Blog April 16th Risen! The Musical Watch Party and Coventry Pentecost 2015

Cast for first professional performance of Risen! The Musical Coventry Pentecost Festival 2015.

First flash mob for Risen! The Musical – Coventry 2015.

Well the Facebook Risen! The Musical Watch Party took place on Saturday. I messed up the tech and there were three parties going on at the same time- also people kept losing the stream. Nevertheless it was great for the London Touring Cast to reminisce and interact. They joined from all over the world – Jodie Quirke, who played Mary Magdalene, was in Dubai and Max Panks, who played Jesus, was confined to his cabin on a cruise ship anchored off the coast of Florida.
After the Watch Part Darren Bovis Coulter (see blog of October 25th 2018) live streamed the whole of Risen! The Musical. We received some wonderful comments such as “This is the best musical I have ever seen! This made me think of the first performance of Risen! The Musical at the 2015 Coventry Pentecost Festival which Darren had a big part to play in organising. I also reminisced on how this all came about and below have taken an extract from my blog of May 2017
The Risen! CD was mastered by Andrew Bourbon, who was Joffy Girling, our Musical Director’s Lecturer while they were at Birmingham University. Andrew is now a Senior Lecturer at the London College of Music (LCM) which is part of the University of West London based in Ealing. He was so impressed with the show that he told his colleagues in the Performing Arts Department. I met one such colleague, Niamh Mcguckin, who Lectures in Voice (which means singing too) and she too was so impressed that she took it upon herself to form a cast from LCM students and alumni together with fellow professionals. She acquired the use of the LCM facilities (which are amazing) for rehearsals and had 10 rehearsals on Wednesdays and Sundays before the Pentecost production.
So finally, after more than four years of writing, recording and piloting Risen!-The Musical premiered at the Coventry Pentecost Festival on Saturday, May 23rd. It was an unforgettable day; the cast from the London College of Music were absolutely brilliant, not just in their performance but also for being such a great bunch of people to be with. So a huge thanks from me to them for everything that made the day so special – the “flash mob” in the Lower Precinct (our featured video) – Jodie managing a great performance even though poorly sick- the impromptu singing of “Jesus is My Lord” in the Marquee, with that pretty much straight after the cast arrived after a two and a half hour journey. I will never forget the way that “jaws dropped” when people heard Leah sing the opening notes – they obviously had no idea of how good the cast would be but they certainly found out there and then! And of course all the commitment, patience and good humour in rehearsing with such a short time available – oh and I nearly forgot, for helping me drink a few glasses of Prosecco!
Tremendous thanks also for the amazing organisation that took place from the Festival Organisers “Hope for Coventry” – Andrew , Angus, Matthew and of course my great mate Darren- Bovis Coulter. Also to Jo the Manager of Holy Trinity Church’s Prayer House ; some parts of this inspiring building were built in the 15th Century and the cast had the privilege of using it for their changing rooms. Just behind us was Coventry Cathedral, which is so impressive with the new building standing side by the side with the original that was bombed in World War Two.
Biggest thanks, however must go to Niamh McGuckin, our brilliant Director who also played Mary Mother of Jesus. With very little time to rehearse she worked tirelessly to ensure that the production was of the highest possible quality. Her humility was also really apparent when she looked so shocked when the cast presented her with a bouquet of flowers in thanks for all her efforts.
So many people said such kind things about Risen!- The Musical but here is a quote from Andrew – one of the organisers:
“Risen! – The Musical” was a wonderful climax to the Coventry Pentecost Festival -we were treated to an uplifting portrayal of the story of Holy Week to Pentecost through amazing songs, word, action and dance by a highly professional team who conveyed the hope of the Gospel very powerfully. We felt truly blessed and privileged to host the premiere of this inspirational musical and everybody I spoke to was blessed by it. We wish you all God’s blessing in the future, and that “Risen!” will bless many thousands of people in the months to come.
Jesus – Mikey Wooster
Mary Mother of Jesus – Niamh McCuckin
John- Andrew Dovaston
Mary Magdalene- Jodie Quirke
Peter- Kieran Lawson
Mary sister of Martha and Lazarus – Claire Hutchinson
Thomas- Adam Valentine
Mary wife of Clopas – Leah Godbold
James- Johnny Fitzharris
Cleopas- Benny Bright
Cleopas’ friend- Coby Collins
Judas – Ennio Ficiur
Director and Mary Mother of Jesus: Niamh McCuckin
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.
Chuck Swindoll

