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2020-2021 Sermon Series Booklet
Theme: Brighter and Brighter: Living in God’s Radical Kingdom
- 6th December 2020 – 10th January 2021 : On Higher Grounds
Psalm 120 kicks off a series of Psalms (Psalms 120-134) that are known as the “Psalm of Ascent,” and most believe that they were used liturgically by pilgrims who were on their upward journey to sacred city of Zion/Jerusalem, and particular its temple, to seek God’s blessing. In this first sermon series, we will engage in depth the reflections of these early pilgrims as they walk in the “path of the righteous” in their daily lives, and when confronted with national crisis. Like Psalm 120, many of these Psalms close without resolutions. Many of the verbs used, e.g. “sojourn” (gwr) and “lodge” (škn), serve as subtle reminders to the postexilic Jews living in the Diaspora that they should regard their dwelling there as temporary. By studying these Psalms, we will not only gain comfort, learn to be honest / authentic with God, draw insights on how to trust God in our own particular circumstances, but will be reminded that we too are pilgrims and sojourners in this world: “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 3:20). We, like one of the hymn writers say, must press on the upward way, new heights to be gaining every day; still praying as we onward bound, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
Date Theme Chapter 6/12/2020 The Vigilant God of the Church Psalms 121 13/12/2020 A Song of Trust for Life’s Crisis Psalms 130 20/12/2020 A Song of Trust for the Harvest Psalms 126 27/12/2020 A Song of Trust for the Family Psalms 128 3/1/2021 A Song of Trust for the Individual Psalms 139 10/1/2021 The King of the Church Psalms 145
- 17th January – 14th February 2021 : Vision Sundays
At the beginning of the new year as we celebrate God’s provision, care, guidance and empowerment for the past 70 years of the CCiL journey, we also look forward to a brighter and brighter future (Prov. 4:18). Our future must, however, be inextricably linked to Jesus’ Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20). We want our church to be a discipleship-making church, where each disciple grows to become more like Jesus in loving God, loving believers and loving our neighbours, emphasizing certain core individual and corporate values such as authenticity / integrity and godliness. As members of God’s radical kingdom, we also want to multiply, to reach out, and to help transform London and beyond.
Date Theme Chapter 17/1/2021 Brighter and Brighter Proverbs 4:18 24/1/2021 Vision and Mission Matthew 28:19-20 31/1/2021 Values Sunday – Authenticity Ephesians 4:20-25 7/2/2021 Values Sunday – Godliness 1 Peter 1:14-16 14/2/2021 Values Sunday – Multiplication 2 Timothy 2:1-2
- 21st February – 28th March 2021 : Radical Discipleship (Topsy Turvy Spiritual Laws)
Jesus does not only preach the message of repentance (Mark 1:15), he reconstructs the culture of his time, reframes its questions, reshapes its concerns, and redirects its hopes. As Forsyth says, Jesus and the early church “converted” their culture – they brought the gospel to bear on it so that it was radically changed. This series examines some of “topsy-turvy”, counter-cultural yet timeless principles introduced by Jesus and the apostles. The goal is to help reshape our habits, reframe our worldviews and re-engage our world with fresh Christian insights and godly kingdom values, both as individuals and as a church. Our “brighter and brighter” future must be one that whole-heartedly embraces these values.
Date Theme Chapter 21/2/2021 Last Becomes First Matthew 19:29-20:16 28/2/2021 Poverty Becomes Richness 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 7/3/2021 Death Becomes Life John 12:20-33 14/3/2021 Least Becomes Great (Mother’s Day) Mark 10:32-45 21/3/2021 Denying Oneself Becomes Fullness of Life Matthew 16:13-28 28/3/2021 Insignificant Becomes Significant Matthew 25:31-46
- 4th – 25th April 2021 : Living in Light of the Future
While analysts, stock traders, weather broadcasters and politicians ply their trade in trying to predict what is coming round the corner, it seems to be more and more the case that the only certainty in our times is that nothing is certain. Billions of pounds are spent by companies trying to future-proof their assets. Countless sleepless nights are lost worrying about the loss of a job, succumbing to a sudden illness, the unexpected bill at the end of the month. All of these can cause fear and anxiety to plague our hearts, sap our spiritual vitality, and dim the light of the gospel in our lives.
Yet as Christians, we believe that God’s word provides a clear and decisive picture of what is to come – a future where God is ultimately victorious. How can we fix our hearts and minds on this reality? How can we live today, in light of the things to come? Starting on Easter Sunday, we will spend this short sermon series reflecting on the vision of the future, presented in Revelation 20-21. How does Jesus’ victory over Satan encourage us in our struggle against sin today? How does knowing that everyone will give an account before the judgement throne of God, shape your conversations with those who still don’t know Jesus? If the church is the bride of Christ, how do we live in a way that reflects his love for us?
Join us as we dig into these exciting passages, and ask the holy Spirit to not only reveal to us a clear vision of the future, but also give us the power to live in light of the glorious age to come.
Date Theme Chapter 4/4/2021 Victory over Satan (Easter Sunday) Revelation 20:7-10 11/4/2021 The Judgment Throne of God Revelation 20:11-15 18/4/2021 The New Heavens and Earth Revelation 21:1-8 25/4/2021 The Church as the Bride of Christ Revelation 21:9-27
- 2nd May – 13th June 2021 : Ups and Downs Sojourning with God
The story did not end when God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, the journey with God had just begun. It was not a smooth journey, there were ups and downs, success and failure, disappointment and hope. How did the Israelites get along with God in the desert? And how did God treat Israel? Their journey in the wilderness can help us know more about God and about being human.
