8th November 2020 - Remembrance Sunday
Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord!
When thinking about this meeting one word kept coming to me again and again, that word was uncertainty, something we are all experiencing just now. With this in mind I began to look at examples in the bible. There are many times when God’s people faced uncertainty, and how they dealt with it. I have chosen one example and it is Joshua, he was a great warrior and one you are all familiar with. I am sure we all remember Joshua for his conquests. However, in reading the story again it raised thoughts in my mind which we will consider later. We began with a Psalm of praise, we are now going to listen or sing a song of testimony. ‘In Christ alone’.
Father God as we have come into your presence this morning to worship and praise you. We come with thanksgiving for your faithfulness in uncertain times. We know that you work all things together for good to those who love you. Right now Father we are overwhelmed at times with all that is going on around us. The future is uncertain and so many people are suffering, we bring them to you now. Those who have lost loved ones, those who are now unemployed, those who are lonely, the young people at schools, colleges and universities. We bring to you all who work in NHS, who continually put their own lives at risk as they care and treat those in their care. Father God you know all our needs, we ask that you bring comfort, love and support for everyone that needs you we ask all this in the name of Jesus,
Amen. The bible reading is Joshua Chapter 1: verses 5-9
‘No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and a courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right Or to
the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go’.
This is Remembrance Sunday and to help us remember all those who fought in the line of duty to keep each one of us free.
We shall look at the experience of Commissioner Harry Read.
'They shall not grow old as we that are left behind;
age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
we will remember them'
The Last Post by Joel Griffin. 1 minute silence is included in this video.
Father God we give thanks for all those who fought and gave their lives for our freedom. We give thanks for their acts heroism and courage in so many different ways. Father God help each of us to work for peace in our homes and our neighbourhoods and our country. We ask all these things in the name of Jesus,
We are going to sing or listen to ‘What a faithful God have I’.
The first thought I had was in what ways is God faithful: and what can I learn from Joshua? As we read earlier in Joshua the Lord assures him, God says ‘ he will not fail him and commands him to be strong and courageous and not be afraid’. Joshua spent most of his life in a hostile environment with many setbacks and disappointments. Yet he never stopped believing that God would keep His promises. There are times in my life that I can become focused on my circumstances and quickly forget that God is in control. How many times do we hear it said that God’s timing is different from ours. There is one thing that is sure and that is God’s faithfulness, it never wavers, ‘He is the same yesterday, today and forever’.
God’s faithfulness to me has kept me safe in times when I have let Jesus down. He has been there to pick me up and set me back on the right track and for that I am grateful. I am very much aware that I need to be less selfish and aim more on what Jesus wants of me instead of what I want, and to be strong and not be afraid. Joshua is a great example. Joshua saw God’s faithfulness come to pass and was rewarded, as he saw not just his armies obeying his commands but they were serving the Lord through Joshua’s faithfulness to God. When Joshua was unable to fight in battles the Lord said He would fight his enemies for him. So it is with us, when we are faithful to God, He is there for us. Jesus is in these uncertain times with us, let us believe like Joshua to be faithful and obey what God wants of us.
The second thought I had was is there anything I need to let go of?
In reading the story of Joshua I asked myself why did God think it necessary to tell Joshua to have the males of Israel circumcised after forty years: and In Joshua 5 verses 6-9 we learn how they were circumcised And after this the Lord said to Joshua “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt’. This thought made me think of my life. I cannot identify with the circumcision, but I can relate to the rolling away of the shame in other words God’s forgiveness. The breakdown and end of my marriage, I was quick to blame my ex husband and this continued for many years. But there came a time when I began to reproach myself and ask for forgiveness for the times that I had failed in my marriage. It was only then that I was able to forgive myself for the shame I felt within. I have been reminded through Joshua’s example how crucial it is for me to try to fill my mind with influences that affect my thinking for good and in positive ways. In chapter 6 the circumcision and the stone being rolled away, came cleansing, and how the children of Israel went on to capture Jericho. We are no different from the children of Israel, circumstances differ, but their God is our God who is faithful and forgiving, and in control in these uncertain times. The last thought I had was what can I learn from Joshua through this pandemic? Joshua focused on God’s promises and in Chapter23:10, we read ‘Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as He promised’. I am aware that Joshua’s promise was for his time. But , I do believe in the promises of God. When uncertain times come, and this pandemic is dragging on, I am learning to keep looking at God’s promises in His word, believing that He is in no way failing, He is in control and helping me go forward in faith. I need to rely on God’s promises and recognise God’s blessings in these uncertain times. Can I ask you to reflect on a few of God’s promises that maybe helpful to you. Deuteronomy 31:6 ‘God will never leave you or forsake you’. Psalm 32:8 ‘God will instruct and teach you in the way you should go’. Psalm 46:1 ‘God is our refuge and strength, always there in times of trouble’. Psalm 55:22 ‘God will sustain us’. Romans 8:38 ‘I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love’. Philippians 1:6 ‘And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you will continue’. Song ‘This is my desire oh Lord’
Prayer Father God we are so thankful that the bible is filled with your promises. Help Christians everywhere to cling to the promises that are true for them. Remind us again and again of your faithfulness. Help us like Joshua not to forget what you have done for us. Keep our hearts and minds focused on your faithfulness, forgiveness and promises in these uncertain times. We ask all these things in Jesus’ name Amen. Our final song is brought to us by the staff songsters; ‘Count your blessings’.
‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favour
and give you his peace’.
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Written by Hazel C
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