUB-THEME 2- FRIEND’S CARRY EACH OTHER’S BURDENS-One thing about friends they come in all sizes and shapes, casual, close, loyal, disloyal, friends at work, social buddies, you name them. We are miserable creatures when we are disconnected from relationships.-we need friends to keep us on track, to get where we need to be. There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother-they care about your life and family welfare much like the paralytics friend, the word friend is a strong word it means ‘the one who loves’-these types of friends will not rejoice when we are suffering, they do not rejoice when we are troubled, they do not rejoice when it is not well with our souls. They will move heaven and earth to try and help us and the paralytic has such friends who are faithful and loving.-these friends are loving enough to tell their friend that Jesus was in town and they had faith that Jesus would heal the man. The faith of the four friends was able to raise the faith of the paralytic to an extent that he did not refuse to enter the room through the roof. Some may argue to say this was out of desperation, but desperation without faith yields no results, so it was because of faith-Friends, l do not know the company of friends we have, do we have the type of friends who will look at our situation, the mats we are sitting on and carry our burdens, and take us to where help is found. It might be issues of health and families we need the type of friends who will carry us to where help is.
SUBTHEME 3- FAITHFUL FRIENDS TAKE ACTION-Sometimes in life our situation seems hopeless and these times we are paralysed by fear. This could have been the case for the paralytic but not for his friends. They knew that unless they picked him up and carried him, he would never meet Jesus and be healed.-by faith his friends fought the distance, dirty in travelling, heat if it was summer, sweat, crowd. When they got there, they even had to fight the crowds because they still were not close enough.-friends people of action do not give up easily, they continue to come up with means and ways of surviving in difficult times.-people of action will always make a way where there’s no way.
IN CONCLUSION l encourage us to be the type of friends that carry each other’s burdens, the burdens of our families, burdens of neighbours, burdens of our colleagues and those that God has put in our paths.-we might not be spared of the obstacles we face in our day to day lives but it is through faith that we come out of the crowded room walking yet we came laying on our mats.
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT. AMEN.REV. N. SIBANDA
Thanks to Rev Nobuhle Sibanda for sending the message below for our children!
Morning, below is an Easter message to read for our children at home. By Keisha Gutu..
Easter is a Holy day, honouring the most important event in Christianity. The Scripture tells us that Jesus was put to death and was buried. We celebrate Easter because we have been rescued from sin and death and brought into the family of God. On a personal level, Easter also means celebrating our lives in Christ as written in Galatians 2vs20. World wide Easter has become a highly secularised holiday. There is no focus on Jesus or anything much to do with the Christian Faith. Dressing up, candy and bunnies have taken the centre stage. This year, many of us will be celebrating Easter at home with only our immediate family. It’s a good time to reflect on the powerful and beautiful message of redemption and, hope we have in Christ. There is nothing wrong with celebrating with eggs, but remember what Easter is really about. Bunnies and eggs come and go, but the Spiritual meaning of Easter is a delight that will last forever.
Yours in Christ
*SUMMARY OF 7 SAYINGS OF JESUS ON THE CROSS BY PREACHERS*
As we await resurrection Service tomorrow from Revd N. Sibanda, for today, here is what God has for us.
Saying 1- The preacher posed a question to all of us, Do we forgive those who wrong us in our walk of life? She emphasized that we are all invited to follow Jesus example of forgiving our enemies. “Forgive them for they do not know…” Luke 23:34.