Blog April 9th Risen! The Musical Watch Party

This coming Easter Saturday, April 11th I am hosting a Facebook Watch Party for the full length English subtitled version of Risen! The Musical. It is scheduled for 4.00 pm and it would be great if you could join and interact with others as we use this relatively new Facebook feature.
If you are unable to join then please watch at some other time during this Easter season. I really hope you enjoy it and will be blessed.
Today is Maundy Thursday but why Maundy? Wikipedia says:
Maundy is the name of the Christian rite of footwashing, which traditionally occurs during Maundy Thursday church services. Most scholars agree that the English word maundy is derived through Middle English and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum (also the origin of the English word “mandate”), the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”) This statement by Jesus is from the Gospel of John 13:34 by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet.
Others theorize that the English name “Maundy Thursday” arose from “maundsor baskets” or “maundy purses” of alms which the King of England distributed to certain poor at Whitehall before attending Mass on that day. Thus, “maund” is connected to the Latin mendicare, and French mendier, to beg. A source from the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod likewise states that, if the name was derived from the Latin mandatum, we would call the day Mandy Thursday, or Mandate Thursday, or even Mandatum Thursday; and that the term “Maundy” comes in fact from the Latin mendicare, Old French mendier, and English maund, which as a verb means to beg and as a noun refers to a small basket held out by maunders as they maunded.
Quote of the day
Looking like the churches may be empty this coming Easter but have no fear so is the tomb!

Blog April 2nd Risen! The Musical Promo

Lean on Me (Bill Withers) featuring the Mustard Seed Soul Band from the album Heart and Soul recorded and produced by Ross Gill

With the lock down and Easter fast approaching I have put talking about St Paul on hold to concentrate on directing people to Risen! The Musical.
The promo which is featured today was produced by Mustard Seed Song’s Musical Director Joffy Girling specifically for AO Vision who are distributing the Risen! The Musical DVDs. AO Vision was behind the recent cinema release of the animated “Pilgrims Progress.”
I am hoping that after watching today’s promo you will share via email and social media and be ready to view the complete Show next week.
Thank you.
Quote of the week
Jesus provides safe access from here to eternity.
Selwyn Hughes in Every Day With Jesus

Blog March 26th St Paul – Part Two

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled- featuring the London Touring Cast from the album Risen! The Musical recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

So last week I wrote that Mustard Seed Songs’ sequel to Risen! The Musical is Acts- The Musical and that the second act centres on Saul/Paul.
Last week I looked at why Saul’s name changed to Paul – this week I will look at his early life.
The two main sources of information by which we have access to the earliest segments of Paul’s career are the Bible’s Book of Acts and the autobiographical elements of Paul’s letters to the early Christian communities. Paul was likely born between the years of 5 BC and 5 AD. The Book of Acts indicates that Paul was a Roman citizen by birth, and there is some debate as to how this came to be. One school of thought says that he inherited the citizenship from his father who gained it either by purchasing it or by performing some notable deed in the military.
He was from a devout Jewish family based in the city of Tarsus, one of the largest trade centres on the Mediterranean coast. It had been in existence several hundred years prior to his birth. It was renowned for its university. During the time of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC, Tarsus was the most influential city in Asia Minor
Paul referred to himself as being “of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee”. The Bible reveals very little about Paul’s family. Acts quotes Paul referring to his family by saying he was “a Pharisee, born of Pharisees”. Paul’s nephew, his sister’s son, is mentioned in Acts 23:16. In Romans 16:7 he states that his relatives, Andronicus and Junia, were Christians before he was and were prominent among the Apostles.
The family had a history of religious piety. Apparently the family lineage had been very attached to Pharisaic traditions and observances for generations. Acts says that he was an artisan involved in the leather or tent-making profession. This was to become an initial connection with Priscilla and Aquila with whom he would partner in tent making and later become very important fellow missionaries- Acts 18:18-19
While he was still fairly young, Paul was sent to Jerusalem to receive his education at the school of Gamaliel, one of the most noted rabbis in history. Some of his family may have resided in Jerusalem since later the son of one of his sisters saved his life there.- Acts 23: 16-17. Nothing more is known of his biography until he takes an active part in the martyrdom of Stephen,[ a Hellenised diaspora Jew converted to Christianity- Acts 7- 8.
Although we know from his biography and from Acts that Paul could and did speak Hebrew, modern scholarship suggests that Koine Greek was his first language. In his letters, Paul drew heavily on his knowledge of Stoic philosophy, using Stoic terms and metaphors to assist his new Gentile converts in their understanding of the Gospel and to explain his Christology.
Source Wikipedia

