1st May – Easter 3

As you will know by now, our advertisement for a new Minister was unsuccessful. The position has now been re-advertised.

We ask that you will please pray as this new  advert go’s live

This is again for a fulltime minister for the two benefices of Fillongley with Corley and Ansley with Arley.

Thank you.

Hymn – Amazing Grace 

1) Amazing grace how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.

2) ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!
 

3) Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come:
’tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.

4) The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.

5) Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease:
I shall possess, within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.

6) The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
the sun forbear to shine;
but God, who called me here below,
will be forever mine.
                                           (by John Newton, 1779)

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

All: And also with you

Loving Lord,

Fill us with your life-giving,

joy-givingr peace-giving presence,

That we may praise you now with our lips,

and all the day long with our lives

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Cast your burden upon the Lord

All: And he will sustain you

Create in us clean hearts, O God

All: And renew a right spirit within us

Cast us not away from your Presence

All: And take not your Holy Spirit from us

Give us the joy of your saving help

All: And sustain us with your life-giving Spirit

Blessed be the Lord day by day

All: The God of our salvation, who bears our burdens.

We have a moment of quiet, to call to mind the things we

Have thought, said and done which we know grieve the God

who loves us 

Come, let us return to the Lord and say: 

All: Almighty God

Long-suffering and of great goodness

I confess to you.

I confess with my whole heart

My neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments

My wrong doing, thinking and speaking:

The hurts I have done to others,

And the good I have left undone.

O God, forgive me, for I have sinned against you;

And raise me to newness of life;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

May the God of love and power

Forgive us and free us from our sins,

Heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,

And raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

 

We praise God for his love and forgiveness with:- 

Hymn  A Wonderful Saviour is Jesus My Lord

1   A wonderful Saviour is Jesus my Lord,
a wonderful
Saviour to me.
He
hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
where rivers of pleasure I see.

Refrain:
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
that shadows a dry, thirsty land.
He hideth my life in the depths of his love,
and covers me there with his hand,
and covers me there with his hand.

2   A wonderful Saviour is Jesus my Lord;
he taketh my burden away.
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved;
he giveth me strength as my day.

Refrain:
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
that shadows a dry, thirsty land.
He hideth my life in the depths of his love,
and covers me there with his hand,
and covers me there with his hand.

3   With numberless blessings each moment he crowns,
and filled with his fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, “Oh, glory to God
for such a Redeemer as mine!”

Refrain:
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
that shadows a dry, thirsty land.
He hideth my life in the depths of his love,
and covers me there with his hand,
and covers me there with his hand.

4   When clothed in his brightness, transported I rise
to meet him in clouds of the sky,
his perfect salvation, his wonderful love,
I’ll shout with the millions on high.

Refrain:
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
that shadows a dry, thirsty land.
He hideth my life in the depths of his love,
and covers me there with his hand,
and covers me there with his hand.
( by Fanny Crosby – 1890)

Our First Reading is taken from – Acts Chap: 9

1 In the meantime Saul kept up his violent threats of murder against the followers of the Lord. He went to the High Priest

2 and asked for letters of introduction to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he should find there any followers of the Way of the Lord, he would be able to arrest them, both men and women, and bring them back to Jerusalem.

3 As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed around him.

4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?”

5 “Who are you, Lord?” he asked. “I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said.

6 “But get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do.”

This is the word of the Christ

All: Praise to you oh Christ

Our Second Reading is From – John Chap: 20

1 After this, Jesus appeared once more to his disciples at Lake Tiberias. This is how it happened.

2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael (the one from Cana in Galilee), the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples of Jesus were all together.

3 Simon Peter said to the others, “I am going fishing.” “We will come with you,” they told him. So they went out in a boat, but all that night they did not catch a thing.

4 As the sun was rising, Jesus stood at the water’s edge, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

5 Then he asked them, “Young men, haven’t you caught anything?” “Not a thing,” they answered.

6 He said to them, “Throw your net out on the right side of the boat, and you will catch some.” So they threw the net out and could not pull it back in, because they had caught so many fish.

7 The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken his clothes off) and jumped into the water.

8 The other disciples came to shore in the boat, pulling the net full of fish. They were not very far from land, about a hundred yards away.