Saying 2- The preacher said, paradise is real and it is a state of happiness which Christ came to find for us. She said the grace that was there for a hardened criminal is there for you and me. “l say to you today l will be with you in paradise.” Luke 23:43
Saying 3- Physically weak, yet he carried the cross to Golgotha. Trials, flogging, humiliation and been hungry for 6 hrs on the cross without food and water. She said even if the heart grows weary we have to praise Him the more. He will not leave or forsake us as he had not forsaken Christ, he will be with us also. “Eloi Eloi…” Mark 15:34/Psalm 22:1
Saying 4- The preacher began by saying, the journey begins with the birth of the insignificant child in a manger. He said here the mission begins culminating on the Cross. We must have complete faith in Christ even at the point of Death. “Into your hands l commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46
Saying 5. Jesus came to usher new dispensation whose highlight was revealed in the way of the Cross. The preacher also said, lip service and pretense have no place there, embrace new relatives with arms that are full open yet laden with genuine and lasting love. We are called on to examine ourselves in view of the new life ahead of us, we now fall into a new regime. ‘ “Behold thy mother . . behold thy son.” John 19:25-27
Saying 6- He felt the agony of the cross for you and me, said the preacher. In order to redeem man he had to become man, therefore take this sacrifice not simple, because it was made for you and me. “l thirst.” John 19:28
Saying 7 – The preacher said the whole sacrifice has been paid, the whole price has been paid also, the war has been won for us by Christ. The mission he had been sent to do he completed it. “It is finished.” – “Tetelestai” John 19:30
May the God of peace grant you grace and mercy during these trying times, as we rest waiting for the resurrection. Amen!!
Songs for Good Friday, April 10th 2020, prepared by the Hillside Methodist Church Worship Team:
Jesus keep me near the cross.
When I survey the wondrous cross.
Here is love vast as the ocean.
How deep the Father’s love for us.
In Christ alone.
[Click or tap on each of the above to go to a YouTube performance of the song – in a new tab.]
The Seven Words from the Cross. Here is the seventh, presented by Rev Bekithemba Phiri. John 19 v30 It is finished. Each of the seven words from the cross have now been posted here throughout today, Good Friday, April 10th 2020. If you have not already done so, scroll down this page to start with the first, second, and so on, finishing here
What is Finished?
• This statement is one of the quoted by sections of Christians when they come across catastrophes in life.
• Did Jesus mean that all life’s catastrophes are gone? If so, why is evil still existing in the world and highly increasing since the day he left the world?
• It is finished (Greek-Tetelestai) traditionally is the word of triumph, it referred not only to the end of Jesus ministry on earth, but more importantly the fulfilment and completion of the work he came to do.
• This phrase was not constructed by Jesus per-se, but was in common use in various circles of life during the ancient world.
1. It is Finished- Sacrifice successfully paid
✓ was uttered commonly by the shepherds and the priests, it was common in their day today activities, the shepherds would help the priests to scrutinize and select a lamb without blame for sacrifice after which they would say “tetelestai” when sacrifice done. Jesus had come as a sacrificial lamb therefore on the cross sacrifice had been successfully paid.
2. It is Finished- The price is all paid in full
✓ It was common at the market place (in Biblical Land). Whenever merchants were doing their trading deals and payments are wholly made, they would say “tetelestai” thus Jesus had come and on the cross the price had been fully paid for us
3. It is Finished- War victoriously won
✓ the word was also common in the military circles, whenever soldiers would go out for war, and when they come back victoriously they would say “tetelestai”-; It is finished. When Jesus made this shout on the cross he was conscious of his death as victory won over Satan and his principalities, sin and all its consequences.
✓ Thus at the end of the age when we are all gathered before Christ, we shall truly confess, it is finished.
Have a blessed Easter.
Revd B. Phiri
The Seven Words from the Cross. Here is the sixth, presented by Mrs Angela Penduka. John 19 v28 I thirst. Each of the seven words from the cross will be posted here throughout today, Good Friday, April 10th 2020.
The Seven Words from the Cross. Here is the fifth, presented by Mr Ivan Chigwada. John 19 v26 Behold thy mother. Each of the seven words from the cross will be posted here throughout today, Good Friday, April 10th 2020.
The Seven Words from the Cross. Here is the fourth, presented by Dr Themba Hwalima. Luke 23 v46 Father, into your hands . . . Each of the seven words from the cross will be posted here throughout today, Good Friday, April 10th 2020.
The Seven Words from the Cross. Here is the third, presented by Mrs Nyamambi. Mark 15 v34 Eloi, Eloi . . . Each of the seven words from the cross will be posted here throughout today, Good Friday, April 10th 2020.
The Seven Words from the Cross. Here is the second, presented by Mrs Mapuna. Luke 23 v43: I will be with you in paradise. Each of the seven words from the cross will be posted here throughout today, Good Friday, April 10th 2020.
