Sunday Sermon October 2nd
Today’s reading is from the New Testament section of the Bible, Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 17, and verses 1 to 10.
In this passage, Jesus told his followers, that there is no limit to the number of times that they should forgive anyone who says that they are sorry for what they have done. Now, we all know that this is a very hard thing to do, and the disciples were no different from us. They would have realised just how hard it is to keep-on forgiving someone, and it appears that they felt that they did not have the confidence to do as Jesus had told them.
This reading of Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 17, and verses 1 to 10, is taken from the Good News translation of the Bible.
1 Jesus said to his disciples, "Things that make people fall into sin are bound to happen, but how terrible for the one who makes them happen!
2 It would be better for him if a large millstone were tied around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
3 So watch what you do! "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
4 If he sins against you seven times in one day, and each time he comes to you saying, "I repent,' you must forgive him."
5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Make our faith greater."
6 The Lord answered, "If you had faith as big as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, "Pull yourself up by the roots and plant yourself in the sea!' and it would obey you.
7 "Suppose one of you has a servant who is ploughing or looking after the sheep. When he comes in from the field, do you tell him to hurry along and eat his meal?
8 Of course not! Instead, you say to him, "Get my supper ready, then put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may have your meal.'
9 The servant does not deserve thanks for obeying orders, does he?
10 It is the same with you; when you have done all you have been told to do, say, "We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty.' "
Amen, and may God bless this reading of his word.
Now let us approach God in prayer. Let us all pray.
Lord, your power can be seen throughout all of creation. You are in everything, and everything that exists is dependent upon you to sustain it. You have created everything and you have given us the curiosity, and desire, to try to understand our surroundings, and you have given us the ability to develop many ways of using the huge range of resources that you have provided.
When we take the time to think about it, we realise that everything that we have comes from you. You are generous, and you give us so much that we often forget that without your gifts nothing could exist.
We thank you for everything that you do for us, not only for the material things that we use, but also for the people in our lives. We are thankful for the love and care of our family and friends, and we are thankful for all those whose efforts contribute to the wellbeing and care of others.
We thank you, that you love and care for all of your creation, and that through Jesus, you have shown that there is no limit to your love.
Merciful God, we confess that we continually say and do the wrong things. By his teaching and example, Jesus showed us how we should live our lives, but we find it very hard to follow him. Like the disciples, we feel that our faith is not strong enough to follow in your ways.
It is hard, Lord, to keep believing that despite our floundering, our failings, and lack of faith in ourselves, that you maintain faith in us. It is hard to believe that, in spite of all our faults, you have chosen us to be your hands on earth.
Heavenly Father, in your mercy, forgive us for all our wrongdoings, for our doubts and our fears, and our lack of trust. May we know that we are forgiven, and may your Spirit guide us towards a growing faith, so that we might trust you in all things.
Lord, you know that in this world there are many problems. In many parts of the world people have been affected by flooding, wild fires, and other disasters, as well as by wars, conflicts, and sometimes by criminal activity.
We pray for all who are struggling to find food, those who lack the medicines they need, and those who have no place to call home. We remember too all who have worries over housing, employment, or finance, and especially we pray for all who have been overwhelmed by increasing costs for essential items and energy, and who have found themselves unable to feed themselves and their families, or unable to keep warm.
We pray for all who have been bereaved, and also for all those who are lonely, and who lack contact with other people. Give them the faith and hope that they need to face the future. May they know that you are present with them.
God of Compassion, we ask that your Spirit will prompt us to show love and concern for all who are in difficulty or danger, and may we do what we can to help and support them. We know that we are your hands on earth, but when we cannot provide physical help to people, may we be motivated to support and encourage the charities and individuals who are providing aid to those in need.
As followers of Jesus, we are not immune from the stresses and strife of this world, and we have the same problems and difficulties as everyone else. You understand our needs, but we do not face the problems on our own, because you have promised that you will always be with us. Lord, we pray that your Spirit will be our guide and comforter.
We offer our prayer in the name of Jesus, and now 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.