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Given all that is going on, there will not be a September edition of KnockLife...but we will be back as soon as we can. In the meantime keep up to date via our letters, emails an our social media channels.

Week beginning - 16th August

Mark 2:13-22 - Fasting and Feasting


Hey folks,

So we're spending the next year in the Gospel of Mark...you could say we're wanting to master Mark and be mastered by Mark as we look at the person of Jesus and what it means to be people who follow Jesus.

Each week we'd encourage to you engage in two ways:

1. Sundays - each week use our Sunday worship resources to worship and hear from God.

2. Through the week - and then through the week reflect further on what we were learning on Sunday
  • READ - we're providing five short daily readings. These can be done on your own or over the breakfast/dinner table with others in your house. Start with this simple prayer...
Holy Spirit
Show me Jesus
Help me follow Jesus
Amen
  • REMEMBER - a verse to commit to memory to help you remember the truth from the week
  • REJOICE - a song to help you rejoice in the week's truth
  • RELISH - we'd encourage you to try and make time regularly to read through Mark's Gospel in one sitting to get the birds eye view of Mark as we zoom in on little sections of it week by week
You can also access the service on our Youtube channel. You can listen to the songs we sing on our Youtube and Spotify playlists
For an overview which might help you with the Relish challenge, check out The Bible Project's videos on Mark

 

Find a good time for you and those in your house if there are others, and give the readings from David a go. Pray, read, ask and chat and see what you learn together as the Holy Spirit helps you.

READING #1

 

Text - Mark 2:13-14

Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.


Thought 

We find Jesus here, as we often do, teaching beside the shore.  He had compassion on the crowds who thronged to hear him because he saw them as sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6v34), which is why he taught them the truth to lead them back to God.

However, Jesus is not only concerned with large groups, but also with individuals.  In this case Levi or Matthew (see Matthew 9v9). As with the fishermen (Mark 1v16-20) Jesus calls Levi to follow him, and, as they did, he obeyed immediately, leaving everything behind.

By profession Levi knew how to do the sums.  He quickly calculated that all the wealth he possessed was worthless compared to following Jesus. He was right.


Think

Have you done your sums the same way as Levi?  Think of ways Jesus is more precious than all we could possess and give thanks for his call to follow him..

READING #2

 

Text - Mark 2:15-16

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
 

Thought 

Jesus changed Levi’s life. The first thing he wanted to do was to celebrate, and to invite his friends to meet the person responsible.  Tax collectors like Levi were not invited to many parties!  Others saw them as corrupt traitors, helping the Romans and growing rich in the process.  Imagine how they would have felt to discover Jesus had opened the door of his kingdom to people like them!

The Pharisees however were not happy.  They looked down, not just on tax collectors, but anyone who did not keep their strict moral code, calling them “sinners”.  Disapprovingly, they question how Jesus could eat with such people. 

If we cannot rejoice in other’s salvation, we have not understood the good news.


Think

Is there any person, or group of people of whom, if you heard of their salvation in Christ, you might disapprove, rather than rejoice? If so, repent now of such an attitude.

READING #3

 

Text - Mark 2:17

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
 

Thought 

Jesus has a wonderful reply to the disapproval of the Pharisees.  We have been thankful to God for the staff of the NHS during the current pandemic.  Could you imagine in such a crisis any of them refusing to see or treat a patient, because the patient was sick?  The idea is ridiculous. It is the sick who need medical assistance, not the healthy, and medical staff will be found among the sick to do them good.  

It is for this reason Jesus mixed among tax collectors and those the Pharisees called “sinners”.  He was not approving of their spiritual condition; indeed, he calls them “sick”.
However, he had compassion on them, and his heart of love moved toward them.


Think

In the Covid 19 crisis we have all asked ourselves how we could help others in need.  Ask God to show you how you may share the good news in love with those you know who are in spiritual need.

READING #4


Text - Mark 2:18-20

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”

Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.
 

