Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Communion - the widower

By Hayley Boud

Luke 7-11, “Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!”  This report concerning Him went out all over Judea and in all the surrounding district


Here we see Jesus is walking with His disciples when He comes across a funeral procession.  There is a woman who is burying her only son.  She doesn’t have any other children and her husband has already passed away.  While there was a sizeable crowd with her, I’m sure she felt alone.  The woman was crying because she had lost everything.  Her husband, her only child and as you know, in those days the women did not have the right to inherit property so she would also lose her house and means of surviving.  The woman has lost everything.


Jesus sees her and feels compassion on her and touching the coffin, he says, “young man, I say to you arise!”  He makes what is dead to come back to life.  Jesus then gives the son back to his mother. 


I am sure during the year of 2015, you crossed many difficult situations.  Maybe you lost something precious to you.  Maybe you lost a loved one, your job, your health, a friend but Jesus sees us and has compassion on us and comes next to us.  When we are crying, that is the time for Christ to help.


There is a song that I would like to play in the background as we take communion.  It is called “Love Came Down”. The lyrics are so beautiful and so true.  “If the storm of life come and the road ahead gets steep, I will lift my hands in faith and believe, I will remind myself of all that you’ve done, and the life I have because of Your Son.  Love came down and rescued me, love came down and set me free”.


Here in the story of the widow, Jesus came to her and rescued her from losing her son, her house, her livelihood and pretty much everything.  Jesus made the son who was dead to be alive.  Jesus did the same for us, we were once dead in our sin but He came and touched us and said, “arise!”  He made us alive spiritually.


John 6:54, Jesus makes us “arise” with Him on the last day.  Let’s praise God as we take communion for His salvation (coming down from heaven to earth – just for us), for bringing us from death to life and for His promise to raise us up on the last day. 


As we take the bread, let’s remember that Jesus is the bread of life.  As we chew on the bread, let’s think about the life that God has given us, the life He has saved us from and the life we will have with Him for eternity.  As we take the juice, let’s remember that is represents blood and we all know that we can’t live without blood so the blood also represents life.  As you take the juice, taste it and feel it going down your oesophagus and think about Jesus and how He has made us alive and He has compassion on us when we cross difficult situations and rescues us.



Sunday, December 20, 2015


Transcript of the message below (as typed while Odon preached, as such, it is not the full message and may be slightly different from the preaching)...

By Odon Bulamba
We are getting so close to the end of the year, that we now start to count down the hours.  2015 will soon say goodbye and we will never see it again.  If we try to think about what we have done since January until now, we may end up writing books and books because we did a lot.  There was good, bad, positive, negative, pleasant and unpleasant and all we say thank you to God for everything we faced in 2015.


This morning I am going to share with you the message of pregnancy based on the visit of Gabrielle to Mary in Luke 1:28.  Mary was not expecting Gabrielle to visit her.  We are not sure what Mary was doing at the time.  We don’t know what was happening when Gabrielle turned up.  Knock, knock, “who is there”, “it is me”.  The person said, “I greet you, you are blessed”.  The messanger started to convey a message without introducing himself.  He didn’t say, I am an angel from heaven sent from God but he went straight into the message that she is the chosen one and will become pregnant.


Imagine a stranger coming to your house, greeting you with a blessing and saying you will become pregnant, goodbye.  What will your impression be?  Like Mary, you will be shocked.  According to their culture, you can’t just appear without introducing yourself, do that is outside of her culture.


When God visits you, He is the potter and you know the potter only uses clay.  God has chosen a human being, formed from soil to try to transform the life of Mary.  Mary represents you and I who were given a message to carry Jesus in us.  To become pregnant, the child lives inside the body of the mother.  That is what God is teaching us; the church of the New Testament. The Lord not only lives in your heart but in your body.  He is in your fingers, under your skin, in your bones and everywhere around you because he is omnipresent.


Most of the time we try to limit God and tell him, “live in my heart” but what about my head or leg or arm?  What will I become if I don’t give God my whole existence?  People go to the salon to get their hair cut and even coloured and we have to change it every time to make it look good.  The same with our nails and body.  This is not only to look attractive but it is also a commandment from God as our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.  In our bodies is where Jesus will stay.  For that reason, if your body does something wrong, you sin and God is angry because you destroyed the temple. 


Gabrielle gave a blessing to Mary but not a blessing that would bring joy.  When Jesus met with you for the first time, maybe you cried, “oh lord why did you select me, it’s a privilege to be selected, thank you for dying for me,” and you repented and decided to live for him alone.  Mary understood it was a privilege but it was just the beginning of the journey where you see and feel the power of God. 


It’s good to be accepted and chosen by God and Gabrielle didn’t tell Mary, you will be pregnant for nine months with many challenges along the way but he told her that she will give birth to a child who will be called Jesus.  When we get salvation, we have the joy of salvation but from the day we are saved to the day Christ returns, there will be challenges. 


