May 31 - Rev. Susan Salo
What an adventure! To preach about the coming of the Holy Spirit at this time in St. Aidan's history is to identify ourselves with Jesus' disciples anxiously waiting in the Upper Room for soldiers who will take them away to be crucified like Jesus, or for the promised "power from on high."
At this time in our church's history, when we are seeking God's direction for the future, when we are waiting for word on our pastor's health, and when our world seems heading for more moral decline than ever - we know how very much we need Jesus.
The Bible tells us that no one can see the face of God and live - until we see him in the face of his son, Jesus. We can't even imagine what the Father in heaven looks like - until we see him in the face of Jesus. Likewise, we can't see the Holy Spirit, or imagine what he (she, it) looks like until we see him in the face of Jesus, as Scripture refers to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Jesus.
Every day at the Feast of Tabernacles water would be poured out as a symbol of thanks for God's provision. Jesus said that those who believe in him will have "streams of living water" flow from within them, referring to the Holy Spirit (John 7.37-39).
*Describe how the Spirit flows through you like Living Water? Does he flow like a trickle, like a stream, or like a mighty gush? What seems to determine this?
*What is the relationship between believing the promises of Christ and experiencing the Holy Spirit?
Later, after Jesus' death, the disciples were gathered in fear of being arrested. (John 20.19-23)
*Why does John record "peace be with you" 3 times? How does this relate to their fears?
*Where could you use Jesus' peace right now?
*How has receiving the Holy Spirit changed you?
May 24, 2023 - Rev Kim Salo
Luke 18:31 to 19:10 is a series of encounters between Jesus and his
disciples, a blind beggar, and a rich tax collector named Zacchaeus.
Looking at these three encounters, we see different aspects of what
“save” and “salvation” means.
In the New Testament, nearly a third of the uses of save and salvation
refer to present deliverance from disease, demonic possession, or
physical death. Save and salvation often refer to a future deliverance in
the end time. In the gospel of John, eternal life is offered by Jesus in the
present as a continuing gift into the future.
So, save and salvation can have a present meaning, as well as a future
meaning. They can refer to physical circumstances, a moral change, or
1. Read Luke 18:35-43. At verse 42, when Jesus speaks to him, how
does your Bible translate the verse? Does it say healed, saved, or
made you well? How do you explain the differences in wording
2. Read 19:1-6. Why did Zacchaeus want to so badly to see Jesus?
Why is it important that Jesus should be at Zacchaeus’ home that
day? How is that a change in Zacchaeus normal life in Jericho?
3. Read 19:7-10. Why do the neighbors complain about Zacchaeus?
About Jesus? What does Zacchaeus public announcement mean
for him? For his neighbors? For Jesus?
4. Read verse 9-10. Why does Jesus mean by saying ‘Today salvation
has come to this house? In the case of Zacchaeus, what does Jesus
mean by saying, ‘For the Son of Man came to seek and save the
5. Now read Romans 10:9-10 and 10:13. Does Paul mean ‘save’ in
the present sense, or in the future sense?
6. Generally, we can be saved from many things. Name 5 things from
which we can be saved. What are we saved for?
Optional submitted question: “As God cares about our bodies, and I
believe we get a new one in heaven, should I fear cremation?”
Answer: This question is about the intermediate state between our own
physical death, and the final resurrection into eternal life.
The Bible does not go into detail into our existence between our death
and the resurrection. However, if we start with what happened to Jesus, we may gain some insight. Jesus died on the cross; the gospels give us ample evidence that
his death was real physical death. And the whole New Testament gives
us ample evidence that he was resurrected. In between, he was in the
The only difference between what happened to Jesus, and our own
physical death and resurrection, is the amount of time. Whether we are
dead three days, or 3000 years, is of no importance to God.
Also, just as God raised Jesus with a new body, the resurrection body,
rather than resuscitating the old corpse, so with us. Does it matter to
God whether we died in a house fire or cremation? Does it matter to
God whether we died in old age or young? Does it matter to God
whether we are buried in the ground or lost at sea? The answer is no.
Just as God first created us, God can easily recreate us.
As for any conscious awareness after physical death of our human body
being destroyed, as in cremation, that is not possible if we are in fact
dead. So we need not fear what happens.
The best answer I know for those who wonder about these things is to
think, ‘What happened to Jesus will happen to me.’ As for the
intermediate state between death and resurrection, we are ‘with the
Lord.’ Sometimes the New Testament uses the word ‘sleep’ to describe
See 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, I Corinthians 15.
Read Luke 10: 1-20
We can learn a lot from the travelling journeys of the Lord Jesus. For as followers of Jesus, our walk with the Lord from beginning to end is a journey that involves much travel. This travel includes going places (both new and familiar), growing in places in our lives, and often leaving our comfort zones (physically, emotionally, and spiritually).
And this journey is meant to be filled with joy. As we travel the journey to the cross, we should be growing in our knowledge and intimacy with the Triune God which will lead to greater joy. After all, Jesus is where the joy is!
The gospel account in Luke chapter 10, is a great story that helps us relate with the early followers of Jesus. This account can easily be applied to our journey with the Lord and help us in our current discernment as a church.
