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The Gospel According to Brian's Class

At the Golden Gate

Peter clearly hadn't grasped the basic principles of contact tracing.

He said to the beggar “If I'm asked why I touched you, I'll say, I was following my instincts. You say your eyesight is poor my friend, but I've heard a trip to Barnard Castle can confirm this!”

The beggar makes his way there, finding another stranger he says “My eyes, my eyes, have I made it to Barnard Castle yet, I’ve travelled 30 miles?” To which the stranger replies,  “You have indeed, your saviour is with you and your eyes will be healed. Now mate, you might be better off if you get some Big Issues to sell.”

Contributions from Alison, Kath, Kate, Sean and Brian

 

 

 

 

Brian Speed’s class were asked to write a caption for the picture below

                   

Here are the results:

  • “Is it hot in here or is it me?”  Kathy
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  • Woah! Are we all the ‘light of the world’ now??

  • This is great & makes spreading ‘his word’ so much easier!   Hazel
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  • In the absence of a birthday cake, here’s what you do. Kate
  •  
  • How to get your hair styled during lockdown!!!!  Steve
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  • THE HOLY SPIRIT AT PENTECOST

  • from Tongues of Fire to the Gift of Tongues  Alison
  •  
  • Breaking news “World’s first Gospel Choir singing, ‘This Little Light Of Mine’ “ Linda P.
  •  
  • "I know you want to be radical, but is this hairstyle really necessary?" Sean
  •  
  • Who's birthday is it? Lorna
  •  

A good response, could you do any better?

What a carry on

Lazarus was sitting with his mother in the market place when they noticed a commotion and excited people shouting. They stood and moved closer to the rumpus to join a group of people gathered in the street who had been waiting expectantly for the disciples to come outside. They told Lazarus and his mother that rumours were rife. "I've heard the disciples have been visited by a spirit, what does a spirit look like?"
 "It must have been a frightening experience." Lazarus’ mother said.  Another added "They don't look frightened; in fact they look quite excited ".

The disciples had come out all talking at once."

“What are they saying?” said Lazarus’s mum “I can’t understand what they’re saying.”
Lazarus, who was well travelled, recognised that some were speaking Greek, some were speaking Hebrew and some were speaking Indian – he suspected another was talking in Chinese.
Lazarus told his mother adding “I didn’t know the disciples could speak different languages, it will be useful if they take Jesus’ message further afield.
His mother replied, “It’s all well and good but I can’t tell what they’re saying.” To which Lazarus pointed out “There are two of them speaking Galilean, but in a different dialect to each other – how strange. 
 One of the group asked “what are the friends of Jesus going to do now? They've been following him around for ages.  “Perhaps they’ll get back to some proper work!” replied another.


Lazarus said "I think they will carry on spreading the good news about Jesus to everyone. Do you remember what Jesus taught us about loving our neighbour? We should all follow his advice."

The crowd became thinner as people drifted away.
 

Contributions from Kate, Brian and Kathy.

 

The wait

It was early one day, a week after Jesus had ascended into Heaven, Peter and his brother, Andrew, had been fishing and caught lots of fish, which they took to their friend, Rahab, the Innkeeper, so that he could prepare them a meal.  It had been a long week and there was mixed emotions. They were all delighted and amazed that Jesus had visited them after his Resurrection and had now gone up to Heaven. They were keen to preach about Jesus.  However, they just didn’t know where to begin.

As they ate, Peter said to his older brother, “I guess we should start by replacing Judas with one of the men who have been in our group during the time we’ve been with Jesus“. Andrew agreed, “let’s ask Joseph Barsabbas to join us.  He’s been a follower for a long time.  His surname is Justus, probably given that name because of his integrity; he’d be a good choice to replace the traitor, Iscariot.”
 Peter had a sip of wine and rubbed his chin as he considered his brother’s choice. He liked Joseph, son of Sabbas, but he had a preference for another loyal follower.  “I propose Matthias.” Said Peter “He’s also been a faithful follower of Jesus the whole time he has been living amongst us up to the time of his ascension.  Matthias means ‘gift from God’ so perhaps that is a sign that he is the right person?” There was a pause as both men drank and ate more fish. Then Peter continued, “ I think it’ll be hard to choose between these two, they are both faithful and admirable men.”

Andrew had a suggestion, “Why don’t we call a large meeting of all the believers and cast lots to decide Judas’s successor?  That’s a tried and tested method, come down to us from our ancestors, to render an impartial, unbiased decision on an important matter. Once a lot is cast, no one can argue that the decision was the result of favouritism.”  Peter replied, “Brilliant, I agree, let’s do it. I believe the descision will surely be directed by God himself, so the right man will become one of His apostles.  I’ll call a meeting of all our followers in the morning and begin the meeting by letting everyone know that someone must replace Judas. You and I will propose those two men, lots will be cast, but God himself will choose between them, who should serve as an apostle.”