The Seven Words from the Cross. Here is the first, presented by Mrs Tokozile Makuyana. Luke 23 v34: Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. Each of the seven words from the cross will be posted here throughout today, Good Friday, April 10th 2020.
Good day brothers and sisters. I acknowledge the privilege given to me to share one of the seven sayings Jesus spoke as he was in agony on the old rugged cross at Calvary. It is indeed a Good Friday with a difference as we listen, read and reflect on the death of Jesus Christ at a time like this when the world is locked down with a serious pandemic.
Jesus’ first words on the cross: “FATHER forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Jesus here has given us the supreme example of how we should forgive our enemies. He fulfills his teaching about loving one’s enemies In Luke 6:35 I quote “But love your enemies, do good to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the MOST HIGH, because he Is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” He highlights the fact that his death was providing the very basis upon which those who crucified him could be forgiven. Jesus also provides an example for all believers you and me who would follow him. “they know not what they are doing”, this does not absolve either the Jews or the Romans of their responsibility in Jesus’ death. They rejected the righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. It only shows that they did not fully understand the horrible evil they were doing in crucifying Jesus Christ the true Messiah and Son of God. GOD answered that prayer by opening up the way of salvation for all humanity. Suffering on the cross, the most horrible painful death by sinful people, he looked at the people responsible for him suffering, he prayed for their forgiveness. Amazing! Do we forgive those people who truly wrong us in our walk of life? As we commit what we think are little sins, we are taking part in putting Jesus to death.
As I conclude, the good news out of Jesus Christ’s death is that GOD is gracious to us he will forgive and make us new creatures through his son Jesus Christ. At the cross we are confronted with the fact that each of us is a sinner In need of God’s forgiveness. There was no other way to pay the price of sin. Only Jesus Christ could unlock the door of heaven and let us in. Sing as you reflect: Hymn 182 (M.H.B) when I survey the wondrous cross, Ndebele: 66 Nxa ngibon’ isiphambano. Be blessed in the name of Jesus Christ our saviour. Amen. Tokozile Makuyana (Mrs)
A message for Holy Week from Matthew 26:14-16 with Mrs Julie Caddick, Wednesday April 8th 2020:
A Time of Tension
Greetings sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus. I bring you a brief message today as we approach the days when we remember the most significant and central occasion of our Christian faith – the death and resurrection of Jesus. Today’s message is concerns one of the steps Judas took in his ultimate betrayal of Jesus found in Matthew 26:14-16.
Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
I have entitled this message “a time of tension”. One cannot take these 3 verses out of the context of what was happening in Jerusalem at the time and I would like to focus on three events or people which would have led to the tension and the act described in these verses. What do I mean by tension? It means the state of being stretched tight or being under mental or emotional strain.
Vs 1 -2 this is the final time that Jesus to His disciples that He will be betrayed to be crucified. In the Greek betrayed means to ‘be handed over’ to ‘be delivered up’. This statement delivered days after the triumphant entry I believe would have introduced a tension amongst the disciples causing them to ask such questions as ‘Who will hand Jesus over and to whom – the Romans, the high priests?’ Who was to be trusted? Who could hate Jesus so much that He would be betrayed? Surely not to death?
Vs 3-5 But a further tension is seen and felt in an entirely different group and that is in the assembly of the chief priests, scribes and elders of the people in Caiaphas’ house. The decision to take Jesus quietly and kill Him has been made. Where they have to be careful is how it is done and done in such a way that the people would not be disturbed – there would be no uproar. They didn’t want it to be during the feast when Jerusalem was packed and many people from Galillee would be there. They needed to be rid of Jesus – but indecision as to how and when and mindful of tensions which could arise if they made a slip up.
Vs 6 – 11. The tensions here are the ways in which the pouring of Mary’s perfume on Jesus’ feet in the house of Simon was construed by Jesus and the disciples. A fragrant offering, an anointing for burial or an extravagant waste of money.
So in this brief narrative we have laid out for us emotional and mental strain: not understanding what is about to happen, misinterpretation of actions, indecision as to the correct course and timing of an action, uncertainty about the future, perhaps fear – questions we cannot answer because they are never asked in scripture. ‘did the disciples believe Jesus was going to die even though He’d told them numerous times He would? Why was it Judas who betrayed Him? Why did Judas betray Him?’
