Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 20v7-13; Psalm 69v8-20; Romans 6v1b-11; Matthew 10v24-39
Let us pray: Dear God, may we hear what you are saying to us today. Amen
Lucy's sermon: In the reading from Jeremiah, we hear the prophet’s desperate and heartfelt cry to God. For here was a man overwhelmed by zeal and passion for God, a man willing to do God’s bidding even in the face of adversity, a man who was willing to give his all for God. A man who, even when surrounded by the evils of persecution and mockery, was so confident and certain about God. A man so sure of God’s ability to deliver the needy from the hands of evil doers, that he could sing songs of praise to God even when evil was still ever present and all around. The Psalm, echoes the same sort of passionate confidence in God - again in a time of adversity, when all seems lost. It ends with a prayer asking for rescue and deliverance from enemies that has within it a deep sense of trust in God.
Paul’s letter to the people in Rome is a call to a new life in Christ free from our sin. With this call comes the warning that our old lives are to be crucified so we may walk in newness of life. And with the warning comes the promise that, like Jesus, we too can be resurrected, raised from the dead, never to die again and live with Christ. In the gospel we hear about Jesus teaching his disciples as he sends them out in mission. He warns them that they will not always be treated well and teaches that they should not fear those who can kill the body – and only to fear the one who can destroy the body and soul in hell. He tells them to proclaim what he tells them to share and to do so without fear because they are of great value to God. For they, and all who are God’s own, are to take up their cross, follow Jesus and be willing to give up their lives for Jesus sake.
Today, I have been reminded that the call of God is powerful and mighty asking of us things we may feel are beyond us. Yet, even though we may feel that what is asked is impossible, we learn it was not only possible – but, instead, impossible to ignore. For God knows what we are and what we are made of. And God can do the impossible both for us and with us. All we have to do is to trust God and follow as He leads, wherever He takes us and do whatever He asks of us. This is a lesson I have learnt for myself as I have journeyed through life. I have often told God that he had made a mistake and got it wrong. Frequently I have tried to ignore and dismiss His calling. Yet God persisted and eventually, I always succumbed to His call and God was always right. So today, I say from the bottom of my heart - if you feel the call of God on your life – be of good courage and dare to trust the God who calls you, for He knows his plans and purposes for you and He will fulfil them in you – if you but let him.
Let us pray: Almighty and eternal God, you teach us that we are called to love you and do your will here on earth. This day, grant us your Holy Spirit and bring us the gift of love, so we may serve you here on earth and then, when our lives are complete, join you in the eternal banquet with Jesus. Amen