Communion this Sunday 845 and 11

Hi Table View Methodist Family,
Maybe the writing should read: “You cannot pour from an empty cup.”  
I was reading Luke 14 for our service this Sunday - the scene is a meal at a Pharisees house.  There were strict rules in those days about who should sit where.  The important people close to the head and the least important - at the end of the table.  Jesus noticed ‘how the guests picked the places of honour at the table’ (Verse 7).
Jesus advised them, in the spirit of the scriptures, to take the lowest seat and wait to be lifted up; rather than take the highest seat and risk being sent away.
I’m not clear on the timing but I think it was on the way to the meal that Jesus healed a man who was suffering from ‘abnormal swelling’ / ‘dropsy’ / Oedema… As Jesus healed he spoke to them about the kinds of things you might do on the Sabbath:  “If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?” (Verse 5)
Constantly pushing ourselves to reach the top, to make a success only ends in our falling over empty.  As Jesus heals the sick man he reminds us that God meets us at the bottom ‘down the well’ and pulls us up.  Fills us up.
To be lifted up you need to bow down.  You need to realise where you are.
Why do we work so hard to reach the top? To be a ‘success’?  To look good in front of others?  Often at the expense of our spiritual and physical health.
Let’s humble ourselves and let God lift us up.
Jesus goes on in Luke 14 to tell us that when we host a celebration we shouldn’t invite those who can repay us - but rather those whom we can bless.  We can only be a true blessing; if we first allow God to bless us and fill us up.
I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday at 845 and 11am.
God bless,

Monday - Read Psalm 112

Verse 4 says: "Light shines in the darkness for good people, for those who are merciful, kind, and just."
The Psalmist gives us some good news.  But the Psalmist is honest about the injustice of the world: "But I had nearly lost confidence; my faith was almost gone because I was jealous of the proud when I saw that things go well for the wicked." (Psalm 73:2-3)


Lord help me to trust in your light in a sometimes shadowy world.  Help me to remember the good news verse of John 1:5 "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out."

Tuesday - Read Proverbs 25:6-7

Humility is good; but I've noticed that many people don't 'toot their own horns' often enough.  This proverb, and the gospel passage believe that you will be seen for your value without pushing yourself forward.  


Lord give me enough self confidence to humbly trust in your strength to lift me up.  

Wednesday - Read Hebrews 13:1-8 and 15-16

This passage is dense with advice: Be hospitable, be compassionate, honour your marriage, be satisfied with what you have, be inspired by your 'former leaders' (mentors in the faith).  Do good.  Be helpful.  All of these attitudes require that you seek to serve rather than be served.


Lord help me to open my heart to you so that I can live in loving relationship.

Thursday - Luke 14:1 and 7-14

If we believe in the resurrection of Jesus we believe in Luke 14:14: "God will repay you on the day the good people rise from death."  But something else is important - if you live as Jesus invited us to in verse 12-14 - we will find that we are not only blessed in the next life; but in this life to.


Lord teach me to stop asking: "What's in it for me?" and instead teach me to ask: "How can I help you?"

Friday - Read Luke 14:25-33


None of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.


Lord I want to be your disciple.  Loosen my grip on the things I think I 'have.'

Sunday Services 845am and 11am

Hi Table View Methodist Family,

Someone shared this with me this week:

Service Times

At our leader’s meeting on Tuesday we had a long discussion about the Sunday morning service times.  The combined service at 8h45am has a lot of advantages to it:
Extra time between 10 and 11am for meetings and fellowship.
The late start makes it much easier for the musicians who are now spending 2 hours at church from 8-10 instead of nearly 4 hours from 7-10:45.  This means we can get more people involved including children.
Administratively we can spread out our stewards and volunteers more efficiently and effectively.
As a congregation we are strengthened by knowing each other better.
With these positive side effects we had to think about our reasons for having two services.  For the most part the reason is one of preference or convenience.  We tried to guess what we thought Jesus would do and humbly we feel that the combined service with its benefits was the better choice for our community at this time.
So, from now on we have a service at 8h45 and at 11h00.  Please stay for tea (and cookies) after the 8h45 service this Sunday!

Monday - Read Psalm 103:1-8

This Psalm is full of praise and joy - I especially like: "He fills my life with good things, so that I stay young and strong like an eagle." (Verse 5)
Our experience of the circumstances of the world sometimes make us think that we're being punished.  But God's attitude to us is 'merciful and loving, slow to become angry and full of constant love.'


In the week that lies ahead O Lord; help me to be 'young and strong like an eagle' - although my body might be frail and life might sometimes feel difficult I know that you are 'slow to become angry and full of constant love.'

Tuesday - Read Isaiah 58:9-14

"You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses." (Verse 12) . Verse 13-14 speaks of how this will happen; by paying attention to the living God; resting on the Sabbath, paying attention to God's voice we are set free to become who we are meant to be.