9 When they stepped ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish on it and some bread.

10 Then Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”

11 Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net ashore full of big fish, a hundred and fifty-three in all; even though there were so many, still the net did not tear.

12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord.

13 So Jesus went over, took the bread, and gave it to them; he did the same with the fish.

14 This, then, was the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from death.

15 After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.”

16 A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.

18 I am telling you the truth: when you were young, you used to get ready and go anywhere you wanted to; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you up and take you where you don’t want to go.”

19 (In saying this, Jesus was indicating the way in which Peter would die and bring glory to God.) Then Jesus said to him, “Follow me!”

This is the word of the Christ

All: Praise to you oh Christ

Sermon – 1st May 2022 – Peter – The Impetuous 

I love Peter, the disciple.

He is the one that I can most identify with, and not because he is considered to be one of the most important apostles.

In fact, on the contrary, he is the one who has had recorded the most failures and misunderstandings of them all. And yet, despite all this, Jesus loved him,  because I have failures and misunderstandings, that gives me great hope. I hope it does to you too.

Peter tries so hard to please Jesus, and to do everything he can for him. But unfortunately for Peter, he doesn’t grasp what Jesus, is actually wanting to do or achieve, and that means that, inadvertently, he ends up doing or saying the wrong thing.

I don’t know about you, but I can certainly identify with that. Especially when I want to serve Jesus in my way, in my own time, and not how he wants to be served. Many times, I look back after the event and realise that I’ve done a Peter, I’ve misunderstood.

So, let’s have a look at a few times when Peter got it wrong. And as we do so, notice that Jesus always instructs Peter and sometimes disciplines or corrects him, but Jesus never rejects him. Jesus always calls Peter into deeper Goodness.

That is exactly what he wants to do with us. Peter’s failures also reveal Jesus’ Character and thus God’s Character.

Therefore, how God relates to us in times of weakness, sin and failure. He is so good and so patient!

Fortunately for us.

So on to Peter.

  1. Peter doesn’t understand the Parable of the seeds in the 4 types of ground, and confused. Jesus instructs him in the meaning of the parable without rejection. Matthew Chap: 15 Ver: 16
  1. Peter and the other disciples mis-interpret Jesus words about the “Yeast of Pharisees and Sadducees”, and think that Jesus is talking about “bread” (Just like us)

Jesus repeats the phrase until they finally understand it. Matthew Chap: 16 Ver 1

  1. Peter & other the other disciples try to keep the children and babies away from Jesus is indignant, but instructs them that they must become like children themselves to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Mark Chap: 10 Ver:13
  2. Peter fails to “continue” to walk on water. He so wants to show his faith in his Lord and, indeed, he does get out of the boat and walk on the sea. When he was looking at Jesus, he was safe. But just as when climbing a mountain, you shouldn’t look down, well, that’s exactly what Peter did, reality struck home, and he began to sink.

Jesus catches Peter and instructs him, maybe a little discipline there, but certainly no rejection Matthew Chap: 14 Ver:22

  1. Peter, filled with selfish ambition, argues with the other disciples about “Which one of us is the Greatest!”

Jesus instructs them all with a little child. Jesus doesn’t have a melt down and nor gets frustrated at them.

There is no rejection. Jesus instructs them. – Mark Chap: 9 Ver:33, Mark Chap: 10 Ver: 35, Luke Chap:  22 Ver: 24

  1. Peter speaks up on the Mount of Transfiguration when Moses and Elijah appear to talk to Jesus about His departure and death.

No one is talking to Peter. But he suggests it is good that he, James and John are there, so that they can build three shelters for Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

But poor Peter hasn’t got a grasp of the situation.

However, there’s no rejection, even from the Father himself in the cloud. But there is instruction: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”  Mark Chap17 Ver: 4 and Mark Chap: 9 Ver: 5

  1. Peter speaks for Jesus, without consulting Him, and commits Jesus to pay the two Drachma tax.

When Jesus finds out, he doesn’t reject or even correct Peter, but

He does instruct him. Matthew Chap 17 Ver: 24

  1. Peter resists the single greatest reason Jesus became a human: to atone for the sin of the human race. Jesus severely rebukes Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

However, note, Jesus does NOT reject Peter and doesn’t even demote him from leading the church.

  1. Peter resists Jesus when He says that He is going to wash Peter’s feet.  “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” John Chap: 13 Ver: 8.