Amid these tensions Judas does three things:
Goes to the chief priests
Asks what he will be given to betray Jesus to them
Watches for an opportunity to do so.
And in these three acts the tension mounts and we are familiar with what happens next.
I believe it is important for us to remember that Judas’ acts in these verses did not happen on the spur of the moment but were the culmination of growing tensions within the group of disciples and with the religious authorities.
It is hard to imagine this time and what the tensions produced, but we are living right now in a world-wide time of tension which has invaded each and every home to one degree or another. Tensions of when will we be allowed to mingle freely again, pursue our businesses, worship together, will food be available and at what price, will we be able to meet our commitments even to our own family, will I ever see person x again. What decisions do we make within the context of our tension – filled lives. These tensions do I believe call to question how we understand God’s character, what we know of Him, what Jesus was born for, our ability or inability to trust Him to do and be what He says. Judas’ actions in these verses reveal to us our own frailty, humanity, our own sinfulness in pursuing our agenda and ultimately thinking that we can change God’s plan for the world.
Now unto Him who is able to keep us from falling be glory and majesty, dominion and power both now and forever. Amen
A message for Holy Week from Mark 14:3-9 with Mr Mishack Mugiyo, Tuesday April 7th 2020:
Jesus anointed at Bethany -Selfless and sacrificial worship
The anointing of Jesus takes place in Bethany which is about 3.2 kilometres from Jerusalem. In the evening Jesus goes to a dinner party hosted by Simon the leper. Christ goes to have fellowship with the guests there, some have been invited and some come on their own accord.
A woman whose name is not mentioned in the book of Mark joins the dinner party uninvited. We learn from the book of John (John 12 :3) that her name was Mary. She takes an alabaster jar containing expensive perfume and breaks the container and uses all the precious perfume to anoint the head and feet of Jesus.
In Mark we are not told whether Simon had extended the customary hospitality that was given to visitors. The roads back then were only dust tracks and shoes at the time were merely soles held in place by straps across the foot. Whenever a guest arrived at a home water was poured over the guest’s feet to cleanse and soothe their feet. Mary perhaps does not look and does not bother to see if Jesus’s feet have been washed and she goes on to pour perfume on the head and feet of Jesus.
Alabaster was a white stone which was semi transparent and an import from Egypt. The perfume that was used was called nard and was an Indian import. Combined the alabaster and the nard were very costly but Mary did not consider that but she broke the seal and poured it on Jesus’s head and feet.
As she was pouring the perfume on Jesus’s feet many people present said it was a waste. The disciples were there, the Pharisees were there and perhaps also present were some of the people that the ministry of Jesus had positively touched. They were all telling Mary that that it was a waste and that had been the perfume sold the money would have been used for better purposes. If you and l had been present l wonder what our reaction would have been like.
Mary performed this act as a sign of worship. Do you know that they are some people who think our worship is a waste and worse still foolishness? For one who knows Christ worshipping can never be a waste and worse still foolishness. Mary was never bothered if it was a waste to somebody but she continued pouring the perfume, continued worshipping.
Jesus accepted Mary’s worship. The sacrifice Mary did this day teaches us about true worship. Worship must be sacrificial and selfless.
Mary does not hold back anything. It was all that she had. It was one year’s hard-earned wages. They was no reluctance on the part of Mary to give it to Jesus. It was also a selfless act of worship. For Mary it was worship but for others it was a waste. She did not bother what others said, Mary kept on worshipping God.
• Are you worshipping God sacrificially always?
• Do you worship God forgetting your own self?
• Mary gave what was expensive and costly to her.
• Our worship must be sacrificial and selfless.
Verse 3 of Mark 14 tells us that Mary broke the jar and poured the nard over Jesus head. Once broken the alabaster jar cannot be reused. The outer vessel was broken and the inner fragrance came out.
Brokenness brings the fragrance of Christ in us. Unless our outer vessel (flesh) is broken our spiritual man cannot be seen.Mary’s worship was accepted by God. Mary did it out of love. The world blamed her but Jesus accepted her. It is not how much you have or how little you have; true worship is what we do with what we have.