Lord help me to find the joy that comes from serving you. (Verse 14)  

Wednesday - Read Hebrews 12:18-29

This passage contrasts the meeting of the Hebrew people with God at Sinai with our present reality; the present reality is "the heavenly Jerusalem".  Life lived in the constant reality of the presence of God. (Verse 23-24).  The sprinkled blood of Jesus (24) is a message of grace; a covenant of hope.  The blood of Abel speaks of the covenant of condemnation and violence that we often live.


Lord help me to enjoy your presence.

Thursday - Luke 13:10-17

I wish I could do what Jesus did here.  Look out on the crowd and see someone who is struggling and to be able to say to them: You are free!  Can you imagine her delight?  Her surprise? Her joy?
How strange is it that the religious authorities only see what is wrong.


Lord help me to see your joy, surprise, delight in my life and in the lives of others.

Friday - Read Luke 14:1 & 7-13


Isn't it a relief that you don't have to always be marketing yourself as the most important; the greatest the best!  In Jesus you are invited to make friends with the lowest of the low and be the lowest of the low and befriend the lowest of the low.


In your royal presence I find true humility.  Humble me to walk with you in your humble ways.  Friend of the outcast, the lonely, the forgotten.  Jesus thank you.

Services at 845 and 11am this Sunday

Hi Table View Methodist Family,
When Simeon blesses Mary he speaks prophetic words: Luke 2:34-35 (NIV) “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.
This Friday 9 August is Women’s Day - the day on which we celebrate the peaceful march of 20,000 women to parliament in 1956 to protest against South Africa’s Pass laws which required black South Africans to carry a sort of passport when they were in ‘white’ areas.  The pass laws were only repealed thirty years later in 1986.  
On women’s day we don’t only give thanks that these brave women stood up to a dangerous government in 1956; we give thanks for their tireless persistence; Like a powerful diesel engine - not taking any of the glory yet bearing much of the pain that came with the Apartheid system that divided families through migrant labour and ‘separate development’ policies. We give thanks for the women who bore the pain of two world wars as their husbands and sons went to fight.
As we think of these ‘Mighty Women’ of our history, of the scriptures and in our own lives; let us give thanks - and pray for similar courage.  To resist evil and stand up for good. To work against the many injustices that we see at work in our world today.
God bless,
Rev Angus Kelly

PS. I’m writing from the Stellenbosch University Theological Seminary as I have been attending a conference on “Missional Worship.”  This conference is organized in partnership with the Calvin Theological Seminary’s Institute for Christian Worship.  The institute has a helpful website for those who might be keen to learn more.

Communion at 845 & 11am This Sunday

Hi Table View Methodist Family,

I look forward to worshipping with you and sharing communion with you this Sunday at 845am and 11am.  As we continue reading the letter to the Colossians we read from Colossians 3:1-11.  In preparation I invite you to read the text and pray about it.

Colossians 3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 

God Bless,

Rev Angus Kelly

Monday - Read Psalm 49:1-12

This Psalm is brutally honest.  We are all mortal. Our money and power can not keep us from the grave.  As the Psalmist says: "we cannot pay God the price for our lives..."
A reminder that our lives rightly belong to God - and after Jesus life and resurrection - we can know that our lives are redeemed by God.


Lord help me to put all my trust in you; not in my riches or my power or my influence.

Tuesday - Read Ecclesiastes 2:18-23

"You work and worry your way through life, and what do you have to show for it?" (Verse 22) As a minister I suppose I learn the most by conducting funerals.  Remembering almost every week how short life is and how precious love is. I've never heard eulogies about a person's wealth and influence; only about their kindness and care.


Lord help me to know what is really important.  Teach me to invest in relationships with you and with those you love.  

Wednesday - Read Colossians 3:1-11

Paul says: "...your real life is Christ." (Verse 4).  Later on he writes; "Christ is all, Christ is in all." (Verse 11).  What does it mean for us to say that our real life is Christ? And to recognise that Christ is all and Christ is in all?


Help me to realise that you are more real than all the experience I know right now.  And teach me to know your presence in the people I meet.

Thursday - Luke 12:13-21

"But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself?’”" (Verse 20)
Jesus paints God as an elaborate prankster; allowing this rich and greedy man to fall for his own foolishness.  What do you prioritize today that God might point out to you as foolish? What do you prioritize that is wise?


Lord teach me to be wise and not foolish.

Friday - Read Luke 12:32-40


Jesus invites us to sell all of our material possessions to share with those in need - and in doing so to gather treasures for ourselves in heaven.  What does your heavenly bank account look like?


Lord teach me to invest wisely in my heavenly bank account to know how to help and when to help those in need.  Let my giving and my kindness be in your service.