Tough Topics?

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“You must follow me!” John 21:22

The above was spoken by Jesus after his resurrection to one of his followers. Such words Jesus had said on different occasions calling people to live like Him, to be learners (disciples).

In the ‘christian world’ there is much talk (I think quite rightly ) of freedom in Christ, forgiveness, new life, peace with God, knowing the Lord’s grace and truth in life. All this and much more is part of what Christians see as being expression of the ‘kingdom of God’.

Sooner or later though for anyone seeking to be a Christ follower, there will be questions, challenges, doubts even(?) that arise from the interaction between faith and life. That was true back in 1st Century Roman occupied Judea when Jesus began the movement that follows Him and it is true now. There can be ‘Tough Topics’- things that might confuse or seem impossible to navigate a way through.

During some of the Sundays between now and the school summer break, the talks given as part of the services will look at some such toughies! We will put each topic in the chair (to refer to the picture above) and seek to shine a spotlight on it! We will begin with looking at some of the challenges of being called to reconciliation in this world:

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God” Matthew 5:9

“And he has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation” 2 Corinthians 5:19

What comes to your mind when you think of ‘reconciliation’?

If we have been reconciled to God through Christ, what might this mean for our lives and the wider world? Is there a limit to the reach of reconciliation? In reaching out to others, can we keep our own identity but still be open to them? Is reconciliation only good news for people or can it mean good for the rest of creation too?

That topic will then flow into others, such as ‘Navigating Differences’ – how might we do this and ‘Running Silent’ – when it seems like God has gone to sleep and prayer is not answered.

I cannot promise you easy answers with the topics we look at. Plus only so much can be said since we only have 25 to 30 minutes for a talk each time. Yet I hope that this series will help us in seeing that Christ’s call to follow Him is possible even amidst journeying through some of the challenges of faith and life.

Much grace,


Sunday 28th April: ‘A Call to Reconciliation’ – being willing to reach out to others (Matthew 5:9, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21)

Sunday 5th May: ‘Navigating Differences’ – how might we do this? (John 13:34-35, Acts 15:1-5, Acts 15:36-41)

Sunday 19th May: ‘So if there is Jesus, who is the Holy Spirit then?’ (Pentecost Sunday)

Sunday 26th May: ‘The Problem of Persecution’ – Matt Thijs from St James Church speaking this day

Sunday 2nd June: ‘Navigating Differences Part 2’ – some further thoughts (Luke 7:36-50)

Sunday 16th June: ‘Running Silent’ – when it seems like God has gone to sleep!

Sunday 23rd June: ‘Embracing Diversity’ – faith community for all including those who are neurodivergent.

In the services of 12th May, 9th and 30th June there maybe talks that do not fall under the‘Tough Topics’ theme.