OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED
CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE CLOSED

Sharing Our Faith Together

Morning Worship for Sunday 19 July 2020

by Andy Cokayne 19 July 2020

Welcome - A call to worship from Psalm 63:1-5 read by Karen Cokayne

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Our first hymn is ‘Everlasting God’

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Prayer and Lord's Prayer

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Our second hymn is 'Come, ye thankful people, come,' 

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One of the passages of scripture set for today is : Matthew 13:24-30 & 36-43

Hidden and yet Revealed

No doubt we have all been in conversations where someone has been explaining a current situation, when all of a sudden they say  something that is obviously very informative, you have nodded knowingly along with everyone else, not wishing to appear dense or uninformed. But afterwards you have thought "What did they say?" "Thinking back I haven't got a clue what they were getting at!". So you ask someone else that was in the same conversation, and they are as dumb founded as you. I wonder if that was how the disciples felt, they heard the story, but what was Jesus getting at? The real meaning was hidden from them.

Parables are stories of everyday events, but have a hidden meaning. In this chapter we read "The kingdom of heaven is like..." "a sower" in v24, "a mustard seed" in v31, "hidden treasure" in v44, "a net" in v47. All the parables in this chapter teach us about God and his kingdom. They reveal what the kingdom is really like as opposed to our expectations of it. The kingdom of heaven is not a geographical location, but a spiritual realm in which God rules and in which we share in his eternal life. We join that kingdom when we trust in Christ as our Saviour. To his disciples he was prepared to explain what he meant in the parable about the kingdom of heaven, He revealed what the story was all about, v18-23 the Sower explained, and then in v36-43 the Weeds explained. But to the crowds he simply told the parable, and left it with them. I wonder if any of the crowd asked Jesus if he could explain what he was getting at, or I wonder if any of the crowd asked the disciples, after Jesus had explained it to them. 

The Jews had a clear understanding of the kingdom of heaven, and here Jesus was having to dispel some of the myths that they had come to assume were true. The only way he could get his message home was to liken his point to an everyday occurrence. The Jews  were keen to make judgements about others, often based on the many rules set by the Pharisees, and Jesus was saying that it was wrong. Jesus was saying that at the end of the world angels will separate the evil from the good, not us. 

But what are we to learn? There are true and false believers in every church today, but we should be cautious about our judgements because only Christ is qualified to make the final separation. If you start judging, you may damage some of the good "plants". It's more important to judge our own response to God than to analyse others' responses. Secondly Jesus was pointing out that there will be an end. The world, like it is, will not go on forever. There will be a judgement. Those who say they don't care about what happens to them when they die don't realise what they are saying. It is our job to share the good news with them in an understandable way, so they have the chance to make their own decision. After all, as Saint Augustine has said "Those who are Weeds today, may be Wheat tomorrow." May we not hide the good news in Jesus that we have, but may we allow Him to reveal that same good news through us.  

Our final hymn is 'Shine, Jesus Shine,'

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We are united with churches throughout the country as we share together in the 'The UK Blessing'

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