Sermon: Tuesday 19th May

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Preached on 18th May 2020
(6th of Easter)
by Antony Oakley

Acts 13:13-41

In Antioch in Pisidia

13Paul and his companions sailed from Paphos and came to Perga, a city in Pamphylia, where John Mark left them and went back to Jerusalem. 14They went on from Perga and arrived in Antioch in Pisidia, and on the Sabbath they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15After the reading from the Law of Moses and from the writings of the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message: “Brothers and sisters, we want you to speak to the people if you have a message of encouragement for them.” 16Paul stood up, motioned with his hand, and began to speak:

“Fellow-Israelites and all Gentiles here who worship God: hear me! 17The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors and made the people a great nation during the time they lived as foreigners in Egypt. God brought them out of Egypt by his great power, 18and for forty years he endured them in the desert. 19He destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and made his people the owners of the land. 20All this took about 450 years.

“After this he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. 21And when they asked for a king, God gave them Saul son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin, to be their king for forty years. 22After removing him, God made David their king. This is what God said about him: ‘I have found that David son of Jesse is the kind of man I like, a man who will do all I want him to do.’ 23It was Jesus, a descendant of David, whom God made the Savior of the people of Israel, as he had promised. 24Before Jesus began his work, John preached to all the people of Israel that they should turn from their sins and be baptized. 25And as John was about to finish his mission, he said to the people, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not the one you are waiting for. But listen! He is coming after me, and I am not good enough to take his sandals off his feet.’

26“My fellow-Israelites, descendants of Abraham, and all Gentiles here who worship God: it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent! 27For the people who live in Jerusalem and their leaders did not know that he is the Saviour, nor did they understand the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. Yet they made the prophets' words come true by condemning Jesus. 28And even though they could find no reason to pass the death sentence on him, they asked Pilate to have him put to death. 29And after they had done everything that the Scriptures say about him, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb. 30But God raised him from death, 31and for many days he appeared to those who had travelled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now witnesses for him to the people of Israel. 32-33And we are here to bring the Good News to you: what God promised our ancestors he would do, he has now done for us, who are their descendants, by raising Jesus to life. As it is written in the second Psalm:

‘You are my Son;

today I have become your Father.’

34And this is what God said about raising him from death, never to rot away in the grave:

‘I will give you the sacred and sure blessings

that I promised to David.’

35As indeed he says in another passage:

‘You will not allow your faithful servant to rot in the grave.’

36For David served God's purposes in his own time, and then he died, was buried with his ancestors, and his body rotted in the grave. 37But this did not happen to the one whom God raised from death. 38-39We want you to know, my fellow-Israelites, that it is through Jesus that the message about forgiveness of sins is preached to you; and that everyone who believes in him is set free from all the sins from which the Law of Moses could not set you free. 40Take care, then, so that what the prophets said may not happen to you:

41‘Look, you scoffers! Be astonished and die!

For what I am doing today

is something that you will not believe,

even when someone explains it to you!’ ”

https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/bible-search/search:acts+13/versions:GNB/

Singing the Faith 463

1      Deep in the shadows of the past,
        far out from settled lands,
        some nomads travelled with their God
        across the desert sands.
        The dawning hope of humankind
        by them was sensed and shown:
        a promise calling them ahead,
        a future yet unknown.

   2      While others bowed to changeless gods,
        they met a mystery,
        invisible, without a name:
        ‘I AM WHAT I WILL BE’;
        and by their tents, around their fires,
        in story, song and law,
        they praised, remembered, handed on
        a past that promised more.

   3      From Exodus to Pentecost
        the promise changed and grew,
        while some, remembering the past,
        recorded what they knew,
        or with their letters and laments,
        their prophecy and praise,
        recovered, kindled and expressed
        new hope for changing days.

   4      For all the writings that survived,
        for leaders, long ago,
        who sifted, copied, and preserved
        the Bible that we know,
        give thanks, and find its story yet
        our promise, strength and call,
        the model of emerging faith,
        alive with hope for all.

Brian Wren (b.1936)

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 463
Words: © 1975, 1995, Stainer & Bell Ltd, 23 Gruneisen Road, London N3 1DZ  www.stainer.co.uk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNvgG1zRxSM

Psalm 45

A Royal Wedding Song

1Beautiful words fill my mind,

as I compose this song for the king.

Like the pen of a good writer

my tongue is ready with a poem.

2You are the most handsome of men;

you are an eloquent speaker.

God has always blessed you.

3Buckle on your sword, mighty king;

you are glorious and majestic.

4Ride on in majesty to victory

for the defence of truth and justice!

Your strength will win you great victories!

5Your arrows are sharp,

they pierce the hearts of your enemies;

nations fall down at your feet.

6The kingdom that God has given you

will last for ever and ever.

You rule over your people with justice;

7you love what is right and hate what is evil.

That is why God, your God, has chosen you

and has poured out more happiness on you

than on any other king.

8The perfume of myrrh and aloes is on your clothes;

musicians entertain you in palaces decorated with ivory.

9Among the ladies of your court are daughters of kings,

and on the right of your throne stands the queen,

wearing ornaments of finest gold.

10Bride of the king, listen to what I say —

forget your people and your relatives.

11Your beauty will make the king desire you;

he is your master, so you must obey him.

12The people of Tyre will bring you gifts;

rich people will try to win your favour.

13The princess is in the palace — how beautiful she is!

Her gown is made of gold thread.

14In her colourful gown she is led to the king,

followed by her bridesmaids,

and they also are brought to him.

15With joy and gladness they come

and enter the king's palace.

16You, my king, will have many sons

to succeed your ancestors as kings,

and you will make them rulers over the whole earth.

17My song will keep your fame alive for ever,

and everyone will praise you for all time to come.

https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/read/eng/GNB/Ps/45/

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