Online Sunday Service – 25th October 2020

25th October 2020

Online Sunday Service

I am the Way and the Truth

 

Good Morning folks,

I hope that you are well and life is being kind to you even at this most difficult of times. As we know, getting through such times is not easy but please remember that there are family, friends and many others who are there for you. You are not alone – you have a God who cares for you and watches over you – and He is only a prayer away.  Never hesitate to close your eyes and talk to Him. He is always there to listen to you. And don’t forget to take time to listen for His words to you.

 

But before we start our Service this morning  – let us pray together ~

Loving God, you are our amazing God, the God who creates life and sustains it……… the God who is in all places at all times – the God who is so immense that we cannot fully understand you – yet you are the God who loves and cares for us every day.

 

We praise you that we can put our hand into yours, knowing that you will lead, guide, support and hold us throughout our lives, that you will supply all our needs and far more besides.

 

We praise you for our experience of that truth across the years —the way you have always held firm to us despite our faults and fickleness, never letting go of us even when we let go of you.

 

Forgive us that we have let go so often,

intent on going our own way;

clinging to what ultimately can never satisfy.

 

Forgive us for doubting you when times are hard,

questioning your ability to lead us safely through. Forgive us for reaching out only when we have need of you,  expecting you to lift us up from trouble of our own making, and to set us on our feet again.

 

Help us to put our hand again in yours, in simple trust, quiet confidence and eager expectation, knowing that whatever we face and wherever we may find ourselves, you will hold us firm.

 

We thank you that you tell us the truth – you show us the way and you offer us life here, and forever.

 

Lord we offer you this prayer in Jesus’ name – and hear us now as we pray together – the prayer that Jesus taught His family to pray – the Lord’s prayer –

 

Our Father, who is in heaven,
bless-ed be your name;
your kingdom come;
your will be done;
May it be on earth, as it is in heaven.


Give us this day our daily needs.

And help us to forgive others, 

As you forgive us.

 

Keep us from falling in to temptation;
and deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
the power and all the glory,
for ever.

Amen.

 

Today we have 2 Readings ~

 

PSALM 25 : 1 – 5 (Old Testament)

&  JOHN 14 : 1 – 7  (New Testament)

 

Let’s read them now ~

PSALM 25 : 1 – 5 from the New Living Translation

A Psalm of David.

“1 O Lord, I give my life to you.
    I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.”

 

And ~

 

JOHN 14 : 1 – 7   from the New International Version

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus the Way to the Father

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Amen.

 

This is the Word of the Lord – Thanks be to God

 

SERMON

As some of you will know, we are currently looking at the “I AM” sayings of Jesus.

 

And as you will have worked out – today we are taking a closer look at the saying “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” – to see what it has to us ay to us, in our own lives, today.

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If you managed to read my Midweek meditation for last Wednesday (21.10.20) – I asked the question “have you ever been lost?”

Not just ‘physically’ lost – like when your SatNav sends you the wrong way – but that feeling of detachment, of having ‘lost your way’ in your life, somehow.

 

I guess that we are all  looking for ‘something better’ in life, whatever form that might mean for each of us.

A better job, any job!

Better pay – better conditions, better relationships, better health perhaps.

 

We look, we search, we seek but so often we fail to find that elusive ‘thing’ that will make us truly happy.

 

What would you say if I told you that what you are looking for – is right before your very eyes?

 

Let me explain ~

 

Many of us think that ‘stuff’ makes us happy – and maybe it does – for a while.

That new car, new clothes, new ‘surround sound’ TV etc all give us and endorphin rush, which sadly doesn’t last.

 

For a true, deep and lasting happiness we need some thing, someone, who is true deep and lasting.

But where is that ‘someone’ that ‘something’ to be found?

Which brings us neatly to our Bible passage for today – where Jesus says – “ I am the way, the truth and the life…”

 

“Look no further” He is saying “I am the way to deep fulfillment and true happiness  – I’m telling you the Truth – and through me your Life will be better than you could ever have imagined in your wildest dreams!

