OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED
CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE CLOSED

Sharing Our Faith Together

Morning Worship for Sunday 27 September 2020

by Peter Blount 27 September 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus – Joy and peace to you all.

Call to Worship - Psalm 148

Please take a moment to read this psalm as it lists all the elements of creation as a vehicle for praise to an overwhelming God.

As you read you may like to listen to our first hymn Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of creation

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Prayer

Lord Jesus, on this day that you have created, may we find joy in your presence, strength in your word and love in your fellowship.

Guide us in our private prayers of thanksgiving, in our private confessions and in our individual prayers for others.

Thank you Lord that you hear all our prayers and that in your time and love you will respond.

When you are ready please repeat the Lord’s Prayer and reflect on its words.

Reading – 2 Corinthians Ch 4

In this reading Paul discusses ‘Treasures in Jars of Clay’. The following video covers the first 15 verses of this chapter (you may need to watch it couple of times to get the full story).

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So that leaves us with just three verses which read –

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Reflection
It’s a year or two since I was in Markeaton Park and then I noticed that the archeologists had opened up the foundations of the ‘big house’ that used to stand in the beautiful gardens and surroundings. Apart from revealing the room plan I’m not sure exactly what they found, but on a very recent visit I discovered its now all been filled in again!!

Usually, on these archeological digs, the guys go wild if they discover the smallest bit of remains, and it’s most likely to be bone or a some sort of pottery.

They’ve had a fantastic find if there are enough fragments to piece together a complete pot of some description.

However, in their day, the pots were most likely insignificant or at the least utilitarian, made purely to do a job and not really special. The job, of course, in most cases was to hold and store liquid, either wine or water. It was also a common practice in Jesus’ time to hide their most valuable items, their treasure, in one or more of these ordinary everyday jars. Hence Paul, in this second letter to the church in Corinth talks about ‘Treasure in Jars of Clay’.

As the early church was already under persecution, Paul was in no way indicating that the ‘all surpassing power of God’ as he called it, was under threat from the opposition, rather the earthly vessel that held this power, referring to the Christians themselves as being weak and vulnerable to attack from oppressors and persecutors alike.

By the time we get to the last three verses of this chapter, Paul, as he often does, is summarising and at the same time, emphasising, the underlying message of the chapter using words of power and encouragement.

Firstly, he repeats the words ‘do not loose heart’ (verse 1). Then the phrase ‘outwardly wasting away’ is another reference to the fragility of the human body, and its ability to ‘contain’ God’s power, the jar of clay, compared against being inwardly renewed, the immense and limitless power of God within. Paul compares momentary earthly suffering against the magnificence of eternity. Finally, he encourages his Corinthian readers to focus their attention, not on the temporary problems of this world, but on the eternal joys that are to follow.

I conclude from this that if Paul were here today he would have the same message. Do not be overwhelmed by disturbing daily news bulletins, encroaching virus problems, restrictions on mobility or even on the ways we may or may not worship and ‘do’ church, all of which could be described as ‘Jars of Clay’. But, focus on God all embracing power to love and protect us through the temporary towards the eternal.

Powerful words for troubled times!


Prayer

Heavenly Father, help us to realise that in our own strength we are nothing, but guided and protected by your love and grace we are transformed from fragile jars of clay to become earthly treasure.

May we find strength to stand on these promises.

Amen

Our final hymn - Standing on the Promises

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The Blessing

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