The Spirit is coming
After you have listened to the Sermon audio above, take your time to read through the rest of this page. Pause and reflect at your own pace. We can worship at any time and anywhere. Know that others will be joining you...
Instruction and blessing of Abraham: Genesis 49
Instruction and blessing of Moses: Deuteronomy 33
“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)
"Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about." (Luke 18:31-34)
"It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfilment.” (Luke 22:37)
“He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Luke 3:3)
“Repentance is not a change of opinion but of attitude, and there is very little repentance nowadays because of our attitudes towards sin.”
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eye witnesses and servants of the word. (Luke 1:1-2)
"Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city." (Acts 1:12)
After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” say, “The Lord needs it.” (Luke 19:28-31)
“and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:19-23)
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” (Hebrews 4:14)
“For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.” (Hebrews 9:24)
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (John 15:13-15)
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
“Apart from praise to God, joy is incomplete.”
(William Hendriksen. New Testament Commentary: Luke. p1077)
How awesome is the Lord Most High, King over all the earth!
Psalm 47 is a psalm of praise to God as King, powerful and sovereign. We might wonder, was this psalm written in Israel’s heyday, where nations conquered by them joined in praise of their God? Or was it written at a later time, when those days were a distant memory, but a memory nonetheless that was able to give hope in the time of Israel’s struggles?
We all go through high points and low points in life. What is this psalm to you; a celebration of current circumstance or a comfort that God is King and can lead you through this time of difficulty? Can it be both?
The second half of the psalm follows and develops the pattern of the first. Music is added to the clapping of hands. God the King over all the earth is proclaimed as God our King. In the first half the Lord subdues the nations, in the second he reigns over them from his throne. He has ascended amid shouts of great joy. Might this refer to the procession of the Ark of the Covenant after a victorious battle ascending the hill up to the Jerusalem Temple?
From our perspective we see how the last line points forward to a future reality. Where foreign nations will assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, the covenant people of God, and God is greatly exalted throughout the whole earth. It is a future reality which is in the process of fulfilment, where all nations can come to God but there is still a future day where all on earth will acknowledge God as king.
Take time to reflect on the Kingship of God in your life. Is this something you desire or reject? Does the way you live agree with your words or affirmations?
This psalm has been paired by the compilers of the Lectionary with the ascension of Jesus in Luke 24:44-53. Where Jesus ascends with great joy and praising to be with God the Most High and promises to clothe his followers with power from on high. Where Jesus ascends to be King and to reign from his throne.
Just as Israel celebrated, we too are to advance God’s Kingdom, not with weapons or armies but with the life-giving and liberating Gospel. The good news of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The good news of rescue deliverance and salvation for all the world.
How awesome is the Lord Most High, King over all the earth!
When the day is dark,
And my strength is gone,
When my work is hard,
And I cannot go on,
A new strange joy arises
Within the storm a calm
I know that I am loved;
You keep me from harm,
I trust in your great power,
I am confident in your might.
You are with me every hour,
I am never out of your sight.
These words Lord and your strong arm brought me through cancer and are helping me through lockdown.
You are truly a great God.
Your love for us knows no bounds.
You sent your Son Jesus to teach us how to live and to pray.
You raised him from the dead and then restored Him to eternal life on your right hand.
Lord we praise you.
Lord we thank you for the beauty all around us
- the trees in their shades of green
- the birds singing and raising their young in the branches
- the joy of seeing lambs in the fields
- the joy of our gardens.
We have so much to be thankful for – yet -
we do not appreciate the beauty of your world
Forgive us Father for destroying that beauty
- for not sharing what we have with those less fortunate than ourselves
- for saying and doing things that hurt others.
Lord help us to make this world a better place for all.
Father we give thanks for all those in the NHS who are caring for the sick.
- those who are desperately trying to find a cure for Covid 19
- for all those who are working so hard to feed us - the farmers, the shop assistants, the food banks and charities
- the ambulance crews, the police, even our own families.
Bless them all dear Lord.
We ask your blessing on the bereaved - comfort them Father - with social distancing, we can't give them hugs - but you can Lord.
Bring companionship to the lonely and thanksgiving in our hearts for all those who help us.
Lord bless Jonny and ML. We are so grateful they came to minister to us in Newhills.
Father we long for the day when we can all be together to worship you and share fellowship with each other.
Lord let us not forget whose we are and whom we serve.
Our prayers we bring to you through your precious Son and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
(Contributed by Allison Collie)
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen
Thank you to all who contributed to this page.
Please contact Jonny (JClipston@churchofscotland.org.uk) if you would like to be involved in future weeks.