 

Well, if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that there are far more important and valuable things in life than ‘stuff’.

 

And here is an invitation to find a better, deeper and more profound way of life – and the one who promises us this is the very Son of God – and He is saying “Take my hand, don’t worry, you will be quite safe, and I’ll lead you to see, feel and experience life in a completely different way. You will feel happier than you have ever been, loved more than you’ve ever felt loved, more content and fulfilled than you could imagine possible.”

 

Who wouldn’t want that for themselves and for their loved ones?

 

Here is an opportunity for each of us to know, first hand, the whole mind blowing account of that baby who was born in a Byre in Bethlehem and died on a cross 33 years later, for you and for me – and what it means for each of us – for we are all part of what has been called “The Greatest Story ever told.”

 

For thousands of years – the telling and re-telling of stories, tales, and news were very much a part of the oral tradition.

 

No newspapers, no TV, no internet, of course – and so ‘word of mouth’ was how these things were passed from one region to another.

 

And so the news of Jesus, the carpenters’ son who became the Man from Galilee – was hot news indeed.

 

Tales of his many Miracles, Healings and wise words spread like wild-fire – bringing many to seek Him out and listen to his every word.

 

The crowds gathered wherever and whenever He appeared in public, all searching, all looking for help and understanding and meaning to the issues that life poses for all of us.

 

There are many today who are searching for some meaning to their lives, some way of understanding life, death and everything in between.

 

The eternal statement which echoes down the ages to us today “I am the Way, the `Truth and the Life” is needed as much today as it ever was.

 

In that short statement Jesus tells us –

“I am the Way to wisdom and understanding”

“I will tell you the Truth at all times”

“I offer you Life, in all it’s wholeness – both here and hereafter.”

 

It doesn’t really get any better than that.

 

We live in a world where many have ‘lost their way’ – who are searching for ‘something’ – people are aware of their own spiritual dimension – and try various so-called ‘religions’ in an attempt to find a peace in their lives – a truth in their lives – people flit from one thing to another – never being completely satisfied with what they find.

But Jesus says “you’re looking in the wrong place –

I am the truth – come to me and you will find out what true,  deep peace really is !! I’m telling you the Truth.”

 

We live in a world where “Fake News” is common place – people we thought we could trust will blatantly lie without a blush.

“I mis-spoke” or being ‘economical with the truth’  are term we hear on a regular basis.

 

How refreshing, how reassuring it is to know that there is something, some ONE that we can depend on !

 

Jesus tells us the truth – Jesus is the Truth !!

All He says – all He promises – is all absolutely true.

 

He also said that He is the ‘Life’ –

 

Life is the most precious thing that we have – without it we have nothing.

All the riches – all the possessions – are all worthless if we do not have life.

 

We celebrate it’s arrival – and we mourn it’s passing.

 

“Life is for living” – the saying goes – but sadly many simply exist – with no real quality of life.

 

They live unhappy and unfulfilled lives – going about their daily routine – almost like robots – same thing, different day.

Looking for happiness – looking for fulfilment – but never really finding it.

 

They – and I say “they” – but maybe for some of us it should be “we” – would like something or someone to come along and change our lives – giving us and those close to us a better and more fulfilled life –  or to quote Jesus himself – “I have come that you might have life and in all its fullness”(John 10:10) –  not just an existence – not just mere ‘living’ – but life and to the full.

That’s what we’re promised – that’s what we can have through Jesus – and we can be sure of that because he says ‘I am the life.”

 

Jesus is holding out His hand to you – wanting, willing you to take it and so begin the greatest adventure of your life – as He takes you from what you are now – to who He originally made you to be.

He will reset your life back to the ‘makers’ specifications, if you let Him.

 

It’s a journey which is not for the faint-heated – but I can absolutely promise you that you will not regret a single second of it – and then there’s the promise of being led through those Heavenly Gates at the last, there to live in eternal peace and tranquillity for all time.

 

Who wouldn’t want that?

 

That is there for you – a promise to all who follow His Way.

