Sermon: Thursday 2nd July

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Preached on 22nd June 2020
(13th in Ordinary Time)
by Dr Alistair MacDonald

John 5:30-47

Witnesses to Jesus

30“I can do nothing on my own authority; I judge only as God tells me, so my judgement is right, because I am not trying to do what I want, but only what he who sent me wants.

31“If I testify on my own behalf, what I say is not to be accepted as real proof. 32But there is someone else who testifies on my behalf, and I know that what he says about me is true. 33John is the one to whom you sent your messengers, and he spoke on behalf of the truth. 34It is not that I must have a human witness; I say this only in order that you may be saved. 35John was like a lamp, burning and shining, and you were willing for a while to enjoy his light. 36But I have a witness on my behalf which is even greater than the witness that John gave: what I do, that is, the deeds my Father gave me to do, these speak on my behalf and show that the Father has sent me. 37And the Father, who sent me, also testifies on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his face, 38and you do not keep his message in your hearts, for you do not believe in the one whom he sent. 39You study the Scriptures, because you think that in them you will find eternal life. And these very Scriptures speak about me! 40Yet you are not willing to come to me in order to have life.

41“I am not looking for human praise. 42But I know what kind of people you are, and I know that you have no love for God in your hearts. 43I have come with my Father's authority, but you have not received me; when, however, someone comes with his own authority, you will receive him. 44You like to receive praise from one another, but you do not try to win praise from the one who alone is God; how, then, can you believe me? 45Do not think, however, that I am the one who will accuse you to my Father. Moses, in whom you have put your hope, is the very one who will accuse you. 46If you had really believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. 47But since you do not believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?”

https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/

Singing the Faith 55

   1      Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
        in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
        most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
        almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

   2      Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
        nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might —
        thy justice like mountains high soaring above
        thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

   3      To all life thou givest, to both great and small;
        in all life thou livest, the true life of all;
        we blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
        and wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.

   4      Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
        thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
        all praise we would render: O help us to see
        'tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

   5      Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
        in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
        most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
        almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

Walter Chalmers Smith (1824–1908)

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 55 .

Psalm 27

A Prayer of Praise

1The LORD is my light and my salvation;

I will fear no one.

The LORD protects me from all danger;

I will never be afraid.

2When evil people attack me and try to kill me,

they stumble and fall.

3Even if a whole army surrounds me,

I will not be afraid;

even if enemies attack me,

I will still trust God.

4I have asked the LORD for one thing;

one thing only do I want:

to live in the LORD's house all my life,

to marvel there at his goodness,

and to ask for his guidance.

5In times of trouble he will shelter me;

he will keep me safe in his Temple

and make me secure on a high rock.

6So I will triumph over my enemies around me.

With shouts of joy I will offer sacrifices in his Temple;

I will sing, I will praise the LORD.

7Hear me, LORD, when I call to you!

Be merciful and answer me!

8When you said, “Come and worship me,”

I answered, “I will come, LORD;

9don't hide yourself from me!”

Don't be angry with me;

don't turn your servant away.

You have been my help;

don't leave me, don't abandon me,

O God, my saviour.

10My father and mother may abandon me,

but the LORD will take care of me.

11Teach me, LORD, what you want me to do,

and lead me along a safe path,

because I have many enemies.

12Don't abandon me to my enemies,

who attack me with lies and threats.

13I know that I will live to see

the LORD's goodness in this present life.

14Trust in the LORD.

Have faith, do not despair.

Trust in the LORD.

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