Models of the Church SERVANT

At the beginning of the twentieth century, French theologian Anton Loisy wrote: ‘Jesus announced the kingdom of God and what came was the Church.’

These words, often quoted out of context, serve to ask what is the relation between God’s promised reign and the Church. For many centuries, the Church imagined that God’s kingdom was limited to the Church. In earlier and more recent times, there has been much creative thinking about God’s purposes in the world at large: and how the Church should be part of that. This thinking lies behind the idea of the Church as servant.

What is God doing in the world around us—and how can we participate in that and work with God’s purposes in our lives, in God’s world?

That is the continuing challenge and invitation to us, the Church.


Models of the Church INSTITUTION

The Church—What is it about?

This week and for the next 4 Sundays we will be thinking about ‘models of the church’, some of which are well recognised ways of thinking about the nature and mission of the Church.

These sermons will provide us with some stimulus for our collective discernment of the challenges and opportunities facing us as Box Hill Baptist Church.

During this time there will also be some Forum opportunities, for community discussion of some of these challenges.


Box Hill Baptist Church Anniversary

This Sunday we give thanks to God as we celebrate the Church Anniversary.

Can you imagine what it was like for those who came to this area 115 years ago, to establish homes, a wider community and a Baptist Church as part of that community ?

The ancient prophet Jeremiah also challenged a group of people who had moved (not of their own choice) into a new community. He encouraged them in God’s name to settle there:

‘Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce.

Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you in exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.’

(Jeremiah 29. 5, 7)


The Moods of Prayer

“Prayer is the way we work our way out of the comfortable but cramped world of self and into the spacious world of God.”  Eugene Peterson

“Lord grant me the grace to have freedom of spirit; Cleanse my heart and soul so I may live joyously in your love.”  Anselm of Canterbury (1033 – 1109)

Exploring how prayer acts as a way to reflect on life, faith and our relationship with God.


The Humility of Christ

In Philippians 2.1-13 the apostle Paul demonstrates Christ as the example of humility and humbleness. He emptied himself and took on human form, although he was the Son of God. Christ Jesus didn’t claim his divinity on earth at all. He lived just like a human being amongst others. Yet he exhibited his absolute submission and total obedience to God up to the point of his death.

Paul encouraged the the Christians in Philippi to adapt and exercise Christ’s humility in their church. Their adaption of Christ’s humility can be demonstrated in the ways that they shouldn’t do anything out of their selfishness, ambition and conceit, but they should love and respect one another and look to the interests of others. And they should do all things without grumbling and arguing. These things would help the Philippian Christians to live in harmony and enhance unity amongst themselves.

Paul points out that it is God who enables and empowers us to will and work for his good purpose. He loves to see his children love one another and live in harmony and unity.