Thought 

There was something so original about Jesus that religious people found him confusing.  Not only did he eat with the wrong people, v16, but he did not stop eating (what is termed “fasting”) when they thought he should, v18.  Only one fast is commanded in the Old Testament, annually on the Day of Atonement. The Pharisees had made it a twice weekly event!

In another brilliant reply Jesus asks them if they would expect wedding guests to behave as if they were at a funeral.  Of course not!  The Pharisees failed to understand that the arrival of Jesus was a celebration, like a wedding, of God’s long-awaited kingdom.  Fasting was an expression of sorrow, appropriate after Jesus’ death, but not before.

Think

Sorrow over sin and its consequences is a good thing, so too is joy over how in Christ these are defeated forever.  Take time to do both today.

READING #5

 

Text - Mark 2:21-22

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”
 

Thought 

The Pharisees had made the lifegiving truth of God to be instead like a worn-out piece of clothing, or a dried and cracked old wineskin.  Neither could be patched up or remodelled, they had to be thrown aside and a new start made.

The good news was doing just this.  Jesus was welcoming people into a new way to meet with God.  The rules of the Pharisees were designed to make themselves right with God by strict moral obedience.  However, this approach will always fail, Colossians 2v20-23, worse, it seeks to earn its own salvation which can never be done.

What a burden the gospel lifts from us! How good it is to have Jesus alone as our Saviour!

 

Think

Who can you bring before Jesus? This could be in prayer, or maybe through reading the Bible together or through looking for opportunities to share your faith with them.

Every Wednesday we're trying to gather online to pray, to praise and to hear from other people in our church family.

Read through the devotional before you come along

Have the prayer points we send out to hand

Log into zoom and be encouraged and be an encouragement to others within our church family. We'd love you to join us.
Many of you have standing orders, but for those who use weekly envelopes we want to offer alternative ways to donate.

Online bank transfer

If you wish to donate via online banking, please use the following steps:

Set up an online transfer to:

Please detail on the reference for the payee the fund and your FWO number, eg FWO 104 or OKR 260

It is very important that you provide your FWO number otherwise we won’t be able to record your donation against your record of giving.

Please make a separate transfer for each fund if you are donating to more than one fund (in the same way that you currently use separate envelopes).

Postal donations

You can donate by sending a cheque to the church office. When doing this please write your FWO number on the reverse of your cheque and also detail which fund(s) you wish your donation to be allocated to. Alternatively, you could include your FWO envelope when posting the cheque. Please do not post cash donations to the office.

Cash donations

If you are unable to use online banking or make a postal donation, you should place your weekly cash donation in your envelope(s) as usual and bring these to the first service when church resumes.
Charity Fund

You might have noticed the Charity Fund in the list of funds above. This fund exists to allow us to support individuals and families who may be experiencing severe financial stress. In these challenging times we anticipated using this fund to meet needs as they arise and we encourage members of the congregation to donate to this fund at this time. 

If you would like to donate to this fund, please follow the directions above.

If you are aware of a financial need, either your own or someone else's, please contact David Moore


Giving to Storehouse


As well as donating financially and drop off at the Storehouse warehouse, there are a number of local driveway boxes

Driveway Boxes
A number of homes are using their driveways as food drop-off points where you simply leave your donation and they will be collected and taken to Storehouse by volunteers:
  • 30 Tweskard Park
  • 66 Kings Road
  • 26 Castlehill Road
  • 5 Cairnburn Drive
  • 5 Kensington Gardens Sth.
Warehouse Drive Through
Storehouse are operating a contactless drop-off system at their warehouse

Unit 4 Kilwee Industrial Estate
Upper Dunmurry Lane
Belfast BT17 0HD

Donating financially
People can either give directly by setting up a standing order or one off payment from their own bank to the details below:

Name: Storehouse Belfast
Sort Code: 08-92-99
Account no: 6549 5359
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