Sunday 12th July 2020

This half term the Christian Value is perseverance so, over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you some bible stories which give good examples. We are all having to persevere through this time of isolation but, like with these stories, we have faith and it is this which will bring us out of the tunnel smiling.

 

Trust Forgiveness Peace Thankfulness Compassion  Friendship Love Hope

 

PERSERVERANCE

 

Parable of the 10 Girls.

Once there were ten girls who would take their oil lamps and go and meet the bridegroom. Five of them were silly, but the other five were wise. The silly ones took their oil lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, while the wise ones took containers full of oil. The bridegroom was late so the girls fell asleep.

It was midnight when the bridegroom was arriving. The girls woke up and trimmed their lamps. Then the silly ones asked the wise ones for some of their oil as their lamps were going out, but the wise ones refused as there was not enough for all of them. They told the silly ones to go to the shop to buy more oil for themselves. So they went off to do this and while they were gone the bridegroom arrived. The five girls who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast and the doors were closed.

Later the other girls arrived asking to be let in , but the bridegroom refused as he said he didn’t know who they were.

Jesus ended by saying “Be on your guard as you do not know who it may be at any hour.”

This parable shows that it is always best to be prepared and not rely on others to help you out.

Matthew chapter 25. Verses 1 – 13.

 

A few words from Reverend Lee Gabel

Sermon 12th July 2020

Matthew 13. 1-9, 18-23

A wise priest once said to me ‘Lee all we can do is sow seeds’ seeds of faith, some may grow – some will fall by the wayside and we do not know when they will bear fruit. The important thing is to keep sowing.

And so today we can look to the parable of the sower, which isn’t really about the sower but the fate of the seeds, and the kind of soil that received it. One message is that although the fate of the seeds was different, we can consider that they were equal, it is the soil that receives the seed that is different.

The words of Jesus describe the environment in which the seed comes to effect and that in which it becomes productive, however it is not the chance and accident of sowing but the grace of God and people’s responsiveness that are in action.

The seeds have been sown, now their fate depends upon the responsiveness or unresponsiveness of people. We are given examples of responses: two responses are initially positive but prove to be less than adequate. In the first encounter, we meet a ‘fair-weather’ disciple who under the pressure of adversity crumbles under the pressure and abandons commitment, and eventually faith.

In the second instance, the disciple is cut short by the ordinary cares of the world and this life, the seduction of wealth and materialism.

Behind all of this is the metaphor and imagery used by Jesus, the sower, the seed and the soil. Here in the countryside we can relate to these images easily, we can experience more clearly the relationship between the land and the agricultural year and how it has shaped our faith. God lets us know that we can be the sower the seed and the soil, it is how we respond that decides if good fruit comes to bear.

Amen.