 

I hope and pray you will take Him at His word because I can absolutely assure you that it is the God’s honest Truth.

 

And that is what I pray for you – and in the name of God’s only Son, our only Hope, Jesus Christ.

 

Amen.

And may God bless this preaching of his Holy Word – and may all the Glory and the Praise – be His.

 

Let us pray

Living God,

we praise you for all that is good and precious in human life; the value, potential, and uniqueness of every individual.

For the family of all people,

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

We pray for those whose humanity is diminished by prejudice and discrimination, subjected to insults, intimidation, hatred and suspicion, day after day denied justice, time and again deprived of the opportunity to prove themselves.

For the family of all people,

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

We pray for those denied the chance to fulfil their potential, whether through lack of education, insufficient resources, limited opportunities, or a denial of their human rights.

For the family of all people,

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

We pray for those whose lives are blighted by need, burdened by debt or unemployment, oppressed by poverty, hunger and homelessness, crushed by natural catastrophe or personal disaster.

For the family of all people,

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

We pray for those who have lost belief in their own worth, overwhelmed by self-doubt, beset by inner fears, their confidence broken, their faith in the future destroyed.

For the family of all people,

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

We pray for those who mourn at the loss of loved ones, life suddenly seeming empty of meaning and stripped of joy, and we pray for those who battle against sickness and disease, unable to live life to the full, and fearful as to what the future may hold.

For the family of all people,

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Living God,

We pray that you will draw close to those around the world whose lives have been touched by the increase of the Coronavirus. Watch over them and give them your strength in their weakness.

Bless those who work on the frontline of our Health Services  – keep them safe and taken them home safely  to their families at the end of each shift.

 

For the family of all people,

Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Hear our own, silent prayers, as we sit together for a few moments – each with our own thoughts – each with our own prayer for those whom we know and love………take a few moment to think of someone you know that you would like to pray for – then whisper their name(s) – God hears your words…………..

 

For the family of all people,

Lord, hear our prayer.

For we pray in the name of the one who is the way, the truth and the life everlasting – our dear Lord Jesus Christ, your only son – our only hope.

Amen.

 

‘THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK’

 

Can anyone tell me what this is ? – (you can’t see it but I am holding up one half of a pair of scissors).

 

It’s a ‘scissor’ – its not a pair of scissors – but half of a pair of scissors – a ‘scissor’……… it’s about as useful as one leg in a pair of trousers – one hand of a pair of gloves – or one shoe of a pair of shoes (and I once saw a shoe shop with an enterprising young manger who advertised in his window – ‘shoes for sale – by one shoe – get the other free !!’).

 

But one shoe –  one glove – one ‘scissor’ – is only part of a pair – and needs it’s other half to be of use – to be complete.

 

And so it is with us – we are incomplete on our own – we need to work hand in hand with our God – to realize our full potential.

To be of use to Him, to our selves and to others………

We need God in our lives to be complete…….

 

So here’s a thought for us all………

Do you walk hand in hand with your God ??

 

And so live His WAY – and that’s the TRUTH – for the rest of your LIFE….. and that’s a promise – made to you in heaven – reiterated to you this very day.

 

Now isn’t that  a thought !??………

 

BENEDICTION

 

Go now in Love, Joy, Hope and Peace.

 

Go with God’s love in your heart – and His hand on your shoulder, watching and guiding you in all you say and do.

 

And may the Blessing of Almighty God – Father – Son – and Holy Spirit – be with you – be with your families and all who you know and love – and ought to love,

This day – and every day.

Amen.

 

Take care and May God Bless you

And your loved ones.

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Please keep safe

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Be sure and look out for the Midweek ‘Meditation’ which is Posted every Wednesday Morning.

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And can I remind those of you who aren’t too far away from Kilmacolm, that our Murray Chapel is currently opened for a time of  personal Peace and Prayer, each day from Monday to Saturday from 11am – 1pm.

All welcome.

“Be still and know that I am God”

Psalm 46 : 10

 

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