Sunday Sermon 21st Nov
Some of you who are reading this may be in other parts of the world, but wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, you are invited to pause for a short while, and join with us in prayer.
Let us all pray.
Almighty God, you know that we humans find it difficult to understand your ways. In our Bibles we see that you are often described as a “King”, but you are not like our earthly kings and rulers. We know that you are all-powerful, and that you have created everything, but Jesus has shown us that you are loving, generous, compassionate, and forgiving, and that you are always willing to listen to us and to help us. You know and care for each, and every one of us.
We can never thank you enough for all that you do for us. You have given us life itself, and you have generously provided us with far more than we need to sustain us.
Lord, we confess that too often we have failed to follow in the ways that Jesus taught us. He taught us that we should love our neighbours, but we have not always been the good neighbours that you want us to be. We have forgotten that every individual is one of your precious children, and often we have spoken, or acted, without looking to you for guidance.
Merciful God, forgive us for our lack of care in the ways we have dealt with other people. Forgive us for the times when we have been selfish, and have not taken the time and trouble, to consider the needs of others. Forgive us also for the times when we have not offered to help others, because we were afraid of the embarrassment if our help was to be rejected.
Lord, forgive us for all our failings. We ask for a fresh start, to try again to follow in your ways. May your Spirit guide us, and help us to follow Jesus more closely, so that we can play our part to make this world a better place.
We offer our prayer in the name of Jesus, and we further pray in the words which he taught his followers:
Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation.
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever.
Today’s Bible reading is from the New Testament, the book of John, Chapter 18, and verses 33 to 37.
In this reading, the Jewish leaders had accused Jesus of claiming to be the King of the Jews, but Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom is not in this world.
Let us now read John, Chapter 18, and verses 33 to 37.
33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
34 Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?"
35 Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?"
36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here."
37 Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Amen, and may God help us to a better understanding of his word.