Our gospel reading today provides some very helpful direction and guidance, to help us discern where God is calling us to go. This would include (but not limited to):
“Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
John 6: 29&35
Readings – Luke 5: 1-11 John 21: 1-14
On Sunday I built upon the blog that I wrote on the 28th April considering the imagery that comes from the above Gospel passages that we prayed on at our first Corporate prayer meeting. The Shore representing the Body of Christ with the presence of His Holy Spirit, the Shallows being where the Church meets the World and the Seas being the World. It could be worth refreshing your memory of this by re-reading that blog.
The purpose of Sunday’s sermon was to look at the signs that confirm Jesus is the Bread of Life and to then look at our context to determine the signs that we are witnessing today; how does the Bread of life connect?
Our belief in Jesus as the Bread of Life brings us life in and through Him (John 20: 30-31); this belief is our ‘work’ in God (John 6: 29). As one body we are to share in this bread and to take it to the world (1 Cor. 10: 17). Jesus called us to follow Him and be ‘fishers of men (people),’ (Luke 5: 10-11).
It has been very encouraging to receive your requests for prayer, your questions and the words & images the Holy Spirit has given you. In light of this ‘work of God,’ I simply encourage you to keep on discerning in prayer on the following matters:
There is much happening in the Diocese (Clergy Retreat, General Synod, the Discipleship Development Officer role and Faith Horizons). Our partnership with One Body is growing and in One Heart there is much evidence of the move of the Holy Spirit. So, where does St. Aidan’s fit into all of this, where can God’s Kingdom be best furthered, where is Jesus calling us into fellowship?
As individuals we go out from the Body (Shore) each day into the Shallows (the World). This is where we welcome people into the Body of Christ most of all, where we build relationships and share the love of Christ. Therefore the role of Small Groups is essential. Are you in a Group, how is your Group, what is God calling your Group to be and do?
We are reaching out as individuals and a Church in many ways. There is ministry with the Youth Centre, Leaf Rapids, Naomi House, Feed my Sheep and in the neighbourhood. There is also real evidence of movement in the younger generations; at St. Aidan’s we often struggle to meet the demands in that ministry. So, where is God calling us to cast our nets, where can the greatest haul of souls be made?
Please pray for individual callings and the Church’s as a whole. Please support the Corporate Prayer events and pray in your Groups and on your own. Keep passing on to us your questions, feedback and words from the Lord.
Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help we may bring them to good effect; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
You’re Beautiful by Phil Wickham
Further Bible Study Options:
Manna from Heaven
Re-read our Scriptures from Exodus 16: 2-4, 13-15 and John 6: 29-33.
Compare the Manna from Heaven with the Bread of Life. What differences do you see and how is the Lord Jesus supremely better than simply physical food?
Signs of the Time
Read one of the below Gospel passages and consider how many of these signs have taken place, are taking place and have yet to take place. What does this tell us about Jesus’ return; how should this impact our lives today?
Mark 13; Luke 21: 5-33
Read Luke 8: 1-15
Jesus’ earthly parable/story (with a heavenly meaning) drew on a rich agricultural image with which his hearers were all familiar. This image was a man with a seed bag tied to his waist, walking his field casting the seed. ‘Seed” here was a proper and powerful symbol of the Word of God springing to life – an infinite potential for life. The “Sower” is of course, Jesus Christ and anyone else who puts forth God’s Word – whether in preaching or personal conversation. The “soil” represents the varying conditions of the human hearts on which the seed is tossed.
In this parable, as the Sower casted his seed – some seeds fall on the path and the birds flutter down and steal it away. He casts again, and it lands on rocky soil, where it quickly sprouts, only to wilt away in the hot sun. The Sower throws seed in another direction, and it falls among thorns, where it is choked, and growth is strangled - and finally seed is tossed into good soil, where it incredibly multiplies one hundred times!
Jesus explained this parable when he was alone with his followers. Essentially there were then, and are today, four kinds of hearts that hear God’s Word. For this blog, we will refer to them as hard hearts, shallow hearts, contaminated hearts, and good hearts.
Hard Hearts: These hearts are as hard as nails and dulled by the busyness of life. As the truth bounces on the hardened surface of their lives, Satan comes with a fluttering interest and flies away with the life-giving seed.
Shallow Hearts: Those who make an emotional (yet shallow) response to Christ. A response that never truly penetrated the heart. When affliction comes, there is immediate rejection. Very often, these individuals can become the biggest enemies of the faith. They for a time have tasted God’s power in their life but when falling away - they become bitter and remain lost.
Contaminated Hearts: A divided heart, contaminated by opposing loyalties. This heart makes gestures toward Christ – but life’s cares draw it back, making it very difficult for authentic spiritual concern. Life’s riches and pleasures lure the soul away from life in Christ.
Good Hearts: Jesus explained that in the good soil, they are those who hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. It is a heart that allows God’s Word to take deep root within it. It then produces a harvest of good character – the fruits of the Spirit. This is followed by a bounty of good works as the heart is remade by Jesus Christ.
Questions for continued reflection over the next several weeks, as we continue our discernment as a church body.
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.