The book of Esther is full of parties! However, the motivations for them are not the same. Mahvash looks at this final party, as God's people celebrate God's faithfulness and righteousness.
Lou explains how this passage reminds us that God is working throughout history and we are called to trust him and be courageous.
Put down those Christmas leftovers! It's a new year and here is something that I assure will help you in your Christian life in 2021.
As we read of Haman getting his 'just rewards' how are we to respond? In this event, there is something for us to learn about God, the world, ourselves and how we can live differently.
The events of our lives are not simply down to the fate of the universe but are rather the loving work of God. Chris helps us to see from this passage that we can trust He is at work even whilst we sleep!
When Matthew was writing his account of that first Christmas, he includes a list of names. We might sometimes just skip over these names, but if we look a little closer we see that it's dynamite!
As we reach the midpoint in the story we stop to compare and contrast two of the main characters - our hero Esther, and the villain Haman. What is it about that makes Esther and Haman so different? We see that Haman lives life for himself, focussing on his own achievements and ability whereas Esther looks to God and uses his wisdom to guide her. It can be so easy in life to focus on ourselves and try and do things in our own strength as we see with Haman. However, this is never a good place to be. Our first goal should always be to seek God and put him at the centre of every situation.
In the final talk from our belong series, Raj looks at the topic of gender and roles for men and women within the church.
It's crunch time for Esther! Will she act courageously in response to Haman's plan or just keep quiet? Simon shows us that courage comes from identity, not the other way round.
In the third of our Belong talks, Simon explores what it means to be a compassionate church featuring an interview with Steve Whittington. What type of poverty will we experience in different people that we meet, and what does it look like to truly be a church that reaches out to those around us?
When we make decisions to follow God rather than go with the flow, we shouldn't be surprised if opposition comes. Soroush shows from this passage how we can live faithfully in these times.
In the second talk of our 2020 Equip Group Gavin looks at the topic of different ages being released within the church. The Bible talks about people of all ages being released and having a role to play in the church. As churches, we need to ensure that everyone is included and given a sense of purpose! We need to think about the next generation, but also the gift and wisdom that comes with age, different generations can support each other and learn from each other on our walks.
Jeremy visits us this week and encourages us to look at our different situations and circumstances with different eyes. We're to lift up our eyes to Jesus!
Xerxes the Great thought he ruled the world in 485BC, wielding power with tyranny and subjugation. But Jesus made His entrance on to the world stage, demonstrating through his humility, service, life and death that He is a better King.
Jeremy speaks on how we need to know who we are in Christ. We encounter the love and lordship of Christ.
Raj explores the second half of our 'joy-news' vision and the key 'spotlights' within that. Plus, at the end, our elders discuss again practicalities of these in more detail!