What does Exodus have to do with us?

At St Peter’s of the Rock this week we are starting to look at the book of Exodus. We are going to delve into the story of some events that happened more than a thousand years before Jesus in the Middle East.

Why? What do they have to do with us? Actually, much more than you may think. In fact, you celebrated them not long ago…

Well, indirectly. But still. You see, we had a weekend off for Easter last weekend. Easter eggs, hot cross buns. But the crosses on the hot cross buns remind us that Easter (Good Friday in particular, when it comes to the cross) is remembered because of the massive impact on our society of the events of the first Easter – the death (on the cross) and resurrection of Jesus. And those events, in turn, happened at Passover time (eg Luke 22:15). And Passover is the time when Jewish people remember the events of the Exodus – God’s great rescue of his people, when he redeemed them out of slavery.

So if you celebrated Easter, you indirectly celebrated the events of the Exodus. the Exodus events are still having an impact on our calendar more than 3000 years later.

However, those events have more to do with us than just an indirect celebration once a year (or perhaps a direct celebration if you are Jewish). Because the New Testament consistently links Jesus to the Passover, for instance the Apostle Paul who said ‘Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed’ (1 Corinthians 5:7). Jesus’ death and resurrection were the fulfilment of these great events in Exodus. And conversely, these great events in Exodus give us deeper insight into Jesus and what he means. They are all part of one great, significant, and true story which has something significant to say to each one of us. And so it will be wonderful on Sunday mornings to share together in the Book of Exodus, and see more of the Great Redeemer who is behind it all.

Love to see you there!

Something missing? Easter at St Peter’s of the Rock

Sometimes it feels like something is missing. Things may be going along okay, but something is still not quite there. Is this all there there is?

Easter is a time that can bring this into focus. Because at Easter, amongst the eggs and hot cross buns and the relaxation of a long weekend, many of us have a sense that there is still something more to be found in our lives. And indeed, the very fact that we still have a public holiday and widespread celebrations at Easter points to our collective memory, just below the surface, that there is indeed something more. And that this ‘something’ is connected to events that happened at this time of year many centuries ago. And that these past events just might have an essential connection to our present.

At St Peter’s of the Rock we are convinced there is something more – and indeed that this ‘something missing’ can be found by any of us. All we have to do is really look.

We’d love to help you do that this Easter. You are so very welcome to join us for either of our Easter services, or both. Who knows – maybe you will find what, deep down, you know you are looking for.

Hope for All

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Ki te whaki tatou i o tatou hara, e pono ana ia, e tika ana, a ka murua e ia o tatou hara, ka horoia atu hoki o tatou he katoa.

1 Honai 1:9

Growth Groups!

We all want to grow. We want to grow like healthy shoots after good rain in good soil, rather than stagnating. Or, to change the metaphor a little (and borrow from someone who knows a few things!), we want to be good soil that produces abundant growth.

How do we grow? One way that I am convinced will be key for us to grow as individuals and as a church at St Peter’s on the Rock is our small groups. Which is why we are calling them Growth Groups.

I think they will be key for our growth in at least two ways:  1) growth in knowing and delighting in God’s word about Jesus; 2) growing in our prayerful care for one another. And Growth Groups are especially good at helping us to do those things together – because each week we have the opportunity to share our lives in a deeper way than we can on Sunday alone. And we can do that in the context of Jesus wonderful lifegiving (and growth giving) message in the Scriptures. And we have the chance to express that care through prayer for one another with people we regularly meet with and deepen our trust in over time.

Growth Groups are a great thing to be involved in. Please be in touch if you’d like to know more or want to get involved!

Manaaki te Atua (God bless), Chris

Back to Luke

After two weeks inclining our hearts and minds to the wisdom of the book of Proverbs, we are heading back to the Gospel of Luke this coming Sunday. We pick up Luke’s extraordinary story of Jesus at a vital moment, when Jesus returns to his hometown and engages with the people there. And in this moment he will set the tone and the agenda for his mission, for what we will see him do in the rest of the Gospel.

I still have a bit of work to do on understanding (and standing under) this passage, so I am excited to see and feel more of how it pans out, and what it will inevitably say to me that I need to hear. And I look forward to sharing it with you this Sunday. Back to Luke we go!

Yours in the One whom the story is all about, Chris