Song ”I shall not want”
Song “Psalm 23”
Song “In the beginning”
Song “Christ be in my waking”
Song “God with us”
Song ”Lead kindly light”
The world belongs to God
The earth and all its people
How good and lovely it is
To live together in unity
Love and faith come together
Justice and peace join hands
Song “See what a morning”
Let us in silence remember our faults and failings
Christ have mercy on us, and deliver us from our sins and may we amend our lives
The Lords Prayer in our own language
Song “Psalm 139”
Reading Matthew 16v13-20
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[a] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[c] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[d] loosed in heaven.”20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Song “Come thou fount”
s your special place in Gods kingdom however humble?
I met a man on a bus. He had loads of bags and I fell into the seat by him. He apologised for the bags. I said believe me bags are not a problem!
He laughed and we got talking. He was a doctor from Iraq. In 2003 he fled to Sweden. He had to establish his medical credentials and get his wife out of Bagdad. He now works every day God sends in a hospital in Stockholm to support his young family. He loves Stockholm and feels safe there. He was visiting an aunt in Birmingham. He loves Birmingham too and cities. He was horrified by recent events in Iraq but because of the trauma he has been through he cannot watch the news. He is an Iraqi, a doctor, a husband, an Arab, a Muslim, a dad, a niece, a man who has been through horrendous trauma.
This was his identity. The story in Matthew is about identity.
Peter's confession of Jesus as the Christ is a turning point in the gospels and in Matthew.
The story in Matthew is set in Banais on the Israel Lebanese border or Caesarea Philippi as it was calledthen, rebuilt by Herod Philip and renamed as Caesarea. It is beautiful spot with fallen statues to Greek gods.
Jesus has moved away from the crowds to teach his disciples to the district of Caesarea Philippi, at the base of Mount Hermon and some 50 kilometers North of Galilee, a Gentile town. Jesus has moved from Jewish to Gentile territory.
As they were walking, Jesus was reversing the normal practice of disciples asking rabbis questions, "Who do people say that I am?"
Neither the crowds, nor the religious authorities, had come to recognize Jesus as the messiah. Herod Antipas, thought he was John the Baptist risen from the dead. Many saw him as an Elijah figure, the promised prophet who precedes the Messiah (the one crying in the wilderness). Others saw him as a Jeremiah figure, a prophet of doom, while others saw him as a a common or garden prophet but not the Jewish messiah. It was a devalued assessment of Jesus' person.
"But what about you?" he says to them, "You're the Christ" said Peter, the anointed one, the messiah-because he had caught a glimpse of this reality. The Christ is the messiah, the anointed one, the coming one, as promised in the Old Testament, "Son of the living God", the living one. It separates God from the other dead gods; Jesus pushes the disciples to voice their own understanding of who he was. Peter's confession probably expresses what all the disciples thought, that Jesus was the messiah, sent by God to save Israel.
Jesus replied that Peter is the favoured one, son of Jonah, in Aramaic bar-Jona. This is the only reference to Peter's full name. Possibly a shortened version of Johanan. The name is from the Akkadian word which means "terrorist", so Matthew is alluding to Peter's Zealot background. Peter's understanding is still limited. He had not yet grasped the significance of a suffering messiah.
You are Peter, petra/rock, usually a large stone. Elsewhere Jesus is the rock, but here Peter is the rock and Jesus is the builder and upon Peters confession of faith, Jesus will build his future church. In the Old Testament "the gates of Hades" refers to death (Job.17:16, Isa.38:10). Hades is the underworld or death. Jesus is saying that the church will stand against the powers of darkness.
Bind is a Jewishtechnical term meaning forbid (loose = permit) hinder or restrict from entering the kingdom of heaven, exclude from membership. Jesus says that the teachers of the law hindered those who were seeking to enter the kingdom because of their false teaching and their nitpicking rules.
Through the power of the key, Peter, and consequently, all believers, can bind or loose. Wrongly the church has historically concentrated this in a priestly or authoritative role. The one who holds the keys has the power to open the gates of the kingdom, or to close them, give permission for people to enter the kingdom, or exclude people from it.
But Jesus wants this secret kept and keeps a low profile with regard his messianic credentials to dampen popular political messianic aspirations, for those "with eyes to see". He warned the disciples that they should not mention this to anyone. There’s a time for secrets and a time for exposure. This is Kairos time. Gods time. Gods timing
Peter is given the keys to the kingdom as a servant is given the keys to the house. The servant is the manager of God's house, having authority over his house. The giving of keys means the bestowing of authority, of power and control. Keys are symbolic of who can go in and who can go out of a house.
So binding means forbid, hinder, restrict, put in fetters binding of Satan, demonic powers
Loosing means permit, acquit, releasing people from the bondage of evil and forgiving sins
The church that Jesus tells Peter he is about to build, is a community gathered around the teachings of the Messiah, Jesus. It is not a building or an institution!
As we go back into buildings remember they are not the church. We are. The community of people gathered around Jesus.
Are we binding or loosing? Are we recognising who we are? Do we value peoples’ identity? And their calling? We should. What is your identity and your calling? Stay faithful to it. Amen
“Spirit of the Living God”
We pray for people and situations we are concerned about including people having to go back into lockdown, the fatalism of young people, the desperate people crossing the sea in dinghies, continuing deaths from Covid 19, the ongoing unrest in Belarus, Hong Kong and Syria and other places, the rise of fascism, the government, the Rohinga Muslims, Muslims being persecuted in China, protection for key workers and adequate PPE, protection for Black and Asian people, for people on low or no incomes, for those with underlying health conditions and those over 60, care for those who are alone and those suffering with depression, protection for asylum seekers and refugees and ensuring that food is reaching the vulnerable and global warming.
May we not fail you. Amen
Song “Holy, Holy, Holy”
ou passing on the keys of Gods house to?
The blessing of God be upon you
On those you love and those you meet
This day and forevermore. Amen
(C) With thanks to the Iona Community adapted
馬修的故事是在以色列黎巴嫩邊界的Banais或當時的凱撒利亞腓立比（Caesarea Philippi）中設定的，由希律·菲利普（Herod Philip）重建並更名為凱撒利亞。這是向希臘眾神傾倒雕像的美麗景點。
耶穌已經從人群中移開，去教他的門徒們去凱撒利亞·菲利比凱撒（Caesarea Philippi）地區，該地區位於赫爾蒙山（Mount Hermon）基地，外邦小鎮加利利以北約50公里。耶穌已經從猶太人移居到外邦領地。