We talk about Christian babies and then they grow slowly to maturity.  When someone is pregnant for one month, you can’t tell and even after seven weeks, no one can see but after a few months it becomes obvious and people start to ask, “who is the father?”  Mary was challenged because the father was the Holy Spirit.  Imagine telling people that the father of your child is the Holy Spirit.  They will send you to a mental hospital.  For that reason, when you talk about the gospel and salvation, people will think we are crazy.  When you say, I can’t do these things anymore (e.g. drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, go night clubbing) people say, why not?


People start to realise a women is pregnant due to the changes appearing in the body.  There is no menstrual period anymore.  What your body used to project, changes.  For example, you used to know Robbie as a fighter and now he doesn’t or Annette used to gossip and she now doesn’t.  Satan will say, “oh six weeks Colleen hasn’t come to the supermarket for her sanitary pads” [e.g. Colleen hasn’t gone to the night club] and satan will realise he is losing you.


The pregnancy will grow in your womb, not in your back or in your legs.  Why does the baby grow in the front?  When we eat, the food goes to the stomach.  We as the land of food will have the baby sit where the food goes.  If you don’t eat properly, the baby may be born with issues.  You have to look at your diet and why should I eat such a way.  If I love the baby in me, I should take care of myself.


What we call Christmas is a picture of the church with Jesus coming into your life and living in you like a baby and where you go, He goes, what you breath and eat, He breaths and eats.  After one month, maybe Mary was drinking milk but after 2 months she starts to vomit it.  Ange used to eat chocolate but getting pregnant maybe she can’t even stand the smell of it because the little baby inside her now makes all the decisions. 


On one occasion, I took a very good friend of mine to a restaurant.  She is a very beautiful lady and she said she loved so much mushrooms but when the waiter brought the mushrooms, she wasn’t comfortable.  Seeing and smelling the mushrooms, the lady started to feel sick and then she vomited…on my plate.  She was embarrassed and tried to say sorry but before she could finish the sentence, she vomited again and I jumped back so I couldn’t get vomited on me. I felt embarrassed because people looked around and people stopped eating.


When you start to spew out Jesus and talk about Him, those around you feel uncomfortable and you destroy their appetite.  Sometimes we are shy and we start to feel nausea and we don’t want people to discover what we have inside us.  I said to the lady at the restaurant, “are you sick?”  She said, “I’m not sick, I’m pregnant”.  When I said ok, she said, “is that all? Maybe you should congratulate me and encourage me and do more than ok”. When you tell people in the church, I am saved now, the church says ok.  We should support these people in their pregnancy.


For Mary, after a few months she had pain in back, joints, she could not sleep freely but all of that is a command, an order coming from what is inside.  The baby changes your diet.  If your diet was just to read Mathew, then when Jesus is inside you and He will tell you to change the diet, go to Jeremiah.  We might think, “I don’t want to read it because it condemns me, I just want something soft that tells me that I’m blessed”.  God says, “I told you on the first day that you are blessed and remember that blessings can be things that are hard to handle”.  When you are blessed you expect to get things that make you joy but blessings can sometimes turn wine to vinegar.


Mary lost her friends, lost her child-hood and became a woman.  Joseph started to doubt and wondered if he should trust her and wondered what he should tell people. Sometimes when you talk about the truth (Word of God) even Christians will start to doubt.  You may also lose your friends because Jesus comes to separate even fathers from children. 


When the pregnancy is four months, even if you were really small, your stomach won’t remain the same, it will grow big.  When the baby grows, you wonder where the skin comes from.  When you pull the skin of my arm, it won’t grow but skin on the stomach becomes elastic to hold the baby inside and the mother is walking day and night with this pregnancy. She walks slowly with the baby inside and she can’t leave the baby aside so she can move faster.


Most of the time we want to do things fast but God doesn’t do things quickly.  God took seven days to create the world while he could have done it all in one second.  He takes His time.  Why do we want to rush things? Why can’t we be patient and let God do things in our lives?


Mary wondered what she should do.  Her friends and family are taking a distance.  Mary was by herself.  Sometimes we cross situations where we start to regret, why God did you allow this to happen in my life and now I’m suffering.  The pregnancy is heavy and everyone is talking about me.  Where are you?  Come and help me but God says wait.


Pregnancy will change the shape of your mind and body and way of walking.  My friend who was pregnant started to hold her back with her hand.  People will look at you and think, oh you are finished.  You can’t tell an eight month pregnant women to run from here to the supermarket or to fight in a kickboxing tournament.  The woman could do it but for the interest of the one inside of her she won’t.  Do you also, for the love of Jesus in you, choose not to sin?


When Mary was nine months pregnant there was a very big temptation as all had to go to the head count.  Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Jerusalem which is a long way without a car and no GPS; just a donkey.  Donkeys are naughty and they make life hard but there was no other choice.  Maybe Joseph blamed Mary, “Why didn’t you tell the angel no?”  Poor Mary was forced to sit on the donkey all the way to Jerusalem. 


Contractions come with no help from Joseph or angels.  Maybe she was crying with the pain, “help me I need water”.  Maybe Joseph complained, “I’m tired with you, you sat on the donkey the whole way while I walked the whole way, you chose this situation, how do I know this is really from God?  When someone attacks you, do you keep quiet or jump back and attack.