And so it was done, it was Matthias who won the lottery.

That evening Peter and John met at their local inn as they regularly did, just the two of them, every Wednesday night. After buying the first round Peter opened the conversation “hey John, what do you think about our new disciple Matthias? I must say that I voted for Barsabbas to be our new number 12!!”

John replied “That’s only because you don’t know much about him, he’s actually a really good guy, I’ve known him for years, and in fact our fathers grew up together. He has spoken with me many times about how he envied me being one of Jesus’ chosen disciples, recently telling me that he’d heard that someone was needed to fill Judas’ shoes!!”
“John, do you think he’ll fit in?” Peter asked, “it’s going to be an extremely difficult journey. I’m sorry to say that I never took the time to get to know the chap, he never pushed himself forward.”
Peter confirmed that Matthias knew exactly what was expected of him, “we shall all pray to God to lead us on that road to the future, proclaiming the Way of the Lord!!!”
John bought the next round and ready to talk the evening away.

Who should then come into the inn? It was Andrew and James, they saw Peter and John, bought another round and sat down to chat. After a while they all agreed that they needed to make a ‘plan’
James said “right let’s decide where we should start and where to travel to first.”
 Andrew agreed that was a good idea. “But where shall we travel to first?” After a few sips of ale Andrew said, “let’s go to the nearest settlement and start there.” They all thought that was a good start.
“Make it so” said Andrew. They all lifted their drinks and agreed this was the beginning of a good plan.
They left the Inn and went to find all the others, so they could make a start on their journey to spread Jesus’ love and his teachings to all.
Contributions by Hazel, Alison, Linda P. , Kathy and Brian.

 

After the Ascension

The disciples came down the mountain discussing what they had seen.
“I never thought I would ever witness anything like that guys”, said Peter to the group, “the power of God is amazing!”
“Yes” said Matthew “Jesus has given us the power to make people well and carry on spreading the word of God. It’s a big ask, but are we fit and able to carry out his word?”
James chipped in “If I’d not seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it, was that Elijah and Moses with him too? Unbelievable, unbelievable.”

The disciples were all talking at once and some were doubting their abilities to do these wonderful things, but Thomas said “Jesus has given us the strength to carry out his wishes, remember I doubted he was risen, but now I know that the power of God is in all of us and we must continue his work, spread the love and power of Jesus and God his father, as he commanded us”

They arrived at the foot of the mountain, there was a small village with a welcome inn.
Andrew said “Come on let’s eat, have a drink and plan our way forward in this mission to spread Jesus’ message”.

The disciples sat down to eat, finding it difficult to believe what they had witnessed at the top of the mountain! So much to take in, the enormity of all that had happened over the last couple of weeks since they had all shared that last supper with Jesus. As they ate and drank, John recounted his own special memory of his beloved Lord,  the day when Jesus said that he was the good shepherd, willing to die for his sheep.

John stood up, raised his cup and addressed them all “As Jesus is no longer on this earth, we now have to travel to Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the earth to tell everyone Jesus’ good news.”


Peter asked “How will it be possible for us to talk to people when we only speak our own language? How many of us will be fearless enough to do this and how will we find the money? How long are we prepared to leave our homes and families?”

 So many questions to be answered!! 

Contributions from Hazel, Linda P, Kathy and Brian.

 

Thomas’s story

Thomas was feeling confused and some-what troubled, he wandered into his usual drinking hole quietly and hesitatingly asked the Landlord for a craft beer.  The Landlord knew Thomas well and could see the pain in his face. He asked him if he wanted his usual jug of ale, and half smiling Thomas said, "Have you got a moment to spare?" "Sure thing" said the landlord and guided him to a quiet table in a corner of the tavern.

  Thomas in a hushed tone told him the other disciples had come to him in great excitement, buzzing with the news that Jesus was alive. “How could this be true?  I watched him being crucified. How can I believe that he has risen from the dead? I told them I’d need to put my finger in his hands and my hand in his side before I’d believe.”
"When I was growing up my father always told me that 'seeing is believing, if you can hold it in your hands and touch it, it's real and if you can see it with your own eyes it's got to be true." "Well, I've gone by that same rule all my life, wanted proof, surely there's nothing wrong with that. But I'll tell you this, when my pals, said that Jesus had come back from the dead, I told them they were barmy, lost the plot, on drugs or something. But they assured me it was true. I couldn’t take it in, I couldn’t cope, I just left them and found something better to do.”
He had a long drink. “Why am I unable to believe it’s true and celebrate with them.  It’s the thing I wanted more than anything. I loved and cared for Jesus as much as the others but as always in my life I had feared the worst and then seen it happen.”

