The Inside Column 13/10

Posted in: The Inside Column- Oct 14, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

I hope everyone had a good School Holidays, with lots of good family times and maybe a chance to get away for a couple of days.

We are into the last part of the years with Christmas not far down the road. I have been working on a joint Christmas event with the Stoke Community Group called Jingle Bells, which grew out of Shine (Carols on the Lawn) which has been held at the Isel Market for the last couple of years. This event is being held on the Sunday 8 December from 4.00pm until 8.00pm in Greenmeadows Park. Can you put the date in you diaries or mark it on your calendar. We will be needing some volunteers for the evening to help in lots of different things. We will let you know closer to the event.

We are starting a new series out of the Book of 1 Peter today. I think that the Apostle Peter is one of the most interesting disciples an probably the disciple we know the most about. The Apostle Peter (also known as Simon Peter, or Cephas) was one of the first disciple called to follow Jesus. Along with James and John, he was one of Jesus’ closest companions. After the
resurrection, Peter became one of the most influential Christian leaders in the first century.

Based on Matthew 16:19, Peter is sometimes referred to as the “gatekeeper” of heaven, and over the last two millennia, countless pieces of art and literature (and jokes) depict him waiting at the Pearly Gates to decide who gets in and who doesn’t. Peter was a fisherman by trade, along with his brother Andrew. Peter grew into a gifted preacher and bold leader. In the gospels, he’s portrayed as been outspoken, always speaking his mind and acting on impulse. In the Book of Acts, Peter’s decisiveness transformed him into someone the early Christians constantly relied on and turned to.

Peter plays a major role in all four gospels, and tradition holds that the Gospel of Mark records Peter’s account of Jesus’ ministry through his companion, John Mark. Most of what we know about Peter comes from the Bible itself, with some additional material from early Christian writers. Peter had a wife, the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) record that Jesus came to Peter’s house, where his mother-in-law was sick with a fever. The account is incredibly brief, but it does tell us that Peter had a wife.

The Gospel of John records that when Jesus first met Peter (who was originally called Simon), he says, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (John 1:42). Cephas is Aramaic for “stone,” and the gospel writer adds that this means Peter when translated. This is why Peter is sometimes referred to as “the rock.” Peter was the rock that the early church was built on in lots of ways, and 1 Peter is a letter of encouragement to the early Christians to be bold in their faith.

Yours in Christ

Phil

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