Today’s featuring song “ Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled” is, I felt, appropriate for the difficult times in which we are living. It is sung by Jesus to His disciples and comes from John 14: 1-3

Blog March 19th St Paul – Part One

In Times of Trouble featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album ” I Look Up To the Heavens” recorded and produced by John Hodgkinson

Apart from last week when this blog centred on my mum’s testimony I had been looking at the life of St Peter who is the central figure in the first part of the Bible’s Acts of the Apostles. The second half centres on St Paul who was first called Saul.
In Mustard Seed Songs’ sequel to Risen! The Musical – Acts- The Musical – the second act also centres on Saul/Paul.
So one obvious question is why did Saul’s name change to Paul. I did a bit of research and found:

It has been popularly assumed that Saul’s name was changed when he became a follower of Jesus Christ, but that is not the case. His Jewish name was “Saul” (Hebrew: שָׁאוּל, Modern: Sha’ûl, Tiberian: Šāʼûl), perhaps after the biblical King Saul,] a fellow Benjamite and the first king of Israel. According to the Book of Acts, he was a Roman citizen.] As a Roman citizen, he also bore the Latin name of “Paul” (essentially a Latin transliteration of Saul)—in biblical Greek: Παῦλος (Paulos) and in Latin: Paulus. It was typical for the Jews of that time to have two names: one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek.
Jesus called him “Saul, Saul” in “the Hebrew tongue” in the book of Acts, when he had the vision which led to his conversion on the Road to Damascus. Later, in a vision to Ananias of Damascus, “the Lord” referred to him as “Saul, of Tarsus”. When Ananias came to restore his sight, he called him “Brother Saul”.
In Acts 13:9, Saul is called “Paul” for the first time on the island of Cyprus—much later than the time of his conversion. The author (Luke) indicates that the names were interchangeable: “Saul, who also is called Paul.” He thereafter refers to him as Paul, apparently Paul’s preference since he is called Paul in all other Bible books where he is mentioned, including those that he authored. Adopting his Roman name was typical of Paul’s missionary style. His method was to put people at their ease and to approach them with his message in a language and style to which they could relate, as in 1 Corinthians 9:19–23.
I do, of course fully appreciate the tremendously difficult times that the whole world is, at present facing. I therefore trust today’s featured song “In Times of Trouble” is appropriate
Also instead of the weekly quote here is a prayer:
Dear God
I pray for healing for all those infected by this deadly virus. Only You can move in a mighty way and do the impossible for them. We pray for all negative outcomes to be resolved by Your healing hands. Bless and cover each and every single person and bring complete healing to their bodies from the top of their heads to the soles of their feet.
Michelle Brown- Kings Church, Southsea

Blog 12th March Audrey Lilian Shearsmith

“Precious” CD front cover

ken's mum photo
Ken’s mum on her 102nd birthday

“Precious” featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from album “Precious” – in thanks for the life of Ken’s mum – Audrey Lillian Shearsmith