 Jesus instructs Peter, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

Peter fails to stand by Jesus side and falls asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane right before Jesus is killed. Jesus finds them sleeping and instructs & disciplines them, “The flesh is weak but the spirit is willing. Pray that you may not fall into temptation.”

Again, Jesus does not reject them.

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Peter is completely overwhelmed by his sin, the self-discovery of his own weakness, and quits the Apostolic Team and goes back to the only work he feels he can do… fishing, as we have just heard.

Of course, perhaps the most well known one is when Peter insists that he will die for his Lord, and then, despite being warned that he will do so, he publicly denies knowing his Lord and saviour.

Are you impetuous?

To be impetuous is to act without thinking or caring about the outcome.

If you are impetuous, you’re in good company.

Because, Peter was.

He was a disciple that was driven by emotion. If he thought something, it came out in words and actions. He also didn’t understand his own heart. One thing good about this personality trait is that you find out quickly how fallible you are.

Peter was one of the 12 disciples called by Jesus to learn from Him, so the work would carry on after He left.

Jesus sees Peter and Andrew fishing and He calls them. They immediately leave their nets and follow him.

This was their occupation following Jesus meant they were leaving their means of financial support behind. The impetuousness of his personality allowed him to step out onshore and follow. He didn’t have to weigh all the possibilities. The Bible tells us he and his brother Andrew left immediately.

Peter also was eager and the first to respond to Jesus in Caesarea Philippi, when he ask his disciples who they believed Him to be.

Without any hesitation Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 

Just after this proclamation, Peter again speaks without thinking. Jesus is telling His disciples that it is almost time to go to Jerusalem. But Peter rebukes Jesus by telling Him that He must not to go to Jerusalem, for fear of his life.

Note here that Peter is not asking or pleading with Jesus, he is instructing Him that He is not to go. Imagine being impetuous enough to tell the Lord of all, what to do.

It was also Peter who told Jesus after the Last Supper that He would never wash his feet. When Jesus rebukes him, Peter then says, “wash all of me not just my feet.”

That’s Peter, no halfway for him. He didn’t really understand, but an impetuous person usually goes from one extreme to the other.

When Jesus went to the garden to pray, after the Last Supper, his disciples, minus Judas, went with Him. When he gets to the garden, he takes Peter, James, and John with him further into the garden. He leaves them to pray while He goes even further, to spend time with the Father alone. Upon finishing His prayer time with the Father,

Jesus is arrested.

Peter again takes action when they put their hands on Jesus. He draws his sword and tries to cut off the head of Malchus, the high priest servant and  misses, cutting  off his ear.

It wasn’t common for the disciples to have swords, but Luke tells us that they took two with them to the garden.

Wouldn’t you know it, Peter was one of those with the sword and he didn’t hesitate to use it. Jesus tells Peter to put up the sword. He lets Peter know that it is time for Him to yield to the Father’s will.

All the impetuous acts that were recorded about Peter taught Peter much about himself. He truly loved Jesus and wanted to obey. He went on to be one of the greatest preachers of the gospel in the world. Peter preached and influenced thousands to receive Jesus as their personal Saviour. Peter was willing to suffer persecution and imprisonment, but he did not stop proclaiming the gospel.

So, in our reading, why did Jesus ask Peter three times: “Do you love me?”

Clearly, this upsets Peter. But it must also leave many readers scratching their heads.

Why does Jesus keep asking Peter this question?

Well the answer that connects both these clues is found in the events after the last supper, at the time of Jesus’ arrest.

You may remember that only hours before his crucifixion, Peter was in the courtyard of the High Priest’s residence, just outside where Jesus was being interrogated.

In that courtyard, he was warming himself by…a charcoal fire, and in that courtyard, sadly, but just as Jesus predicted, Peter denied knowing Jesus – not once but three times. And how many times did Jesus ask Peter if he loved him?

That’s right, three.

I sure that Peter understood the connection between these questions, and that morning when the rooster crowed just as Jesus predicted, that morning when Peter’s shame hung heavy around his neck. I think this is part of why he is “grieved”. Maybe upon realizing what was happening, he told himself, “Jesus wants to talk about what happened with my heart”.