During this time that the world is in lockdown due to the corona virus may we take time to reflect on our relationship with Christ. Do you love and worship Christ like Mary did? Are you prepared to worship sacrificially for the love of Christ despite what those around you say?
In the name of God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Yours in Christ’s service,
A message for Holy Week from Matthew 21 v12-17 with Rev Nobuhle Sibanda, Monday April 6th 2020:
Jesus’ first act upon entering the city was to tackle head on the authority of the Sadducees and the practices in the temple that compromised the purity of the worship of God, the reason for which the building existed. Every Jew was expected to pay a temple tax. During the year, this tax could be paid at specially erected booths in places all over the nation. But nearer, to the Passover, the money had to be paid in Jerusalem. So the money changers set up shop in the Court of the Gentiles where the buying and selling of sacrificial victims and money changing took place necessary for cultic practice. Money changers converted Greek and Roman currency, and coins into shekels of Tyrian shekel, which were the acceptable payment for temple taxes since they had the highest purity of silver, and the aim was to extract money from the poor without dealing with loans or interest. Doves, the only animals specifically named in Matthew in this instance, were sacrifices for the poor who could not afford larger animals like sheep. It was easy enough to buy animals outside the Temple because inside the temple animals were very expensive, they could costs as much as fifteen times the price charged for them outside. Animals offered in sacrifice must be without blemish, inspectors could (and often would) reject animals bought outside and direct the worshipper to the Temple stalls and booths, as was in the Levitical law. This gave the Priests a monopoly for the right to provide all the animals used for sacrifices in the Temple. Such an exhortation was completely contrary to the temple’s purpose, Jesus thus overturned their tables and benches in the outer court of the Gentiles while quoting parts of Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7;11, Thus Jesus’ said to them, ‘it is written: My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”
THEME- A PURIFIED TEMPLE RENDERS THE RIGHT SERVICE.
Definition of a temple: a sanctuary where God resides.
Beloved, we are in the Holy week, drawing closer to the cross whereby the son of Man will suffer and be crucified. Each and every incidence that is taking place now is leading us to the peak of his ministry. It seems as if he is deliberately provoking the Jewish leaders as well as the Roman Empire but all these incidents are meant to fulfil what was prophesied in the ancient days so that humanity can be saved, for example we hear Isaiah saying, he became poor for us to be rich and that by his stripes we are healed. And before he suffers he overturns the tables of the money changers and cleanses the temple, which he regards a place of worship and prayer stating the fundamental purpose of the church and thereby admonishing animal sacrifices as he becomes the perfect sacrificial lamb (John1:29).
As l read through the scripture, in my mind l was asking myself what the temple meant to people who went there especially for the Passover and also what the temple meant to the money changers. Most likely it had become a task or chore rather than going to worship. Many today regard Sundays and prayer meeting days as just another task or chore that must be fulfilled. They go through the motions but not come close to God with what they claim to be worship and praise.
Some preachers are guilty of making merchandise of the souls of many. Offering spiritual help and healing to those who send their contributions. It is the prosperity gospel that has destroyed if not killed the purpose of the church. The kind of gospel does not take cognisance of the suffering and poor people in need of help and genuine healing in the church. At the end of the day no one is served but someone’s pockets continue to get rich.
The outer corruption of the church comes from the intra-within the person meaning when you become corrupt you end up showcasing it outside, once the body and the mind is corrupt anything bad or unimagined can be done by a person. HENCE BY CLEANSING THE TEMPLE JESUS IS DEMONSTRATING ONE HAS TO BE CLEANSED FROM WITHIN. Then after being purified one can be of service to the world.
And that is why Jesus is demonstrating to us the true services of a temple, that it where healing ought to be conducted, where true worship ought to take place and where people ought to meet and pray. Let us remember that even the blind and lame were excluded from the temple. We have people even today whom we have excluded from our churches, those that have caused us hurt, those who we view as the most sinners, the commercial sex-workers but Jesus is showing that the old order with its barriers was disappearing at the command of the son of David.