Here is the amazing story of my mum becoming a Christian- it would have been her birthday on Sunday, March 8th.
My mum, Audrey Lillian Shearsmith, had attended Chapel as young girl and I knew that she said her prayers without fail every single day. However in 1997 I still was not sure how she would react to me telling her that I had become a Christian. I therefore showed her a little book from the Alpha course entitled “Why Jesus?” and we had a short chat before she told me to leave it and that she would read it later.
When she was 102 years old and was living in the wonderful Chesterholm Lodge Care Home mum asked me what a Christian was and how you could became one. I simply said that to become a Christian you ask God to forgive you for all the things you have done in your life that have displeased Him and to ask Jesus to come into your life. She then smiled her special smile and pointed to her bag and nodded for me to look in it. And there it was -the “Why Jesus? book that I had given her five years before. I told her that there was a prayer in the book that she could say if you wished to become a Christian. Mum immediately read out the prayer aloud. I was sitting on the bed beside her overjoyed, but at the same time almost not believing what was happening, in fact so much so that I told her that just saying the prayer was not enough she had to really mean it; so she said it again, but this time with even more meaning in her voice! I noticed, Mandy, one of her Carers who worships at my church was outside mum’s room, so I went out to tell her the good news. “Halleluiah” Mandy cried out before telling me that she was not in the least bit surprised because mum had been talking about Christianity for some time. So mum became a Christian at the age of almost 103!
A few days before she died in August 2006 I was with her on my own. She looked at me with so much love, smiled that wonderful smile again and told me that I was precious.
The day after she said “precious” to me I was looking at Psalm 116 and the word “precious” jumped out of the page. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” I read in the concordance that “precious” means, not only highly valued, but also carefully looked after – I can’t tell you how reassuring it was to know that in mum’s last days she was being carefully looked after by God. And she was; all those who were with her will testify to how much at peace she was. She was in no pain whatsoever and was as sharp as always. She left this life in a very gentle and serene way – there is no doubt that she was indeed being carefully looked after and watched over by God.
The day after reading Psalm 116 it was a Sunday and I sat at the back of Holy Rood church with no one on the one seat beside me. Beryl, a retired Curate, came in, which was a bit of a surprise because normally on a Sunday morning she worships at an associate church; coming to Holy Rood for the evening services. Although we are good friends I had not sat with Beryl before, but on that Sunday she asked if she could sit on that one free seat by my side. She knew that my mum was very unwell from the church notice sheet and when she asked me I told her that mum was, in fact dying.
At the end of the service Beryl told me that she had prayed for my mum and me and that during the service God had given her a picture. She had seen a beautiful meadow in which stood a rock- a rock that had been very “precious” to her friends and family. The rock was also “precious” to God. Beryl saw the earth around the rock become disturbed and God taking this “precious” rock up to heaven to be with Him.
Mum died the very next day.
Beryl led mum’s thanksgiving service.
Quote of the week
Don’t worry, everything will turn out for the best
Audrey Lilian Shearsmith

Blog March 5th St Peter – Part Two

St Peter’s, Rome

How Can I Love You More? from the album Risen!- The Musical featuring The Original Cast recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

As I explained two weeks ago Mustard Seed Songs are, at present, recording the sequel to Risen! The Musical. It is based on the Bible’s Acts of the Apostles and has a working title of Acts- The Musical. Recently Joffy Girling, our Musical Director and West End actor, Alex Knox finished recording the guide vocals to part two of the musical.
Writing the script for part one was relatively simple as so much happens in the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, including the Holy Spirt coming on the Day of Pentecost, the martyrdom of Stephen and the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus. The later chapters focus on the missionary journeys of Saul (now called Paul) which took me some time to work out how to summarise.
If the main character in the second half of the Acts of the Apostles is Paul then it is Peter who is the main character of the first half.
Here are some more interesting facts on St Peter:
Peter is often depicted in the gospels as spokesman of all the Apostles. John Vidmar, a Catholic scholar, writes: “Catholic scholars agree that Peter had an authority that superseded that of the other apostles. Peter is their spokesman at several events, he conducts the election of Matthias, his opinion in the debate over converting Gentiles was crucial, etc.
Luke the author of the Acts of the Apostles portrays Peter as the central figure within the early Christian community.
Early Church Tradition says that Peter probably died by crucifixion (with arms outstretched) at the time of the Great Fire of Rome in the year 64. This took place three months after the disastrous fire that destroyed Rome for which the emperor (Nero) wished to blame the Christians. Traditionally, Roman authorities sentenced him to death by crucifixion. In accordance with the apocryphal Acts of Peter, he was crucified head down Tradition also locates his burial place where the Basilica of Saint Peter was later built, directly beneath the Basilica’s high altar.
Catholic tradition holds that Peter’s inverted crucifixion occurred in the gardens of Nero, with the burial in Saint Peter’s tomb nearby.
According to Jerome, in his work De Viris Illustribus (A.D. 392), Peter was buried at Rome in the Vatican near the triumphal way where he is venerated by the whole world.
In the early 4th century, the Emperor Constantine I decided to honour Peter with a large basilica. Because the precise location of Peter’s burial was so firmly fixed in the belief of the Christians of Rome, the church to house the basilica had to be erected on a site that was not convenient to construction. The slope of the Vatican Hill had to be excavated, even though the church could much more easily have been built on level ground only slightly to the south. There were also moral and legal issues, such as demolishing a cemetery to make room for the building. The focal point of the Basilica, both in its original form and in its later complete reconstruction, is the altar located over what is said to be the point of Peter’s burial.