One time I went to social welfare and they normally pay $53 per week.  The lady decided I don’t deserve any payment and she said, “don’t ask me why”.  What can you say?  I said thank you and see you next time.  Sometimes it’s hard to see the position you are put in and you have to say nothing.  Maybe your husband is angry from work and you have to pay the price and if you try to open your mouth there will be an explosion.


Mary kept quiet.  It’s not human nature to take off your clothes and walk naked on the streets but when birth comes, people forget about their nakedness and you have to walk without clothes and say, I’m exposed come and help me.  Spiritual nakedness means you expose yourself.  E.g. when you give your testimony in church, “I used to steal, I used to take drugs”.  They are exposing themselves.  This is my nakedness, this is the true me, I’m a bad guy and I don’t deserve this and I don’t have to hide it from you.


When I was travelling overseas one time, we met with gangsters.  The man I was travelling said, “you are lucky because I am a Christian now but I  used to be the worst gangster than you but now I’m changed but you go to the police station and ask about me because I.  He exposed himself.  For example, you might confess to your neighbour, “I killed your cat”.  “You said you didn’t”.  “Yes, I was a liar but now I’ve changed”.  When you have the contraction of your conscience, do you have the courage to come out and repent?


When the woman is coming to the hospital to give birth, all nurses will rush will help the woman.  For that woman who is about to give birth, every position will be wrong: sitting, standing, walking, lying, nothing is comfortable.  Nurses have to support the woman.  When the baby comes, there is a big task.  For any belonging to Jesus, after water and after blood, the baby has to be pushed.  It is your job to push and the world must see what was hidden inside and must see Jesus in us coming out.  You must push otherwise He will die.  Jesus told His disciples, go out and tell people about me, push, let them see Me in you. 


For lazy Christians, they will say, “no it hurts, no God don’t give me such a terrible mission, people will hate me” and God will say, “no, you have to do it”.  At one month after salvation, He takes you kindly and slowly you change until 9 months when you can’t move anymore and you have to push.  I have heard this message of Mary many times, every Christmas we hear the message.  If Mary had decided not to push and finish the work, the angels couldn’t sing and the wise men couldn’t see the star to follow it.


How will God be seen in your life, in your community and in everything you do without you pushing?  The pushing is the effort of the mother only.  It is not by anyone else that the baby can be born.  What strength do you have?  Are you ready to push Jesus?  You need to show those around you Jesus and not only live with Jesus inside of you.  If Jesus lives in you, they will discover but you have a duty to push Jesus out.


A baby is put on the chest of the mother and they hold it.  Many fathers looking on and don’t want to see or be involved, they decide to wait outside.  For those who are around you, you will ask them to come with you to preach but they will say, “no I’m busy”.  You can ask those around you to fast and pray but they will say, “No, I’m taking medicine so I can’t fast today”.


Where Jesus was born, there were animals looking at the nakedness wondering why Mary was in their place, “why are you here, this is our place, you are at the wrong place”.  Which reminds us that to give a testimony should not only be in front of Christians but we have to go to see the unbelievers and tell them who you were but now you have changed. 


We are all pregnant but maybe my pregnancy has been there for 10 or 56 years.  What have you been doing with your pregnancy?  How healthy do you eat? What exercises do you do to protect the child?  You are blessed as the Holy Spirit has testified.  Have you decided to give an abortion?  As Christians we should not terminate the blessing but hold onto it.


When Mary was to give birth, how much help did she have?  She was forced to play a major role to look after the temple of God.  If you don’t feed the baby properly, it may have problems in the same way that if you don’t feed your faith properly, you may have problems.


This morning, I saw a dress on the internet that was shocking.  It was a normal dress from the front but on the back was a picture of the naked backside.  If worn, people will think you are naked.  Sometimes we walk with a gospel but put a picture on top of it so people can’t see that we are a Christian.  Your physical appearance is a big step to help preach the gospel.  If you dress like a stripper, then people won’t consider you as a child of God.


When the baby is born, it has to be fed properly.  Sandy is the daughter of Colleen not daughter of Trish.  We are children of God but we also have to look after Him as our own precious child that is why Jesus came as a precious child of the church.  Who is your baby?  Do you breast feed him? When things go wrong, what do you do?  Do you just shout to God? 


Sometimes you tell a child, “give that to me” and they will say, “no”.  God does the same.  Those who enter the Kingdom of God have to behave like children.  E.g. “God, I’ve been giving offering every time at church, God can I have $2.”  “No”.  “I need a job”.  “No”.  “I need a child”.  “No”.  “I give up God, I won’t listen to you anymore, I won’t visit that person anymore because God you are unfair”.  Yes, he is unfair.  He glorifies himself in everything He does. 


He decided to create satan and he decided to be evil.  He gives to others but not to us.  He is God.  God takes those who are strong (to heaven) but leaves those who are old.  When Jesus decides to live in you, it is a privilege.  You have to prepare your mind and body.  Christmas is coming and we have to celebrate but we should also celebrate the work we have been doing and think about what we will do until Christ comes back.