Friends, apart from the physical temple, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. What is aid of the body is said of the church as a whole (1Cor 3:16). We have seen how the temple in Jerusalem was abused; a placed designed for prayer, turned into a marketplace, a place that needs to be cleansed, once and again. The same can be true for our bodies- we can become guilty of setting our minds on earthly things- cares, riches, pleasures of life, which distract us from our true service and hinderers ability to serve God. We begin serving our bellies fleshly appetites), rather than Jesus. We find ourselves failing to abide by the will of God. We need Christ. To clean our bodies, if he was able to overturn the tables of money changers and drive out money merchants, he can still cleanse us.
BELOVED FRIENDS- Jesus’ point is that the church in any and every form must not be used for purposes other than to worship and serve God alone. As Christians we were created for a purpose that is to serve, but we can offer the right service when we have been purified. In this Holy Week we are in, he is ready to cleanse us and make us a dwelling place for His presence. He is indeed coming to save us; we are saved by his grace.
MAY THE GOOD LORD CONTINUE TO CLEANSE AND MAKE US PURE SO THAT WE MAY RENDER THE RIGHT SERVICE, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT. AMEN.
REV. N. SIBANDA
Here below are some words of comfort and encouragement from Psalm 91 with Rev Nobuhle Sibanda: FRIDAY 03 APRIL 2020
Psalm 91 and Romans 8:35-39
Sisters and brothers, I trust you are all well and keeping safe under these circumstances. We continue to pray and hope that this storm passes. Even though we are under lock down with church buildings having been temporarily closed as a precautionary measure, and we are in the comfort of our homes with our families, trying to be safe and trying not to be infected by this dangerous pandemic, I know in our hearts we are troubled, dismayed and restless. It is in such times when we need the Lord most, as individuals, families, nation and the whole world at large. This morning, my words of comfort and encouragement come from Psalm 91. Though long I will touch only a few points from it.
The psalmist is aware of the dangers in life and mentions fowlers, pestilence, arrows, lions and snakes. Faced with such dangers, people relied on shields to protect them in battle and even on strong fortresses with ramparts to protect their homes and families. We too face many dangers today some of which are different from the ones faced by the psalmist. We face danger from diseases such as hypertension, cancer among other chronic diseases, from the violent dangers, traffic accidents and now feared by most people the dangerous plague. This plague that has killed more than 34 000 people worldwide, with more on their beds striving to survive, to fight it. With doctors who have died trying to save lives of infected people and not forgetting the clergy who have died also and nations have resorted to lockdown to help fight the spread of the corona virus. It is not an easy time, especially in Africa, Zimbabwe to be precise where we have a majority of our population feeding from hand to mouth and now with the lockdown, what does it mean to them? Corona has knocked at our doorstep as a nation and it has brought with it the starvation of families. We are in great danger, physically, spiritually and emotionally. But l find relief in remembering the testimonies of people who have shared how God has protected and kept them safe in times of danger. All of us have been protected by God in countless ways and God will continue to protect us. As painful and unbearable as it is, sometimes God fearing people suffer, sometimes they die and sometimes are affected by the most dangerous viruses. But we have a promise that nothing that is outside God’s control can happen to us. Paul mentions the seven situations which he himself had experienced that can stand between God and us: trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger or sword. The love of Christ does not stop us from experiencing these things, neither does it stop us from suffering, but it carries us through it all. Having looked at everything in life, Paul knows that nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ.
I call upon you sisters and brothers to continue to have confidence in the Lord, to trust in the Lord as he is our shelter in the heat, our shelter in the storm, our refuge and fortress in the face of the enemy attacks. We are assured of God’s deliverance, protection, rescue and salvation. We are weak and helpless and we can find our secure home, our dwelling place in the presence of God. Even though some have died we rejoice in the assurance of eternal life whether life in this world is short or long.
God has provided for our victory. We can rest assured that His love will never let us down. In these trying times, in our fears we need to trust in the Lord and in his promises no matter how unlikely that may appear in our circumstances.
We continue to pray for the families affected and infected. We continue to pray for healing of the nation and believe that this too shall pass. God be with us all and may we continue to abide in his shelter always. Amen
Yours in Christ
Rev. Nobuhle Sibanda.
Here below is a short message from Ezekiel 37 v1-14 with Rev B Phiri. Enjoy your day as you listen and reflect on this message.