Sermon: 13 September 2020

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy

Greetings and Welcome

Call to Worship

Hymn

TiS 156 Morning has broken…

Prayer

Scripture Lessons

Exodus 14:19-31
Romans 14:1-12
Matthew 18:21-25

Word For All: (Children’s Time)

Hymn

TiS 49 He is Lord, he is Lord…

Message: Forgiveness Therapy

Introduction

A priest visited a boys’ boarding home. As their usual practice, the boys lined up to make confession. Lined up—tall to the shortest.
The priest felt it strange because their confession was the same: “I threw Peanuts in the river”.
The priest wondered whether they mean to say that they wasted the peanuts or—polluted the river by throwing the peanuts. Anyhow the last boy came and was standing still. So the priest wanted to help him. He told him, “Is it something to do with peanut?” The little boy was still blinking. Then the priest told the boy, “Now I know what you are going to say: “I threw peanuts into the river.”
The boy replied “Father, I am Peanuts.”

Confession is good for soul
We are fortunate people to come to Church and make confession and receive absolution. It does immense good to our body and soul.
Sometimes I feel it is easy preach on confession and forgiveness but in practice it is difficult to forgive.

Many of our lives and relationships are broken because of the unforgiving attitude.
Remember the saying:
“To err is human, to forgive is divine.”
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. 1 John 1:8
It is our human nature to err. But how can it be restored?

There is The Good news for us
In the Gospel lesson, Jesus tells the disciple about the parable of the forgiving King and the unforgiving Servant. (Mt 18:21-35)
The parable teaches us how much and how often God has forgiven us. We are also called to imitate the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, by forgiving others.

PPP #1. (Explain Gospel Picture)
Is there a limitation asks Peter about forgiveness? Jesus says no limit.
Peter asked Jesus, “How often should I forgive?
As many as seven times? Jesus said to Him, but, I tell you, seventy- seven times”.

Remember: God’s nature is redemption
In Exodus 14:19-31 we read God’s spectacular event in redeeming people against Pharos enemies. In Psalm 114, we read about God redeeming the Israelites from their enemies.

We see God’s forgiveness in Jesus. Jesus means Saviour
“Angel said to Joseph,” You are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
Mt 18:22; Jesus says to the sinful woman who anointed him, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Lk 7, 48, 50. We are set free.
God is on our side when we are on his side.

There is real benefit of forgiving. It is a miracle of healing
It is a therapy. The benefit: heals and restores psychosomatic illnesses. Miracle happens because it restores relationship: May we heal ourselves by forgiving those who have hurt us.
“Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7
“The quality of mercy is doubly blessed- the giver and the receiver.” W. Shakespeare.

How can we forgive and restore relationships?
There are some guidelines from the Bible.

Romans 14
~ Paul advises we not be judgemental, whether eating food or relationships. Gain a more balanced view of that person putting yourself in to their shoes, by avoiding judgement and fostering tolerance.
Decrease negative feelings of the offender and increase compassion- “Father forgive them …”
~When we find it hard to forgive others, we should turn to Jesus for help.
~We may be able to get rid of the emotional block towards certain people who hurt us, by breathing a redemptive prayer. Pray silently. Ask Jesus for the grace to forgive. You can see even your enemies totally in new light as fellow human beings.
~Repent and receive His forgiveness.
~“Blessed are the merciful for they will obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7
~“Confess your sin to one another and pray for one another” James 5:16
~God forgives us-so imitate his nature. Jesus is our model. At the height of sufferings on the cross he prayed for his enemies
~“Father forgive them; they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
~That is what we pray
“Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” Matthew 6:12

Ministry of reconciliation
We are also call to be the ambassadors of reconciliation
2 Cor 5:19, 20 “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ ambassadors.”
Make me a channel of your peace.

Conclusion
Graham Stains with his sons Timothy and Philip brutally burnt by the fundamentalists. What moved the hearts of people was the sight of Mrs Staines asking Jesus to forgive her husband’s murderers. She prayed that Jesus may touch their hearts not to do the same act to others.
The forgiving spirit is given by Jesus. Love is giving and forgiving. Ask Jesus to help you and me.

Hymn

TiS 147 To God be the glory…

Offering

Prayer

Notices/Announcement

Prayers of the People

Our World
Dear lord , we thank you for the gift of our lovely world and our surrounds freshly greened by the recent rain. We pray that we will do more to care for the environment.
We thank you for researchers who are attempting to find vaccine and cures for this outbreak.

For our Nation
We thank you for the freedom we have to live a contented lifestyle. We appreciate that some people are finding the current regulations and procedures burdensome. We long for the day when we can sit near our friends and hug loved ones. We pray that they will realise that this is for the common good as opposed to their own choice and comfort.
We pray for those who regulations forbid attendance at family events such as funerals and events interstate. Give them your peace.

For our city
For the youth involved in crime. We pray for the need for employment opportunities for them and other ways to stem their energy to productive activities. For the agencies working with these offenders finding for them a new way forward.
For those recently bereaved, that they may find solace that their loved ones are at peace.

For our church
For those running the office , sanitising the furnishings and keeping the grounds neat.
For outside activities supported by congregation members on our behalf. -High school breakfast, Blue Care, Lifeline, School chaplaincy and others. We pray for a time when other activities can restart safely.
We thank you for Amos’s supply ministry with us and welcome him to our midst.
For the JNC team as they are involved in selecting a new minister and Tuesday nights meeting to determine the pattern of this new ministry.
Lastly we pray for ourselves as we undertake to go into your world being the Christ that can be seen.

Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Amen

Hymn

TiS 650 Brother, sister, let me serve you….

Benediction

Hymn

TiS 778 Shalom to you now….