Faith Community Anglican Church Strathpine

Address

St Faith's Church
1 Sutherland Drive
, Strathpine, 4500.


Phone

07 3881 2090


Email

secretary at faithcommunity com au

 

 

Sermon Notes - The Forgiveness Business!

 

Key Preaching Verse

a)  Galatians 2.16:  St Paul’s teaching to the people of Galatia, “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”

b)  Luke 7.47Jesus said, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

 

Focus Questions

  • Do you have room in your life for the grace of Jesus Christ?  Are you an “uptight, moral, reputation person” or a “relaxed, live by grace person”?  Are you a Pharisee or a Christian?  What is the difference between the two?
  • Who are the people you know who exhibit faith and grace?  What is it about their lives you would like to emulate?  In today’s Gospel reading are the people you would like to emulate and model, more like Simon or the prostitute?
  • When you reflect on the love, grace and forgiveness of God, what response do you feel compelled to make?  For example, is your stewardship of money and time given to God’s Church a good reflection of your gratitude and love for Jesus Christ?
  • To use a metaphor of a much loved children’s Teddy Bear of Toy Horse, are you prepared to love until your hair is worn off and your eyes fall out.

Pentecost 4C

16th June, 2013 Year C

 

Theme: The Forgiveness Business!

 

Key Preaching Verse

a)  Galatians 2.16:  St Paul’s teaching to the people of Galatia, “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”

b)  Luke 7.47Jesus said, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

 

Focus Questions

  • Do you have room in your life for the grace of Jesus Christ?  Are you an “uptight, moral reputation person” or a “relaxed, live by grace person”?  Are you a Pharisee or a Christian?  What is the difference between the two?
  • Who are the people you know who exhibit faith and grace?  What is it about their lives you would like to emulate?  In today’s Gospel reading are the people you would like to emulate and model, more like Simon or the prostitute?
  • When you reflect on the love, grace and forgiveness of God, what response do you feel compelled to make?  For example, is your stewardship of money and time given to God’s Church a good reflection of your gratitude and love for Jesus Christ?
  • To use a metaphor of a much loved children’s Teddy Bear of Toy Horse, are you prepared to love until your hair is worn off and your eyes fall out.


Sermon Summary

I found a story this week that has helped me to make sense of the suffering that ministry inevitably involves.  It is the story of Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.  In a conversation between a new toy Rabbit and an old toy Horse, the Rabbit asks, “What’s real?” …….  “Real isn’t how you’re made”, replied Horse.  “It is a thing that happens to you when a child really loves you”.  “Does it hurt?”  asked Rabbit.  “Sometimes”, said Horse.  “But when you’re real you don’t mind”.  “Does it happen all at once?” he asked.  “It doesn’t,” said Horse.  “It takes a long time.  That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept.  Generally by the time you’re real most of your hair has been loved off, your eyes drop out, you get loose in the joints and very flabby.  But these things don’t matter because once you’re real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

After 30 years as a Christian leader I feel a lot like that old toy horse.  My hair has been loved off, my eyes have dropped out, I am loose in the joints and flabby.  There is no doubt about it, there is a cost in discipleship.  Look at the un-named woman in today’s Gospel reading who kissed Jesus’ feet, washed them with her tears and dried them with her hair.  What did she get for her trouble?  The criticism and condemnation of Simon the Pharisee and the other respectable Church going people.  I suspect that this didn’t worry her too much because in this act of love she had found her reality in Jesus Christ.  To trust God’s grace and mercy is not to be too worried about what other people think and say about us.  Ministry, as the old toy Horse found out, has the effect of loving the hair off us.  Not to worry, God sees our inner beauty!  So let’s get real!

 

 

Take Home Challenge:

The Church is not in the blame game but the forgiveness business.

  • Forgiveness is really love on steroids!  What do you think?
  • Are you prepared to love until your hair is worn off and your eyes fallout?
  • Is your love for Jesus Christ reflected in your stewardship?