Sunday Service 17th May 2020

David O

Sunday Service
10th May 2020

Sunday Service

Rev David Osborn speaks on this sixth Sunday of Easter, 17th May 2020.

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Address

I don’t know what you think of Marx, Groucho, I mean
A few examples of his thoughts, virtually at random for you to ponder today:

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.

He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
I sent the club a wire stating, PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO
BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER.

Julius Henry Groucho Marx who for ever taught us a lesson about belonging and being inclusive
Paul had the same idea a couple of thousand years earlier when visiting Athens. Now this little
story is very interesting: Paul has the double advantage of being both a Jew and a Roman
citizen, a member of both clubs. However, when he arrives in Athens he is outside not only his
comfort zone but outside his membership zone as well. Here he acts as visitor, observer and
then as preacher: Paul seems more definite, more thoughtful and possibly more intelligible and
there are reasons for this.

Acts is written by Luke, whereas Paul obviously writes his own letters – well more or less. The
letters to places like Corinth and Rome tend to be raw, slightly off the cuff: Luke has the
opportunity to reflect and sift his material before putting it together in Acts. And to be honest
Luke is a much better story teller than Paul and as a result we have a couple of things that stick
in our minds.

The reference to the Unknown God and the key line in the entire message

‘For we too are his offspring’

We know that there indeed was a tomb which had the inscription ‘ to the unknown God’ in
Athens in the first century: indeed we know there was more than just a tomb, in fact there was
an entire temple dedicated to the unknown God.

How do we read this? You can take your choice between a couple of options: either the people
of Athens worshipped a deity they could not see and couldn’t describe or they decided to
include the unknown God in the whole pantheon of the gods just in case they had missed one of
the gods out..........

A bit of bet hedging; belonging

‘For we too are his offspring’

This is Paul’s message: very inclusive; membership of the church of Christ doesn’t require
qualifications, just realisation. Here Paul shows that he is greater than the quite proscriptive
message of some of his letters. It’s almost as if he has an internal battle between Roman
liberalism and the Jewish conservatism, confined by the strictures of the law...And if he can’t
quite work it all out, at least we can see that he struggles with the conflicting sides of his
character.

The fact is that Jesus had put it better and more succinctly: if you love me you will keep my
commandments: And not the old commandments the Decalogue that Moses brings to the
Israelites. No the simple two pronged approach that our Lord advocates in the New Testament:
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and your neighbour as
yourself’

Realisation dawns in many people down the ages as they understand that the Christian faith
doesn’t succeed or fail on its rules and regulations but on the ability to love God and to love your
neighbour as yourself.

A good club, a good organisation will work best when the rules enable it rather than de-stable it
they say that you should tear up the rule book every few years and start from scratch ignore
words like goals, aims, objectives, outcomes.......And just ask one question: what do we want?

When it comes to our faith we have heard what Paul thinks: What do we want? We want to
know that we are included, that we belong, that this club will have us as a member, that we
belong in the church of Christ and the church of Christ belongs to us we too are his offspring...
and in that fact we should be glad and rejoice.

 
 

Bible Reading

Acts 17.22-31

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, ‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious
you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your
worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore
you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in
it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he
served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life
and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and
he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live,
so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is
not far from each one of us. For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of
your own poets have said,
“For we too are his offspring.”
Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone,
an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of
human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a
day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed,
and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’

 
 

Prayer for today the sixth Sunday of Easter

God our redeemer, you have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the
kingdom of your Son, grant that by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his continual
presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour Christ has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the
kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

 
Sunday Service
10th May 2020

Sunday Service
Rev David Osborn speaks on this sixth Sunday of Easter, 17th May 2020.
Please feel free to like this video on YouTube and Subscribe to the church’s channel.

subscribe to YouTube >

To make a donation to the church please click the button below.

Donate >

 

Address
I don’t know what you think of Marx, Groucho, I mean
A few examples of his thoughts, virtually at random for you to ponder today:
I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.
Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.
He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
I sent the club a wire stating, PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO
BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER.
Julius Henry Groucho Marx who for ever taught us a lesson about belonging and being inclusive
Paul had the same idea a couple of thousand years earlier when visiting Athens. Now this little
story is very interesting: Paul has the double advantage of being both a Jew and a Roman
citizen, a member of both clubs. However, when he arrives in Athens he is outside not only his
comfort zone but outside his membership zone as well. Here he acts as visitor, observer and
then as preacher: Paul seems more definite, more thoughtful and possibly more intelligible and
there are reasons for this.
Acts is written by Luke, whereas Paul obviously writes his own letters – well more or less. The
letters to places like Corinth and Rome tend to be raw, slightly off the cuff: Luke has the
opportunity to reflect and sift his material before putting it together in Acts. And to be honest
Luke is a much better story teller than Paul and as a result we have a couple of things that stick
in our minds.
The reference to the Unknown God and the key line in the entire message
‘For we too are his offspring’
We know that there indeed was a tomb which had the inscription ‘ to the unknown God’ in
Athens in the first century: indeed we know there was more than just a tomb, in fact there was
an entire temple dedicated to the unknown God.
How do we read this? You can take your choice between a couple of options: either the people
of Athens worshipped a deity they could not see and couldn’t describe or they decided to
include the unknown God in the whole pantheon of the gods just in case they had missed one of
the gods out……….
A bit of bet hedging; belonging
‘For we too are his offspring’
This is Paul’s message: very inclusive; membership of the church of Christ doesn’t require
qualifications, just realisation. Here Paul shows that he is greater than the quite proscriptive
message of some of his letters. It’s almost as if he has an internal battle between Roman
liberalism and the Jewish conservatism, confined by the strictures of the law…And if he can’t
quite work it all out, at least we can see that he struggles with the conflicting sides of his
character.
The fact is that Jesus had put it better and more succinctly: if you love me you will keep my
commandments: And not the old commandments the Decalogue that Moses brings to the
Israelites. No the simple two pronged approach that our Lord advocates in the New Testament:
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and your neighbour as
yourself’
Realisation dawns in many people down the ages as they understand that the Christian faith
doesn’t succeed or fail on its rules and regulations but on the ability to love God and to love your
neighbour as yourself.
A good club, a good organisation will work best when the rules enable it rather than de-stable it
they say that you should tear up the rule book every few years and start from scratch ignore
words like goals, aims, objectives, outcomes…….And just ask one question: what do we want?
When it comes to our faith we have heard what Paul thinks: What do we want? We want to
know that we are included, that we belong, that this club will have us as a member, that we
belong in the church of Christ and the church of Christ belongs to us we too are his offspring…
and in that fact we should be glad and rejoice.

 

 

Bible Reading
Acts 17.22-31
Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, ‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious
you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your
worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore
you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in
it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he
served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life
and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and
he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live,
so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is
not far from each one of us. For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of
your own poets have said,
“For we too are his offspring.”
Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone,
an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of
human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a
day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed,
and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’

 

 

Prayer for today the sixth Sunday of Easter
God our redeemer, you have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the
kingdom of your Son, grant that by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his continual
presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.
Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour Christ has taught us
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the
kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

 

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