The landlord looked at Thomas and said, “That’s interesting because my brother Rahab who owns the Inn where you lot keep meeting told me that just the other day he saw Jesus out of the corner of his eye while he was preparing the fish for their supper. I think my brother had served them too much drink and that he’d had too much himself. He said your friends were sitting around doing nothing except feeling sorry for themselves.  My brother said he recognised Jesus straightaway and tried to rouse your friends from their stupor, but they just looked at him as if in a trance. He said he winked at Jesus and tried to make a joke of it by saying, “Look busy – Jesus is coming!”
“Just like you Thomas, I didn’t believe a word of it.”

They both took a drink.
The landlord continued “Do you remember you told me what Jesus did for Lazarus when he’d been pronounced dead, you believed then, but it didn’t make any sense to me. You said you saw it happen, but I couldn’t believe it, you have to see it to believe it.

Thomas, you are right about this Jesus thing. I’ll only believe if I see it too, and he comes in here again for his usual drink. 


The landlord had spoken to Thomas with empathy as they both doubted what they had been told. All was quiet for a while before the Landlord piped up and said in his usual comedic way. ‘Well I truly look forward to the day you become a half-full rather than a half-empty customer’.

 

**********************************

A week later the disciples all met up and although the doors were locked Jesus appeared in the room and said “Peace be with you all.”
Thomas started to tremble, he felt ashamed of himself. In his mild manner Jesus asked Thomas to put his finger into the holes in his hands and into his side. Jesus asked him to stop doubting and believe!
 
Thomas excitably went back to his drinking hole and told his friend, the landlord, he had seen the ‘risen Christ’. The landlord replied ‘go on with you, you are drunk’.
Thomas replied “no, you don’t understand, I touched the holes in his hands and put my hand into the wound in his side, it was him. I don’t claim to understand it, but it was him and I hadn’t had a drop to drink.”
The landlord said ‘Sorry Thomas, I can’t believe you, no one can be raised from the dead!’

Thomas continued talking. ”You remember I doubted my friends when they first told me they had seen Jesus. I don’t know if I was jealous, they had seen him and I hadn’t. But I needed to see him to be sure. Everything Jesus had told us about his life and death has come true. It suddenly dawned on me I should believe everything he said too -  he would always be with us, we don’t need to see him in person.”


The landlord could see that Thomas was speaking from his heart, patted him on the back and said "come on lad, yes, at the end of the day if you truly love someone with all your heart, as you say you do, then you trust them whatever they say and do, don’t you? So may your God go with you. You know that all of us are on our own personal road, looking forward to meeting up with all our friends eventually at some point, what a joyous meeting that will be – whenever, wherever it will be.”

 

Contributions from Brian, Lorna, Alison, Linda P., Kathy, Kate, Richard and Hazel.

 

Judas’s last tale

After Judas had received his blood money and realised he was no longer welcome with Jesus and his friends he walked round the town ending his evening in a tavern drinking. He bought liquor with the money in his pocket as it troubled him, he realised he'd betrayed the one person he'd grown to love and respect so deeply.  There was nothing left to do with his life.

He sat in a corner talking to himself.

"Jesus, if you knew I was the one who was going to betray you why, oh why didn't you stop me?"
He took another drink.

"Jesus, why didn't you show me another way? Explain the reason I was feeling like this. I just didn't realise the consequences."

Judas had another drink.

”I really believed that you would save yourself. What have I done my God?  How could I have got it so wrong? I have probably made the biggest mistake of my life, guilt and shame will be forever associated with my name, therefore I have no other choice but to end my life.”

He took another drink.

"I believe everything you said now", (gulp, taking another drink) "I must die.”

He stumbled outside and strung himself up. Just before he jumped he shouted -

 "Lord I'll see you in Paradise.       AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhh!!!!”

Maybe Judas was only fulfilling the prophecies, without his actions the Christian faith would be completely different. He is to be remembered as history's most famous traitor after Christ was crucified. Christ would rise again, to transcend and surpass history.

 

The donkey

Donkey Palm Sunday Clipart

The disciples and Jesus were outside Jerusalem the evening of the triumphal entry into the town. After quite an exciting day they were enjoying a cask of wine and some fine bread given to them by the local people. Jesus had explained to them what had happened that day and they were now quietly chatting to each other.
Peter suddenly said “Hey what happened to the donkey we used for the entry – did anyone see what happened to him?”  They all looked at each other. “Yes what did happen to him”.
Luke said “well you do know that a donkeys' territorial instinct is so strong that in many countries they are used to guard herds of sheep and goats against dogs, foxes, coyotes and wolves. If they escaped some would wander back to a previous waterhole. So I reckon we must have simply have let loose of him, he would return home because it’s not far away. So hopefully he did that so everything should turn out well for him.”

