Notes of Meeting Sunday 22nd May 2022

Lee Street Church

Notes of Meeting 22nd May 2022

Worship led by Ken Cowell

Luke 4. 16 “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.”

A custom can be described as a usual or habitual way of behaving.  In Japan there is a good custom when a person visits your house they always bring a gift, which is often a box of delicious cakes.  Of course you must remember to do the same when you visit another person’s house.  It appears to have been a custom for a Jew to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and Jesus himself observed this custom as we just read.    Christians all over the world have followed the custom of going to church on Sundays which is a good thing to do.  But there can be dangers even with good customs.  It is so easy for the custom to become more important than the reason for the custom. 

Many people in our western culture are satisfied with the habit of going to church, without thinking seriously why they go to church.  The custom of attending church has become for many people a ritual performed each Sunday like brushing one’s teeth.   The act of going to church has become the purpose, so what happens in church has little value or impact.  We too ourselves, can make the mistake of allowing the custom to become the priority, so that just by coming to church we feel satisfied that we have fulfilled our spiritually responsibility to God.  We need to ask ourselves this morning what’s important about coming to this place and what’s the reason for being here?  This place is important because Jesus is here as he promised to be so when his people meet in his name.  This is no ordinary event like any other social gathering because Jesus is here.  Also we are here to worship God and that is one of the reasons why we were created and redeemed.   We focus on those two thoughts in our first songs.

Song:   40        Be still for the Presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here                                                                                        Song:  1205    Come now is the time to worship                                                                                                              


Matthew 15.8-9 “These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”

What happens when the custom of meeting becomes more important than the reason for our meeting?  Our worship just becomes legalistic and just a ritual of going through the motions lacking reality and sincerity.  Jesus describes it as worship just coming from the lips but nothing coming from the heart.  He calls the people hypocrites.  Their problem wasn’t just in the synagogue but in their daily lives.  They put the words and opinions of men above the teachings of God.  God didn’t figure in their lives during the week so they couldn’t really worship Him on the Sabbath.  Worship to God isn’t just a Sunday activity but a daily activity.  Our worship on Sunday is really a summary of our worship during the week.   Worship isn’t just the offer of my lips, but the offer of my life and all I am.  Let’s sing our next songs with commitment and sincerity

Song:  851      I will offer up my life                                                                                                                                                            Song:  226      I love you Lord, and I lift my voice

Colossians 1.6 “All over the world the gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.”

In this passage Paul is thanking God for the conversion of the believers in Colosse.  How did they become Christians?  Firstly they heard the gospel but that in itself wasn’t enough.     Secondly, “they understood God’s grace in all its truth”.  Salvation is a gift of God’s grace and not through anything we can do or earn.  The ordinary person cannot understand God’s grace for they believe that salvation can only be theirs by their good works and effort.  We must understand the truth of God’s grace in order to believe and receive it.  This understanding of God’s grace which is God’s unconditional, undeserved, unmerited and unearned love that gives salvation only comes through God revealing its truth to us.  God’s grace is amazing!   As we celebrate communion many times it also can become routine and we can lose the sense of wonder and amazement of God’s grace.  Our last song reminds us of how amazing God’s grace is.

Song: Who breaks the power of sin and darkness…….this is amazing grace!

Breaking of Bread

Ken’s synopsis of his talk

Shamgar (Judges 3:31)

  1. The Unknown Hero
  • Shamgar’s actions are unknown (just 1 verse)
  • His background and origins are unknown
  • His name means unknown, literally ‘named a stranger’

We can sometimes feel as though our story and circumstances are unknown by those around us (especially as we go through difficult or testing times) and sometimes even by God. Yet we need to remind ourselves he does know and cares:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. [Matthew 10:29-30]

We are not unknown to God

  1. The Ill-Equipped Hero

However, we interpret the verse, Shamgar was not equipped for this battle. An ox-goad was not an effective weapon, but nothing else was available

“Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.” [1 Samuel 13:19]

We can sometimes feel ill-equipped or imagine that others are far better equipped for the tasks ahead than we are, yet God often used the least and the last to achieve his purposes:

  • David was the youngest son, not old enough to fight with his brothers
  • Gideon was from the smallest tribe
  • Saul was hiding among the baggage

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; [1 Corinthians 1:26-27]

  1. The Commissioned Hero

Ultimately Shamgar ‘saved Israel. As short as his story was, he was part of bigger story, and he had been called and commissioned by God

 We are part of God’s big plan with no less a calling than to save people.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [Matthew 28:19-20]

The small actions we perform in reaching out to other are, in fact, not small at all, they are  part of this big story.

Closing Song: In every circumstance of life



  • Wednesday evening Zoom bible study and prayer time at 7.30pm
  • Speaker next Sunday will be Stephen Neill                                                                     
  • Next Saturday there is an “afternoon show of Motown and soul classics”, performed by Gee Bello (a founder member of WHAM!). Tickets cost £10.00, and are in aid of the Church Spire appeal.
  • The arrangements for Bob’s funeral on Wednesday 8th June are:
  1. Cremation at Surrey & Sussex Crem. At 2.00pm – family and close friends only invited to attend.
  2. Followed by Thanksgiving Service for his life at 3.15pm at Lee Street.
  • Following the appeal last week for us to support the work of Barnabas Aid amongst persecuted Christians, we are seeking to fill up a few boxes with:

Rice – Chick peas – Lentils – salt (bags, NOT plastic bottles)