The story also does not end today when we believe in God and are saved. Today, we are also on this journey with God. Following the Lord’s path is not easy, we will also encounter difficulties, shortages, challenges, temptations, failures, and confusion. What lessons, reminders, encouragement, and hope does the story of Israel and God have for us today?
Date Theme Chapter 2/5/2021 Man’s Hardship, God’s Healing Exodus 15:22-27 9/5/2021 Man’s Protest, God’s Provision Exodus 16 16/5/2021 Man’s Cooperation, God’s Crusade Exodus 17:8-16 23/5/2021 Man’s Commitment, God’s Covenant Exodus 19:1-9; 24:1-11 30/5/2021 Man’s Wretchedness, God’s Wrath Exodus 32 6/6/2021 Man’s Offertory, God’s Occupancy Exodus 34:4-29; 40:34-35 13/6/2021 Man Proceeds, God Precedes Exodus 40:34-38; Numbers 33:1-49
- 20th June 2021 : Special Sunday on Family Discipleship (Father’s Day)
- 27th June – 18th July 2021 : Radical Church
The “brighter and brighter” future of any church community relies not merely on human words and actions, but on the Holy Spirit and on power (1 Cor. 2:4; 4:20). In this series we will examine carefully the work of the Spirit and the radical expressions of Christian faith of two church communities – the Jerusalem and the Antioch churches. These churches faced unprecedented difficulties at their times: a great famine “over all the world” (Acts 11:28), first ever persecution of the Christian faith (following Jesus’ death and resurrection; Acts 4:1ff), large-scale conversions of non-Jewish communities and the subsequent clashes with Jewish customs (Acts 15:3-5) etc. Yet both churches have an astonishing array of virtues: genuine care for members (Acts 2:45; 4:34), unity in prayer (Acts 4:24), discipline in worship and fasting (Acts 13:2), unreserved generosity (Acts 11:29), love of studying Scriptures (Acts 11:26), and even a multicultural leadership team composed of teachers and prophets (Acts 13:1). No wonder the Holy Spirit selected both churches as the bases for Christian missions. It was at Antioch that the disciples of Jesus were first called Christians. (Acts 11:26), and God continued to add “to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). Both churches are models that we must learn from, and be transformed into.
Date Theme Chapter 27/6/2021 A Truly Radical Community Acts 15:1-29 4/7/2021 A Truly Caring and Prophetic Community Acts 11:19-30 (cf. 1 Cor. 16:1-3) 11/7/2021 A Truly Vibrant and Missional Community Acts 13:1-5 18/7/2021 A Truly Courageous and United Community Acts 4:24-35
- 25th July – 5th September 2021 : Brighter Leadership
“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” — Peter Drucker
Biblical leadership takes us even higher and brighter into the exhilarating realm of impossibilities: think the unthinkable, do the undoable and achieve the unachievable. It combines the unique blend of subservient alignment to God’s call and fearless attainment to God’s vision.
The biblical narratives are full of leaders, many of whom were flawed as was humanity. Therefore, we can learn from their failures and successes many precious lessons in order to be God-fearing and God-pleasing leaders.
Date Theme Chapter 25/7/2021 The Leader Who Turned from Success to Shame – Saul 1 Samuel 15:1-35 1/8/2021 The Leader Who Turned from Defeat to Feat – David 1 Samuel 30:1-24 8/8/2021 Leader Who Turned from Promise to Compromise – Asa 2 Chronicles 15:18-16:13 15/8/2021 The Leader Who Turned from Conqueror to Leper – Uzziah 2 Chronicles 26:1-23 22/8/2021 The Leader Who Turned from Prayer to Fighter – Hezekiah 2 Kings 19:1-37 29/8/2021 The Leader Who Really Cared about God’s Temple and Word – Josiah 2 Kings 22:1-20 5/9/2021 The Leader Who Really Cared about Integrity and Principles – Nehemiah Neh. 13:1-31
- 12th September – 10th October 2021 : A Faith That Works
“Justification by Faith” is a key doctrine of the Christian faith because the Bible tells us that we cannot save ourselves. Only by believing in Jesus Christ can we be saved and our relationship with God be restored. Yet, is our Faith in Christ evident or is it just lip services? Is our Faith sustainable in trials? Does our Faith change our lives? What is the relationship between Faith, Works and Prayer? Let us reflect on our Faith in Christ through the book of James in the coming four weeks.
Date Theme Chapter 12/9/2021 Faith that Withstands Trials James 1:1-8 19/9/2021 Faith that Transforms Life James 1:19-27 26/9/2021 Special Sunday 3/10/2021 Faith that is Tangible James 2:14-26 10/10/2021 Faith that Becomes Visible – the Power of Prayer James 5:13-20
- 17th October – 28th November 2021 : Special Mission Series
- 5th – 26th December 2021 : The Brightest Gift to Give
“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.” Not only is God revealed in the magnificence of his glory through the miracle of the incarnation (John 1:14-15), but we can also learn from the event how to relate to one another through the self-sacrificing model of Jesus, who “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.” (Phil. 2:5-6). “When time was fulfilled,” writes Karl Barth, “God had done something for us for long enough. He put himself at risk, made himself dependent upon us, identified himself with the non-identical. From now, it is high time for us to do something for him.” These four sermons, therefore, not only anticipate Christmas but remind us that God gave us the Brightest Gift of all (in the person of Jesus) in order that we may share it with those around us: “Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matt. 10:8). Put differently, these sermons are not meant to be merely meditative but missional.
Date Theme Chapter 5/12/2021 The Sinless Christ Matthew 2:1-12; Hebrews 4:15 12/12/2021 The Helpless Christ Matthew 2:13-21; Matthew 9:36 19/12/2021 The Hidden Christ Luke 2:25-38; Colossians 1:26 26/12/2021 The Glorious Christ Luke 2:8-16; Hebrews 1:1-4