“Don’t worry” said Judas, “me and John took him back home, he went back easily and his master was so pleased to see him looking so well and very pleased that his donkey had been able to take part in such an interesting festival.”

That night in a Jerusalem Inn, a farmer was recounting the day’s events. “I know we’ve all seen a festival today, that Jesus in Jerusalem, what a stir he’s created – well let me tell you this -  Two of my lads this morning were looking after my donkey, Little old Bessie and her colt Billy, never been ridden before in his life. They were tied up to a withered straggly tree at my farm in Bethphage near the Mount of Olives. My lads saw two men untie the colt and walk him down the dusty road. They assumed I knew all about it and had agreed to let him be used – well I tell you I didn’t. Fortunately the colt knew how to get back home as he'd travelled that stony road hundreds of times. I was so pleased to see him come home in the afternoon with two of Jesus disciples. They told me all about what happened – but you lot will all have witnessed that. But to my utter amazement I saw that the fur on the back of Billy had got a cross embedded into his skin. I tell you lads, I reckon this as a sign from God, so come on everyone, drinks are on me tonight, on me and my special donkeys.”


The donkey however had another tale to tell “I was broken in yesterday, by a local celebrity named Jesus!  After I’d been ridden through the streets of cheering people, enough to put any beginner off, I may add, I was tied up and standing in the hot sun, swishing away the flies with the tuft on the end of my tail. I was untied from outside the temple where I’d been left and taken back to my owner by 2 men who called each other Judas and John. It was Judas who I heard whisper “think we'll go back home now" as he picked up the halter and led me all the way back to the farm where I lived. As we were walking home, it was John I think, telling me that I had carried the King of Peace on my back. Well that’s all well and good but I just wanted to be off, I thought Jesus had set me free, releasing the ties that bound me, but no, mankind has other ideas for me. So I’m telling you I am a little miffed! We got back and  my master kept telling me how clever I was and rewarded me by giving me an extra-large bag of feed. Well, after that I slept very well, aided by the warmth of the cloak that the 2 men forgot to take home with them!
Today, well that’s another story. I’m absolutely exhausted as all the children in the town have wanted to have a ride on my very special back. I did hear one mother say that she had been there when this Jesus had said ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me’. Seems it applies to me too, and maybe all my ancestors are also going to suffer!!! But If you're lucky you might see some of their descendants one day on a beach in Scarborough.”

 

Contributions from Brian, Kathy, Andrew, Lorna, Linda P., and Kate

 

News from Mr and Mrs Pilate

Pilate had experienced ‘just one of those days at the office’ and was glad to get home to his wife.

‘How was your day at the office dear?’

Pilate explained what had happened.” Caiaphas the high priest passed the buck so I had to deal with the issue myself. I know Jesus was innocent, but you should have seen the crowd, they were baying for his blood. I wanted to let Barabbas die instead but the people just cried out "Crucify Jesus. Crucify Jesus. I gave instructions to have Jesus whipped but still this did not satisfy the crowd, they just got louder and louder. "

 “You mean there was no legal hearing and no reasonable charge, Ponty?” (That’s what Pilate’s wife called him).

 “I really was determined to release him because in all fairness, I wanted to do the right thing! But I had no choice, it was as if it was decreed already in the stars”.

 ‘“Well that was a bit harsh dear, I’m not sure you’ve done the right thing – After all, I do think Jesus may have offered hope.  You should really have given my dream more consideration rather than being influenced by the baying crowds, they sway one way then the other. I think you may live to regret the decision to crucify him."

There was a long silence, which Pilate’s wife broke “here’s your gin and tonic and do you want red or white with your meal?” It seemed that maybe she was going to let the issue rest.

Pilate sat sipping his gin thinking about the dream his wife had and what he had done.

Then after another period of silence it was again broken by Pilate’s wife “I warned you NOT to have anything to do with the death of this innocent man. I told you my horrible dream about going to hell to be tormented 'til eternity. I’m sure you'll rue the day you ever did this. You'd better find a way of getting a reprieve for him.”

“Too late my dear” was Pilates reply,  “The deed is done, I gave my word that Barabbas would be freed so Jesus has to carry the can – after all he did nothing to help himself did he, he just stood there, quiet, head down saying nothing – if ever there was a time to justify himself and tell us exactly what he was all about, this was it –but no, he stayed silent. – So now, there’s no going back, it is finished.

