Sunday 9 May 2021 Kinlochleven and Nether Lochaber Parish Churches

 Opening Words Jesus is the one all the prophets gave testimony of, that through his name whosever believes in him will receive the forgiveness of sins.   

Hymn 1Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long.

 

 2Perfect communion, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight.
Angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

3Perfect submission, all is at rest.
I in my Saviour am happy and blessed,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

 


Prayer Loving God, you are great and worthy to be praised, we praise you, gracious Father, blessed Jesus.  We honour you the one God, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Thank you for Calvary where Jesus took our sin away. Thank you for loving us in this very special way. Help us to be your people today and to experience your victory; in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.  

Gospel Matthew 28:16-20 The Great Commission 16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Message This is one of the passages in the Bible that describes God as ‘Trinity’, literally ‘being three’. He is the threefold God, yet He is one God. This is one of the great truths of the New Testament. It is hinted at in the Old Testament and revealed in the New. God is one, yet he exists in three ‘persons’ or centres of being. He is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each of these is God, and none are entirely separate from the others. It is more than that God functions in three ways. Rather, they are three facets of his being. Jesus is both man and God; and the Holy Spirit is God too. If you find this confusing or hard to work out, don’t worry! Down the ages Christians have puzzled, thought long and hard over it. As we read the New Testament we see how at different times, God as each of these three ‘persons’ is at work doing specific things. The New Testament makes perfect sense when we read it in this way.

  This passage is also important because it sets out the task of the church, which is to tell people about Jesus and to make new disciples. A church that doesn’t see this as important is barely a church at all! It also lays an obligation on us as individual believers. It’s not enough to say, ‘I am a Christian’ and leave it there. Our faith should not be hidden from those around us. We believe that Jesus died on the cross for ‘full salvation’. His death dealt with sin, for God takes sin seriously. Jesus rose again as a sign that his death was sufficient, his task had been completed. We believe in Jesus as such and receive him for salvation. We come to see ourselves as his. We belong to Jesus. We sign away our right to a self-determined life. We place ourselves in his hands and take on his commandments. As James Denney wrote, ‘the new life springs out of the sense of debt to Christ’. Faith in Jesus is a commitment to Jesus. It places on us the burden of the gospel. We are to go out into the world, that may be as close as the places and people in our village and community. They need Jesus, too. We are to be missionaries of the cross of Jesus. We owe it to the world, to those who are our neighbours, not to keep our faith hidden, but rather to tell them of what we know and believe.

   This passage is meant as an encouragement to us. Our society of 2021 might seem rather uninterested in the gospel, even opposed to some of it, but we are assured of Christ’s help and presence as we undertake his work. All power and authority were given unto him, unto Jesus, by the Father. This means that his Word can cut through the unbelief of the world. The message can impact on people’s lives today.  It can start even as people pick up a ‘try praying’ leaflet.   

      

Prayer Loving God we thank you that you have good plans for us and for our church. Help us to know and experience more of what it is to be disciples of Jesus today. Thank you for letting us be part of the great task of spreading your Word. Lord the world is so needy!  We need your power! We thank you that Jesus has the victory. We proclaim him Lord and declare him victor over all we see.  Wherever we are today may we know your blessing. In the words our Saviour has taught us we are glad to pray further, saying, Our Father…

 

  Closing Words May God’s blessing be upon us, the blessing of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.