But the risen Jesus wants to talk with men and women about what happened with their hearts. This morning, the resurrected Christ, through his Spirit, wants you and I to see our past through His lens. He wants you and me to acknowledge the fact that like Peter, we have walked in fear and not faith.

Peter’s denial of Jesus was not unique. All of us would have done the same thing, well, I’m certainly sure that I would have. We have compromised and put our own skin before God’s will. The details might be different, but the heart is the same; it’s the one we all suffer with. It’s what the Bible calls sin.

So in light of his past failures, and in light of the temptations that still might trip him up, three times Jesus asks the most important question that God could ask us, “Do you love me?”

Jesus of course knows the answer. It’s Peter who needs this conversation.

We also need this question put to ourselves. The resurrected Jesus still asks it – in fact, many, many, many times throughout the day.

As we are enticed by the world’s pleasures and possessions, as we are tempted by the call of earthly prestige, position, and power, Jesus is always asking, “Do you love me?”

As fallen, gripped, stubborn, rebellious, sinful human beings, we give our hearts away to so many things.

But such attempts are always futile.

Why?

Because our hearts were made for God.

So even this morning Jesus is asking us this question, “Do you love me?”

We must come to grips with what HAS happened with our hearts.

That should always lead us to what IS happening, with the very present reality of our desperate need; with our need to respond to the love of God in Jesus.

After all, Jesus says that he rejoices over those who answered that very question in the positive, who placed their faith in the risen Jesus.

May we be among that number.

Amen 

Hymn Wonderful Grace 

 

Let us declare our faith in God.

All: We believe in God the Father,

From whom every family

In heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son

Who lives in our hearts through faith,

And fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit

Who strengthens us

With power from on high.

We believe in one God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

We pray for God to fill us with his Spirit.

Generous God,

we thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit.

We ask that we may be strengthened to serve you better.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the wisdom of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to make us wise to understand your will.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the peace of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to keep us confident of your love wherever you call us.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the healing of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to bring reconciliation and wholeness

where there is division, sickness and sorrow.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the gifts of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to equip us for the work which you have given us.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the fruit of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to reveal in our lives the love of Jesus.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the breath of your Holy Spirit,

given us by the risen Lord.

We ask you to keep the whole Church, living and departed,

in the joy of eternal life.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit. 

All: Generous God,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

We gather our thoughts and prayers in the words our Saviour gave us 

All: Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed by your name,

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

On earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread,

Forgive us our sins

As we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, ‘

Now and for ever.

Amen.

Hymn – Take My Life and Let It Be 

  • Take my life and let it be
    consecrated, Lord, to thee.
    Take my moments and my days;
    let them flow in endless praise,
    let them flow in endless praise.
     
  • Take my hands and let them move
    at the impulse of thy love.
    Take my feet and let them be
    swift and beautiful for thee,
    swift and beautiful for thee.
     
  • Take my voice and let me sing
    always, only, for my King.
    Take my lips and let them be
    filled with messages from thee,
    filled with messages from thee.
     
  • Take my silver and my gold;
    not a mite would I withhold.
    Take my intellect and use
    every power as thou shalt choose,
    every power as thou shalt choose.
     
  • Take my will and make it thine;
    it shall be no longer mine.
    Take my heart it is thine own;
    it shall be thy royal throne,
    it shall be thy royal throne.
     
  • Take my love; my Lord, I pour
    at thy feet its treasure store.
    Take myself, and I will be
    ever, only, all for thee,
    ever, only, all for thee.
    (by Frances R. Havergal – 1838 to 1870) 

All: Eternal Giver of love and life

Your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into the world

To preach the Gospel of his Kingdom.

Confirm us in this mission,

And help us to live the good news we proclaim,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Hymn – To God Be the Glory

  1. To God be the glory, great things He has done;
    So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
    Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
    And opened the life gate that all may go in.

    Refrain:
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done.
  1. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
    To every believer the promise of God;
    The vilest offender who truly believes,
    That moment from Jesus a pardon receives
    .Refrain:
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done
    .
  1. Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
    And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
    But purer, and higher, and greater will be
    Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

    Refrain:
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    Let the people rejoice!
    O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
    And give Him the glory, great things He has done.
    (by Fanny J Crosby – 1820 to 1915)

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil

And keep us in eternal life. 

All: Amen

© 702211

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