‘Well you can’t say I didn’t  warn you about this, now you and ME are going have to live with this decision you made. Here's another nice Messiah you've gotten me into!"

“That’s clever dear – Messiah”

"I’ll give you clever, you stupid man, you're sleeping on your own tonight. After that dream I told you I had, you did nothing, just  ignored it! Now we’ll probably need to flee the city and this guilt will stay with us for ever. "

 She continued giving Pilate a right ear-full. All he could do was sit and take it, he knew he was wrong, he should have listened to her and stood up for what was right. He remembered also having a dream where he met a Galilean, “yes that was the man and a warning, what might I have started?  - oops.”

 Written from contributions from Brian Speed’s class;
                                                                       Kathy, Lorna, Hazel, Richard, Kathryn, Alison, Kate

The Emmaus Road

 

 

This is a story about a couple, Cleopas and his wife Anna, followers of Jesus. They were sad and frightened because they had just been witnesses at Jesus’ Crucifixion. Cleopas stood away at a distance while Anna had been at the foot of the cross, together with Jesus’ mother and Mary Magdalene. Anna had tried to comfort Jesus’s mother as her son died in agony.  She had sons herself and couldn’t bear to imagine how she would feel if one of them were being killed. 

 

Anna said to Cleopas, “As long as I live, I shall never be able to forget seeing nails being driven into His hands, and the spear driven into His side – all that blood!” Cleopas had seen the cross being erected and had experienced the darkness. The disciples had fled after Jesus had been arrested and most weren’t at the Crucifixion.  Cleopas replied, “I am scared. People know we were followers of Jesus too.  What if they come after us?  We might be killed as well, we need to get out of sight and when it’s clear, get back home.”

 

It was Passover, Anna and Cleopas observed it like good Jews.  They stayed indoors in sadness and fear until the festival was over when they felt they could venture out and return home to Emmaus. It was early Sunday morning when Anna went to the tomb along with some other women in order to anoint Jesus’s body with spices, leaving Cleopas to pack their belongings for the long walk home.  When they got there they saw that the stone had been rolled away, the tomb was open. They saw the two angels in bright shining clothes, one Angel spoke “Jesus isn’t dead, he is risen.”  Anna dropped her spices and ran back to tell Cleopas telling him what the Angel had said. Neither knew what this meant and were now even more scared.  

 

They finished packing and left Jerusalem on foot, taking the road home to Emmaus with tears in their eyes. They walked utterly bewildered, not knowing how to start evaluating what they had experienced. They discussed, but couldn’t understand what it all meant. Cleopas said to his wife “it’s so sad that Jesus has gone before he could finish what he came here to start, I’m sure I’m going to be miserable for a long time. It is all over, the dream is dead.” Anna had been thinking "How can the tomb have been empty, where had he gone? Did he say he wouldn't really die? That he'd be resurrected come back to us all? Maybe we’ve  all been taken in, perhaps he wasn't who he said he was." "No, don't think like that” said Cleopas,” he did change the way we all thought, didn’t he?”  

 

 

Anna had kept looking behind to make sure no one was following them when she became aware that someone was coming near to them, she nudged Cleopas and showed him the stranger coming close. Anna said “What shall we do?  Cross over the road?  Or will he?  Maybe by swerving we can still maintain the obligatory 2 metres.” Cleopas said “let’s do what Jesus would have done and show him kindness. You know a stranger is just a friend we do not know.”

Surprisingly the stranger walked right up to them, close! Cleopas said "Hello mate."

The stranger asked them why they were so sad and full of despair to which they said. "Haven't you heard the news about Jesus, don't you live round here? We've been pals with this bloke called Jesus, a great guy and he knew all about the old prophets and everything that was wrong with this world. We’ve followed him around for years and seen lots of great things that he did -  then because some people said he was a king he got crucified. We watched him die, but we really expected him to save himself." What followed then was a long discussion about what Jesus life had been all about.

Cleopas said "We're nearly home, won’t you come and stop with us and have a meal?" They carried on talking while walking. When they arrived home Anna set to preparing a meal, Cleopas got the wine and set up three large goblets. They sat down together, the stranger broke the bread................then they looked at each other, they now knew! The next moment he'd gone. Cleopas said “You know, Christ is always with us as we walk through life, but we don't always recognise him.”

 The meal was quickly finished before they rushed back to Jerusalem telling their friends what had just happened - they now knew Jesus was still with them.

 

Contributions from Brian, Alison, Hazel, Kate, Andrew, Linda P, Kathy, Lorna

 


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