Quote of the week
Helping one person may not change the world but it may change the world for one person

Blog February 27th “23 years a Christian”

We Can Do Anything featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album Precious recorded and produced by Ross Gill

So Saturday 22nd February was the 23rd anniversary of me becoming a Christian. Next week I’ll write more of St Peter but today I want to share my blog of April 10th 2014 in which I described the actual day.
After my uncertain first night on an “Alpha Course” at Holy Rood Church, Stubbington I came back the following week and then the next and the next. I began to think that I wanted to become a Christian – I felt reassured by the words in John’s Gospel, Chapter 3 verse 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” Eternal Life – that is what I needed to take away my fear of death. Not something to be earned but something to be accepted as a gift. Perfect – apart from two problems 1) did I have enough faith to accept Jesus” gift” with any degree of sincerity? 2) If I did ask Jesus into my life what would my mates say- how much ridicule would I have to endure? Let me have a look at problem no 2 first.
Three of my very special friends are Barry Stares, Dave Conchie and Ian Beacham. Barry I have known since Junior School and Dave and Ian since PE College. We regularly meet for a drink and something to eat (yes curry) At one curry Ian said “You will never guess what’s happened to Mick” He was referring to another ex-PE College friend, Mick Mellows who played football for Pompey and who is now a Director of the charity Faith and Football . I thought Ian meant that Mick had been struck down with some horrible illness but no that is not what he meant at all. He continued “He’s only gone and become a Christian!” To which Dave replied “No – and he was such a good bloke!”
Could I face that sort of comment if I “admitted” to becoming a Christian? I really doubted it.
As for problem no 1 re did I have enough faith? – Well thankfully someone told me I only had to have faith as small as a mustard seed (the smallest of all seeds in Biblical times.) I simply had to focus on what I believed not on what I did not – I simply had to trust – I simply had to take a “leap of faith”
During the Alpha course I had been given a little red book entitled “Why Jesus?” (as featured in pic) At the end of the book there is a prayer so I knew an opportunity was coming up for me to take that leap of faith and to say this prayer asking Jesus to come into my life. I felt it really difficult to sleep with my two “problems” constantly churning around inside my head. The weekend came when I knew I had to make a decision – as part of the Alpha Course I was at the Holy Rood Vicarage with the Vicar, Michael Christian- Edwards and his lovely wife Merlyn. When the others in my group were having a coffee break I escaped into the village to go through in my head what I was going to do. On my return sure enough Michael gave everyone the opportunity to say a prayer asking Jesus to forgive us for all the things we had done wrong – to ask Him to come into our lives- and for us to be filled with His Holy Spirit. I remember asking Michael if I could say the prayer twice. He seemed surprised but said that was fine and so that lunchtime on Saturday, February 22nd 1997 I asked Jesus into my life and became a Christian.
Why did I want to say the prayer twice? Well there was Mr Mill and his dad that I also wanted to be there on such a momentous occasion. So that evening in Mr Mil’s apartment in Titchfield I sat between the two of them confessing out loud all the things I had done wrong and again asking Jesus into my life. Some of the things I had done wrong were pretty big – one had been a real burden for many years but after I had confessed it the burden lifted- I know that sounds amazing and too good to be true but amazing is what it was and too good not to be true!
So I thought “micky taking” here you come, but I decided to be pro-active and tell people before they found out through the grapevine. First off was Barry who I had known the longest -he was surprisingly supportive – so too was Ian – but I could not tell Dave, it was Dave who had made the comment about Mick Mellows – he was sure to let me have it with both barrels. A couple of months later Barry and Ian told me that Dave was really upset with me for not telling him. So I took Dave out for a curry (of course) and felt pretty emotional when Dave told me that he loved me (in a bloke way!!) and that he would always support me in anything I did and that he was upset because it seemed that I did not believe I could trust him. So big apology from me and really all the worries about people “taking the mick” turned out to be groundless- mind you I think my two sons James and Chris took a bit of stick at school.
So did my fears of dying die (sorry) If I am honest not entirely – but I did have God’s promise to hold on to and you can’t have much more than that. In fact later I wrote a song called “It’s From the Lord” which is on our CD “Heart and Soul” – the last verse of which is “When your time on earth is ending and you look up to Him on high and your see His promises sparkling spelt out in stars across the sky and open arms reach to embrace you to welcome you home then you know, yes you know it is the Lord.”
So guess who rang me on Sunday to congratulate me on my “birthday?” Yes the very lovely and loving Michael and Merilyn Christian- Edwards
Quote of the week
It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability that counts.
Corrie Ten Boom

