Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

Sermon and Readings

16 May 2020, 11:45 p.m.

Readings: Acts 17v22-31; Psalm 66v7-18; 1Peter 3v13-22; John14v15-21

Let us pray: Dear God, may we hear what you are saying to us today. Amen

Sermon from Lucy: This is a brief ramble through the scriptures.

In the Book of Acts, Paul told the Athenian people that they were a religious lot because they had a city full of places of worship - including an altar dedicated to an “Unknown God”. As a gifted preacher, Paul began by starting there - from something they already knew – there was a God they did not know – and, from there, to point them to the living God and Jesus. This reading reminds me that God is always trying to reconnect with us and that God is always ready to start with me just as I am.

In the psalm, the writer tells us to bless God, let his praise be heard, bring our offerings and share our testimony of what God has done for us. This psalm reminds me that I have a job to do for God.

In Peter’s letter, Peter teaches us all sorts of amazing things. Peter begins by telling us to: do what is right and keep our consciences clear - even when abused, criticised or suffering for it. He tells us not to be afraid nor intimidated because even Jesus, who was blameless, suffered so that, once and for all, sinful people could be brought back to God. Peter then tells us that, after his death: Jesus’ spirit was set free to go and preach to those who died in their sinfulness in earlier times; and that now, Jesus is in heaven, at the right hand of God; sovereign over angels, authorities and powers. Finally, Peter tells us that because of Jesus we can be saved and made clean through the water of Baptism and are called to dedicate ourselves to Christ and share the hope we have. This letter reminds me that, in Jesus, God has done everything I need to be saved.

In John’s gospel, Jesus told about a chain reaction that we are invited to join. Jesus that that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments; and if we keep these commandments we will live and the Father will love us; and if the Father loves us, He will send the Holy Spirit to be with us, so we will not be alone. This gospel reminds me that my calling is to love God by keeping His commandments and God will reward me by sending His Spirit to accompany me on the journey of life.

I hope you found this to be a short and simple but blessed ramble.

Let us pray: Lord God, deliver us from the powers of darkness, by the death of your son. Give us thirst for the water that Jesus gives: the water of eternal life, water from the spring of life; water from the source of all goodness. Call us to life in your presence and eternal joy in the Kingdom of his son. Amen