Sermon: Wednesday 20th May

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

Acts 14:8-20

In Lystra and Derbe

8In Lystra there was a man who had been lame from birth and had never been able to walk. 9He sat there and listened to Paul's words. Paul saw that he believed and could be healed, so he looked straight at him 10and said in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” The man jumped up and started walking around. 11When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they started shouting in their own Lycaonian language, “The gods have become like men and have come down to us!” 12They gave Barnabas the name Zeus, and Paul the name Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13The priest of the god Zeus, whose temple stood just outside the town, brought bulls and flowers to the gate, for he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice to the apostles.

14When Barnabas and Paul heard what they were about to do, they tore their clothes and ran into the middle of the crowd, shouting, 15“Why are you doing this? We ourselves are only human beings like you! We are here to announce the Good News, to turn you away from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven, earth, sea, and all that is in them. 16In the past he allowed all people to go their own way. 17But he has always given evidence of his existence by the good things he does: he gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times; he gives you food and fills your hearts with happiness.” 18Even with these words the apostles could hardly keep the crowd from offering a sacrifice to them.

19Some Jews came from Antioch in Pisidia and from Iconium; they won the crowd over to their side, stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, thinking that he was dead. 20But when the believers gathered round him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he and Barnabas went to Derbe.

https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/read/eng/GNB/Acts/14/

Singing the Faith 727

1      God in his love for us lent us this planet,
        gave it a purpose in time and in space:
        small as a spark from the fire of creation,
        cradle of life and the home of our race.

   2      Thanks be to God for its bounty and beauty,
        life that sustains us in body and mind:
        plenty for all, if we learn how to share it,
        riches undreamed-of to fathom and find.

   3      Long have our human wars ruined its harvest;
        long has earth bowed to the terror of force;
        long have we wasted what others have needed,
        poisoned the fountain of life at its source.

   4      Earth is the Lord's: it is ours to enjoy it,
        ours, as God's stewards, to farm and defend.
        From its pollution, misuse, and destruction,
        good Lord, deliver us, world without end!

Fred Pratt Green (1903–2000)

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 727
Words: © 1973, Stainer & Bell Ltd, 23 Gruneisen Road, London N3 1DZ  <www.stainer.co.uk>

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Psalm 46

God is with Us

1God is our shelter and strength,

always ready to help in times of trouble.

2So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken

and mountains fall into the ocean depths;

3even if the seas roar and rage,

and the hills are shaken by the violence.

4There is a river that brings joy to the city of God,

to the sacred house of the Most High.

5God is in that city, and it will never be destroyed;

at early dawn he will come to its aid.

6Nations are terrified, kingdoms are shaken;

God thunders, and the earth dissolves.

7The LORD Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.

8Come and see what the LORD has done.

See what amazing things he has done on earth.

9He stops wars all over the world;

he breaks bows, destroys spears,

and sets shields on fire.

10“Stop fighting,” he says, “and know that I am God,

supreme among the nations,

supreme over the world.”

11The LORD Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.

https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/read/eng/GNB/Ps/46/

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