Blog February 20th St Peter Part One

St Peter

Gasp in Wonder featuring Lucy Stimpson – Maynard from the album “The Season of Singing” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

As I have previously explained Mustard Seed Songs are, at present, recording the sequel to Risen! The Musical. It is based on the Bible’s Acts of the Apostles and has a working title of Acts- The Musical. Recently Joffy Girling, our Musical Director and West End actor, Alex Knox finished recording the guide vocals to part two of the musical.
Writing the script for part one was relatively simple as so much happens in the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, including the Holy Spirt coming on the Day of Pentecost, the martyrdom of Stephen and the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus. The later chapters focus on the missionary journeys of Saul (now called Paul) which took me some time to work out how to summarise.
If the main character in the second half of the Acts of the Apostles is Paul then it is Peter who is the main character of the first half.
Here are some interesting facts on St Peter:
Peter was a fisherman in Bethsaida (John 1:44). He was named Simon, son of Jonah or John. The three Synoptic Gospels recount how Peter’s mother-in-law was healed by Jesus at their home in Capernaum (Matthew 8:14–17, Mark 1:29–31, Luke 4:38); this passage clearly depicts Peter as being married. 1 Corinthians 9:5 has also been taken to imply that he was married
In the Synoptic Gospels, Peter (then Simon) was a fisherman along with his brother, Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee, James and John. The Gospel of John also depicts Peter fishing, even after the resurrection of Jesus, in the story of the Catch of 153 fish. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew to be “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:18–19, Mark 1:16–17).
In Luke, Simon Peter owns the boat that Jesus uses to preach to the multitudes who were pressing on him at the shore of Lake Gennesaret (Luke 5:3). Jesus then amazes Simon and his companions James and John (Andrew is not mentioned) by telling them to lower their nets, whereupon they catch a huge number of fish. Immediately after this, they follow him (Luke 5:4–11). The Gospel of John gives a comparable account of “The First Disciples” (John 1:35–42). In John, the readers are told that it was two disciples of John the Baptist (Andrew and an unnamed disciple) who heard John the Baptist announce Jesus as the “Lamb of God” and then followed Jesus. Andrew then went to his brother Simon, saying, “We have found the Messiah”, and then brought Simon to Jesus.
Three of the four gospels – Matthew, Mark and John – recount the story of Jesus walking on water. Matthew additionally describes Peter walking on water for a moment but beginning to sink when his faith wavers (Matthew 14:28–31).
At the beginning of the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. Peter initially refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but when Jesus threatened him with: “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me”, Peter replied: “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head” (John 13:2–11). The washing of feet is often repeated in the service of worship on Maundy Thursday by some Christian denominations.
The three Synoptic Gospels all mention that, when Jesus was arrested, one of his companions cut off the ear of a servant of the High Priest of Israel (Matthew 26:51, Mark 14:47, Luke 22:50). The Gospel of John also includes this event and names Peter as the swordsman and Malchus as the victim (John 18:10). Luke adds that Jesus touched the ear and miraculously healed it (Luke 22:49–51). This healing of the servant’s ear is the last of the 37 miracles attributed to Jesus in the Bible.
More next week ….
Quote of the week
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.
Corrie Ten Boom