Sunday 7th July 2019
What is the message we are being sent out with? It is the coming of the kingdom of God; it is the kingdom of God in our midst. It is the power to heal and deliver. It is the power that caused Satan to fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. This is the blessing that blesses us and is a blessing to the nations; the kingdom of God has come near, the true light which gives light to everyone. We are being called out of exile into the ever-flowing kingdom, freed from the tyranny of Sin.
God loves us, and he finds us. He loves us as he finds us. In believing, our eyes are opened to the depths of his love. We are transformed; translated from the kingdom of Sin and Death and see the Kingdom of God in our midst. More of God’s love pours into us as heaven and earth become one.
We are vessels of love, formed to be filled with love that spills out refreshing others. The meek inherit the Earth. God is gentle, and we are called to a spirit of gentleness. God loves as we are enabled to receive love. This is God’s grace that in opening our eyes to God’s love, Love forms us so that we experience more Love and we in our communities are gentle with one another.
Our circumstances are tough. What has formed us and entangles us is powerful. It is Sin that binds us and rules us and in our blindness we are exiled from God’s presence. We look to God to defeat the power of Sin, give us Peace and Abide in us. This is what the law and the prophets promise; salvation and hope.
All is beautiful: all is spiritual. Love flows endlessly even under the mess and suffering we see. This is the message of the Cross, an event that reveals the ever-flowing Love of God that is in all and for all and carries the message of the hope of salvation.
The Cross at once reveals to all the depths of the power of Sin and to those who believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, the depths of Love. The One on the cross is the One ascended to heaven, victorious, at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus, God in the form of sinful flesh, is slaughtered. The One who came proclaiming the Kingdom, suffers death. In resurrection, Christ defeats Sin and we are redeemed from the power of Sin. All our transgressions are washed away. In Christ the way, the truth and the life, the beauty of creation, is revealed.
Faith opens our eyes to this grace that has been overflowing from the beginning. God longs to forgive us. Death has no sting as our eyes are opened to the reality of the ever-flowing kingdom: truly in this moment we are new creations. A spiritual circumcision is done in our hearts and on our lips.
Everything is new, yet nothing has changed. We hear the call to live in abundant life yet all round sin and death reign. In our suffering this reality, we inaugurate the kingdom we now see.
The eyes of our heart have been opened to the ever-flowing life that is there for all and in all. We see loving kindness, beauty and compassion. Our eyes are open to the good that is in all, the light that is in everyone. In our suffering we have hope, seek the lost, clothe the naked and proclaim the good news of the Kingdom. The blind see, the weak are strengthened and each is delivered from guilt and shame, from the power of division and judgement. All is grace: all is peace. We take this message out and bless the nations. You are not saved by works but by faith; believing is enlightenment not a work for which you are rewarded, and it is an ever-flowing spiritual gift.
This is good news to share and to be so grounded in, that you can face rejection. In fact, you can wipe the dust of rejection from your feet and still proclaim the Kingdom. You do not need to carry the rejection or call down fire from heaven on those who reject the message.
But we do need to proclaim the message with all our hearts and with all our strength and see all freed from the power of Sin and Death now. With this proclaiming will come division and hate, so we need to listen to God’s call, hear the message and plumb its depths while we can and in the times of calamity draw strength.
Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her– that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom… you shall nurse and be carried on her arm, and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bodies shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of the LORD is with his servants, and his indignation is against his enemies.
Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; …Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.
Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16
My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.
..Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith… For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! …
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
… Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ …He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
This resource is an offering from The Vanderbilt Divinity Library at: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Reproduced by permission.
Our Father, who 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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
As God leads, let us be constant in our prayer for
· The Church;
· Creation, human society, those in authority;
· The local community;
· Those who suffer;
· Our community.
We meet at the chapel on a Wednesday evening at 8pm until 8-40pm for a period of prayer including 20 minutes silent prayer during school term time