In the evening service, we will spend some time looking at a number of biblical characters who faced failure and pain. Where was God? What happens next? This instalment focuses on the figure of Samson, who was given one last feat of strength.
In creation, God made everything good. That is no longer quite the world we live in. Our souls long for the original goodness, and try to recapture it in all sorts of ways - but the only place where we can find it is in the good God himself.
In the account of Peter's preaching in Acts and the subsequent response, we do see both how people come to faith, and also how that faith is sustained in community - great themes to explore in a baptism service.
Sometimes when we pray, it seems that our prayer doesn't make it past the ceiling. What do we make of that experience? Is God ever absent? We reflect on these questions with the help of Jesus' teaching on the unexpected guest and the grumpy friend.
Jonah is not particularly pleased that Nineveh is saved, but God says: \'should I not have concern?\' This links us straight to the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Luke 15, and God's concern that the gospel goes out to a lost world today.
Sabbath is not just a day in the week. God tells whole communities to keep sabbath time. Fields, animals, servants get a sabbath - in fact the whole economic system gets a sabbath. We are not under the Levitical law, of course, but there are still implications for us today.
Rest seems like a waste of time. Most of us have a difficult time imagining a day devoted to rest. We admire people who work hard and play hard. And yet God rested on the seventh day, and tells us to do the same.