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Trevor introduces our new preaching series

In Revelation 4, we read about a scene of heavenly worship, with four living creatures gathered around the throne. One of the traditions of the early church was that these living creatures were symbols of the ‘four evangelists’, those who had written the Gospels. Matthew is thought of as being symbolised by the ‘winged man’, reflecting the story he tells of the Jesus who is fully God but also fully human. Luke is symbolised by the bull, his Gospel speaking of Christ as a figure of sacrifice, service and strength. John’s Gospel, with its soaring and lofty language is thought of as an eagle. And what of the Gospel written by Mark? The symbol for his book is the lion: wild, untamed, full of energy and action, an account which seems to race, breathlessly, from one event to the next. In the words of Eugene Peterson:

St Mark’s story-telling is fast-paced, austere, and compellingly dramatic. Mark does not linger, does not elaborate, does not explain, does not digress. Event follows event, narrative details piling up pell-mell, seemingly without design. Careful observation discovers a design, a stunning and intricate design, but unobtrusive and concealed. Mark as a storyteller is entirely unpretentious.1

Mark’s Gospel begins with a clear and direct announcement about the identity of its central character:

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God… Mark 1:1

This is a story about a change and transformation to the world brought about by Jesus, that is above and beyond any other ‘good news’ stories told by the world. Another well-known feature of Mark’s Gospel is the account it provides of the different responses of those who encounter Jesus. The disciples are presented in warts-and-all terms. In the words of one commentator, ‘they routinely fail to understand Jesus, ignore what he says, respond to him sarcastically, grow more confused as the narrative progresses, and finally, betray, deny and abandon him.’ 2

Jesus himself appears to want to minister ‘under the radar’, often telling those he has healed not to disclose the details of the miracles which have occurred.

1 Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, 2005
2 Timothy Gombis, The Story of God Bible Commentary: Mark, 2021  


However, there are ‘outsider’ figures who, in contrast to the disciples, are able to perceive who Jesus is and the level of power he possesses. Three such characters (a demon-possessed man, a haemorrhaging woman and the synagogue leader Jairus) appear in chapter 5.

As Mark’s story unfolds, those who are reading it are constantly challenged by these responses: what about us? Are we like Bartimaeus who, in spite of his physical blindness, ‘heard’ of the coming of Jesus and begged for healing (10:47)? Or are we like the disciples, with eyes that fail to see and ears that fail to hear (8:18)?

The beginning of a New Year feels like an appropriate time to immerse ourselves in Mark’s Gospel. From Christmas to Easter, we’ll reflect on a book which has much to teach us about how we might faithfully live out the vision we believe God has laid on our hearts:

  • As we seek to be God-centred, we’ll reflect on the greatest commandment given to us by Jesus (12:29–31) the Messiah who suffered many things, was rejected, killed and rose again (8:31).
  • As we seek to be a serving church, we’ll consider what it means to follow the one who came, ‘not … to call the righteous, but sinners’, (2:17) and who taught his disciples that, ‘whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all’ (10:43–44).
  • As we seek to be a generous church, we’ll look afresh at the healing and forgiveness given to a paralysed man (2:1–13) and the story that ends with 12 baskets of leftovers after a meal for 5,000 people (6:30–44).
  • As we seek to be a kingdom church, we’ll be challenged by the welcome Jesus offers to the likes of the Syro-Phoenician woman (7:24–30) and compare and contrast the childlike attitude required to enter the kingdom and the response of the rich man who, ultimately, cannot part with his wealth (10:13–31).
  • As we seek to be a courageous church, we’ll consider the sending of the twelve, urged to ‘take nothing for the journey’ (6:8), and the call to daring prayer found in the story a boy possessed by an impure spirit (9:14–29).
  • Finally, as we seek to a contemplative church, we’ll talk about the lessons to be learned from the time when Jesus went off to pray in a solitary place, in spite of the fact that others were looking for him (1:35–39). We also consider the radical approach he took to Sabbath (2:23–27). 
Date Text Sermon title
02/01/2021  Mark 1:14–20 Kingdom news is good news – come on board!
09/01/2021 Mark 1:35–39 There's lots to do – let's pray instead
16/01/2021 Mark 2:1–13 Forgiveness, healing and welcome
23/01/2021 Mark 2:13–17 Who are we here for?
30/01/2021 Mark 2:23-–8 Walking Together
06/02/2021 Mark 6:6b–13  Journeying out and travelling light
13/02/2021 Mark 6:30–44 5 loaves, 2 fish, 5,000 people and 12 baskets
20/02/2021 Mark 7:24–30 Who's on the outside looking in?
27/02/2021   Global Mission – theme to be confirmed
06/03/2021 Mark 8:27–33 Human concerns and Godly concerns
13/03/2021 Mark 9:14–29 If you can?
20/03/2021 Mark 10:13–31 Kingdom admission criteria
27/03/2021 Mark 10:35–45 Who wants a seat at the top table?
03/04/2021 Mark 12:28–34 The ultimate measure of success
10/04/2021 Mark 11:1–11 Palm Sunday: We have a king who rides a donkey
17/04/2021 Mark 16:1–8 The Easter Rising
16/01/2022
Rev. Trevor Neill
Psalm 103:1–12
Mark 2:1–12
02/01/2022
Rev. Trevor Neill
Jeremiah 16:14–18
Mark 1:14–20
Glenys
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
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Planning your Visit

Welcome 

We’re glad you've chosen to have a look at our website, and hope you’re interested to find out more about Selsdon Baptist Church.

A church is primarily about people, and we are a friendly group of people who love God and live in Selsdon and nearby.

We have a church building on Addington Road, Selsdon, and we are starting to worship again in this space as Covid restrictions ease. Some people are still not comfortable joining us in person, so we also live stream our worship on YouTube

We’d be delighted for you to join us at 10:30am on Sundays either in person or on our live stream YouTube worship. You can also listen to the midweek reflections on YouTube.

If you’d like to find out more about us and about our Christian faith, please browse the website. The Blog page will give you a feel for our recent ideas and activities. If you would like to talk to someone, please fill out the contact form below for a chat.

Now the pandemic has eased, you can come and see what we’re like on a Sunday and at other events – watch the website to see what's on.

You may find the following pages useful to read more about  us:

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Leadership 

Trevor Neill   12
Rev Trevor Neill   Rev. Denzil Larbi
Ministry Team Leader   Associate Minister with a focus on Evangelism
 
We hope that whoever you are, you will feel at home at our church.