Third Sunday of Lent – John 4:5-42 23.3.14

21 03 2014

This is another welcome contribution from the Reverend Jan Ashton.

I would warmly welcome other guest contributions by email to stephen.cherry@durham.anglican.org . Also, offers to write sermon starters for a period of, say, a month or six weeks woud be great

Jesus and the Woman at the Well

Need to Know

  1. John spends some time setting the scene. How important is this? And what are we not told? In imagining the scene, how long did they spend at the well, how old was the woman?
  2. Who ‘got it’? Who ‘didn’t get it’? Why might this be?
  3. It’s a long reading especially if it’s read just in one voice. How might you encourage people to listen well?

Need to Challenge

  1. How wonderful to have within us living water? How is this water life changing?
  2. Thanks goodness the disciples didn’t spoil the atmosphere and criticise Jesus for talking to the woman. They kept silent. When may our silence be crucial?
  3. Who is/are taken out of their comfort zone the most in this passage? And what was the result?

Need to Comfort

  1. We need to be truthful to ourselves and to God in our prayers. Why is this good news?
  2. Jesus seems to go out of his way to interact with these Samaritan people. Why is this good news?
  3. We are labouring in many of our churches. Who might be seeing the reaping? Why is this good news?
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Lent 2 Nicodemus John 3.1-17 16.3.14

15 03 2014

Sunday’s gospel is the story of Nicodemus.  The Reverend Jan Ashton has sent me these thoughts, which I am delighted to share.

I would warmly welcome other guest contributions by email to stephen.cherry@durham.anglican.org . Also, offers to write sermon starters for a period of, say, a month or six weeks woud be great.

Need to know

  1. Why Nicodemus chose the night?
  2. What else Nicodemus does for Jesus after this encounter?
  3. How many times does Jesus say the same thing but in different ways? Why might he do this?

Need to Challenge

  1. Even Nicodemus, a leader, a teacher, a questioner needed to be taken out of his comfort zone. True faith expects this.
  2. Even Nicodemus, a leader, a teacher, a questioner didn’t understand and ended up appearing a fool. Living the Christian life can make us appear this way. Accept it.
  3. Even Nicodemus, a leader, a teacher, a questioner, a lover of God needed to be born of the spirit. True faith needs to be constantly reborn of the spirit. What are you doing this Lent?

Need to Comfort

  1. You need confidence in God not yourself to have eternal life.
  2. You need to know Jesus’ job isn’t to condemn anyone or anything.
  3. God loves the world and that includes you.