John 9:1-41 This week we enter back into the Gospel of John in chapter 9 with the healing of the blind man. In one of the most brilliantly told narratives in all of Scripture, Jesus reveals what it means that he is the light of the world. Not only does he shine his light into physical darkness but also into spiritual darkness. Not only will this blind man see physically, but even more importantly, he will see spiritually. The eyes of his heart will be opened to clearly see who Jesus is. So, how are your eyes? Have they been touched by the grace and truth of Jesus?
Mark 8:22-26 When do people start looking like trees? When Jesus isn’t finished working on you. This Sunday, we will be taking a look at one of the most unusual miracles Jesus ever performed during His earthly ministry — a miracle that reminds us that He isn’t finished with us, that there is more to see, and that He can open our eyes in ways no one else can. “Jesus, the Great…Ophthalmologist?” (or “Is Your Vision 2020?”)
Dan 7 Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a 4-part statue, which Daniel interpreted for him as four kingdoms (Daniel 2). In its counterpart chapter (7), Daniel has a dream of four beasts which are interpreted as four kings. He also sees one like a son of man receive eternal dominion from the Ancient of Days. What are these kings and kingdoms? What is the relationship between the beastly empires and the human kingdom? Can they coexist?
Dan 6 A large empire requires a large imperial bureaucracy. Daniel flourished in this system and rose to the very top because of his excellence. But both King Darius and Daniel get caught in a bureaucratic nightmare, trapped by a law which cannot be repealed. By this law Daniel must be fed to the king’s hungry lions even though he is the king’s loyal subject. We all know the outcome because the story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den is one of the best-known in the Bible. But why is this story in the Book of Daniel? Can we put ourselves back in the story and feel the tension as Daniel dared to stand alone against the king and his officials? Please read Daniel 6 in preparation for Sunday.
Dan 5 After four chapters about Nebuchadnezzar the Great, the first Babylonian king of the Jewish exile, Daniel moves on to Belshazzar, the last king. As the king was enjoying a great feast, disembodied fingers wrote a message on the wall. One person’s graffiti is another’s art, as shown by the world-famous graffiti artist, Banksy. In this case, God’s graffiti is a prophetic message to the king: your days are numbered; you’ve been weighed in the balance and found wanting. These are now common sayings. Why was the writing on the wall for Belshazzar?
Luke 15:11-32 “There was a man who had two sons…” This is the opening line of what some have called the greatest short story ever written. In it, Jesus describes God as a Father like never before. Our internal picture of God as Father can be shaped and affected by so many different experiences in our lives, but Scripture and Scripture alone should paint that portrait. This Sunday, we’ll listen as Jesus, the One who knows the Father better than anyone else, describes God as a Father. We’ll meet the Father as He wants to be known, the Father as He truly is, and we’ll seek to answer the question: Is this the Father I know?
Dan 4 Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Universe, was the greatest king of his time. He was a warrior who conquered all rivals, and a builder who made Babylon great. But he needed to learn an important truth: he might be ruler on earth, but Heaven rules. The proud king was humbled until he learnt this. God has appointed as the true King of kings one who humbled himself to begin with. The Lion that conquered is the Lamb that was slain.
Dan 3 “If” is a powerful word. It is used a lot in computer code. It is the title of a famous poem by Rudyard Kipling. It is a word that can arouse possibilities or longings or fear. At the heart of Daniel 3 lie two sets of “if…if not” clauses, one posed by Nebuchadnezzar, the other in the reply of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. In the face of “if…if not” and the threat of the fiery furnace, the three Jewish friends dared to have a purpose true.
Dan 2 Throughout history kingdoms and empires have risen and fallen. Long live the king! But no human king lives forever nor does his dynasty. No matter how eternal an empire thinks it will be, it is destined to fall. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream of an enormous statue representing a sequence of empires, and of a stone that smashes the statue into non-existence, then grows to fill the earth. What is the meaning of the statue and the stone? Please read Daniel 2 before Sunday, since it’s a long chapter and there won’t be time to read it during the service.
Dan 1 The number of forcibly displaced people in the world has more than doubled in the past ten years and now stands at 82.4 million. Forced displacement is nothing new: 2600 years ago much of Jerusalem was displaced to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. Among them were Daniel and his three friends. Could they flourish in a strange land that did not acknowledge the Lord? Can we flourish today where the Lord is not acknowledged? We begin a new series in the Book of Daniel, and in the next two months will cover the first seven chapters. Would you please read 2 Kings 23–25 and Daniel 1 to prepare for this Sunday.
Neh 8:1-12 We are coming out of the pandemic and can finally regather as a congregation in the auditorium without capacity limits! Praise God! We are all in the process of understanding the “new-normal” that we are returning to and are slowly changing rhythms and habits of isolation that were established over the past year. God is waiting to freely pour out His joy to us, to strengthen us in our weakness. Expect to be surprised by joy! This week, we’ll be concluding a short 2-sermon series entitled “Return, Rebuild, Rejoice” based on lessons from Nehemiah. As the Israelites returned from their Exile under the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra, they came together to Rebuild and to Rejoice. What can we learn from their story and example? Let’s find out together this Sunday.
Nehemiah 3, Ephesians 4:11-13