Sunday Sermon

Sunday 22nd November 2020

Dear Friends,

As we believe that God works all things together for good, it must surely make us speculate as to the positive side, the good, in the pandemic.  What might God be teaching us in these times?  As I thought about it, three things came to mind the importance of families, the importance of meeting together and the fact that we are one world, one people.

We see that the virus is affecting every country on earth.  Whilst Covid-19 may have started in China, we’ve seen how quickly it spread across the world.  We can’t hope or expect a solution for England, or whichever country we are from, alone.  The pandemic is global across the world that God created.  God created not the Indian Ocean, not America, not acacia trees, not dogs, not Britons, but waters and land and plants and animals and people.  The world is one world, created, gloriously, by our God.  Genesis 1:31 ‘God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.’  The pandemic reminds us that we are one world.  Scientists across the world are sharing knowledge and discoveries as they work on vaccines.  When cases were low in Britain, Oxford scientists were trialling a vaccine in Brazil, where cases were higher at the time.  We see on British media, how hospitals and businesses and human beings are faring throughout the world and we cannot escape the fact that the virus is no respecter of our artificial human boundaries.  Let’s pray that one positive outcome of this is that people everywhere realise that we are one world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDBJNQiugnM

 

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole wide world in His hands,

He’s got the whole wide world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got you and me brother, in His hands

He’s got you and me sister, in His hands

He’s got you and me brother, in His hands

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got the whole world in His hands …

 

He’s got you and me mother, in His hands

He’s got you and me father, in His hands

He’s got you and me mother, in His hands

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got the whole world in His hands …

 

He’s got the little tiny babies, in His hands

He’s got the little tiny babies, in His hands

He’s got the little tiny babies, in His hands

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got the whole world in His hands …

 

The second thing which the pandemic has made us realise is the importance of Hebrews 10:24-26, which says, ‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together , as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’  The Bible tells us not to give up meeting together.  Right at the moment we don’t have much option, but it has taught us just how precious it is to meet freely together as a church family.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHp763m-LpE

Jesus put this song into our hearts,

Jesus put this song into our hearts,

It’s a song of joy no one can take away,

Jesus put this song into our hearts.

 

Jesus taught us how to live in harmony,

Jesus taught us how to live in harmony,

Different faces, different races, He made us one,

Jesus taught us how to live in harmony.

 

Jesus taught us how to be a family,

Jesus taught us how to be a family,

Loving one another with the love that He gives,

Jesus taught us how to be a family.

 

Jesus turned our sorrow into dancing,

Jesus turned our sorrow into dancing,

Changed our tears of sadness into rivers of joy,

Jesus turned our sorrow into a dance.

 

 

Graham Kendrick.

Copyright © 1986 Kingsway’s

Thankyou Music.

We have also learned how important our human families are to us.  Paul writes, in Ephesians 3:14-15, ‘For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.’  All families are treasured because they are given by God.  Our extended families, which perhaps we don’t see that often, have become more precious with our inability to meet up with them and the possibility of not even seeing them at Christmas.  The families we live with in the same household or as a “bubble” have taken on a new significance and increased importance as they have become the only people we are allowed to touch and to hug.  So often we read in the Bible that blessing and healing are effected by the laying on of hands, for example Matthew 19:14-16  ‘Jesus said, ‘“Let the little children come to me …” [and] when he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.’  And Mark 8:25 ‘ … Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes.  Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.’  If we hadn’t realised before what a blessing is the human touch of our families and loved ones, surely the pandemic has made us realise it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVQFEgT7E6c

For the beauty of the earth,

For the beauty of the skies,

For the love which from our birth

Over and around us lies:

Lord of all to Thee we raise

This our joyful hymn of praise.

 

For the beauty of each hour

Of the day and of the night,

Hill and vale, and tree and flower,

Sun and moon, and stars of light:

Lord of all to Thee we raise

This our joyful hymn of praise.

 

For the joy of human love,

Brother, sister, parent, child,

Friends on earth, and friends above;

For all gentle thoughts and mild:

Lord of all to Thee we raise

This our joyful hymn of praise.

 

For each perfect gift of Thine

To our race so freely given,

Graces, human and divine,

Flowers of earth, and buds of heaven:

Lord of all to Thee we raise

This our joyful hymn of praise.

 

Words: Folliot S. Pierpoint

Music: John Rutter

Rev. Kathy Williamson