2nd August 2020 - Love

DON'T FORGET THIS MESSAGE WILL BE STREAMED LIVE VIA ZOOM AT 10:30AM. THIS POST WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE DURING AND AFTER THE LIVE STREAM.


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Opening Song: click here


1. All praise to thee, for thou. O King divine, didst yield the glory that of right was thine, that in our troubled hearts thy grace might shine: Hallelujah; hallelujah!


2. Thou cam'st to us in lowliness of thought; by thee the outcast and the poor were sought, and by thy death was God's salvation wrought: Hallelujah; hallelujah!


3. Let this mind be in us which was in thee, who wast a servant that we might be free, humbling thyself to death on Calvary: Hallelujah; hallelujah!


4. Wherefore, by God's eternal purpose, thou art high exalted o'er all creatures now, and given the name to which all knees shall bow: Hallelujah; hallelujah!


5. Let every tongue confess with one accord in heaven and earth that Jesus Christ is Lord; and God eternal be by all adored: Hallelujah; hallelujah!


BIBLE READING: PSALM 61:1 - 5

1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.

2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.

4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. 5 For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.


MESSAGE


Language is a living thing, changing and adapting through the centuries. Anglo Saxon English seems almost like a foreign language, and even some of Shakespeare’s Tudor English demands a certain amount of concentration.

For the modern technical age we have had to learn words relating to the world wide web such as chip and pin, lap top, mouse, cut and paste. When we were stationed in Singapore in the 1970s, I remember a young man associated with the Corps who worked for a computer company , saying that computers were the thing of the future. They were going to revolutionise the world. I did not think too much of his forecast at the time…..but how right he was!

During the recent months of the pandemic we have to learn a new vocabulary…….not new words exactly but words used in a particular context.

Words such as lockdown, social distancing, support bubbles, be alert. There are those of us who have had to try and go on a steep learning curve trying to learn how to use some of the Social Media platforms such as YouTube, Skype and Zoom. Do any of you remember the children’s chorus, which I think must have been written about the time of the first moon landings: Zoom, zoom, zoom we’re going to the moon;

Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’ll get there very soon. (Imitating the sound of a rocket, of course)

The Early Christians had to find words to describe the wonder of God in our Lord Jesus Christ coming to dwell amongst us and loving us so much that He was willing to die in order to bring us new life. So it was that the Greek word Agape was adopted to signify that love. The Greeks had four words for love:

Storge: parent/child relationship

Philia: denoting brotherly love, love amongst friends,

Eros: physical love

Then there was Agape…..a very general kind of love as in

I love the sea, I love the navy

I love my biscuits soaked in gravy!

Those Christians transformed the word so that Agape became the expression of God’s love for us in Jesus.

Spiritual words became alive with new meaning: words such as Grace, the undeserved riches of God. One of the most favourite hymns comes from John Newton’s personal testimony: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

In the wonderful Prologue to his Gospel, John presents God as speaking salvation into existence (Read John 1: 1 – 14 GNB). Jesus did not just come to give us words to describe Gold-------He WAS the Word!

Have you ever struggled to find the right word? Paul seems to echo our limitations in describing our salvation in 2 Corinthians 9:15 when he says:

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (NIV)

“Thank God for this gift, His gift . No language can praise it enough” (Message)

John Larsson was thinking of this verse when he wrote (Song Book 60)

“Thank You, God, for Your gift beyond words,

Thank You, God, for Your gift beyond words;

We thank You for giving us Jesus:

Thank You, God, for Your gift beyond words”

Our faith has been described as ‘better felt than telt’

Whatever the language that we speak the Language of Love is an international language. The deep love God has for each one of us is for all times and in all circumstances; even in these uncertain times.

PSALM 61, verse 2 says

“LORD, lead me to the rock that is higher than I”

May the Lord lead us to the rock which is His very presence


Amen


Intercessory Prayer (From Tearfund)

Father God, thank You for the gift of relationship and community. We pray this crisis will bring people together, not drive them apart ,.For those of us who are anxious, bring peace. For those of us who are sick, bring healing. For those of us caring for others, bring strength. For those of us who are lonely, bring comfort. For those of us who are not lonely, help us to see those who are and help us to reach out to them in whatever ways we can. We pray that this crisis will bring about renewed trust in Your goodness. In Jesus' name we pray.

Amen



The Lord bless you

and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you

and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.


Thank you for reading and watching

Written by Majors Alan and Marie H

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