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  • Writer's pictureRev Claire

Sunday 11th October - Who is Jesus? Giver of Grace


Welcome to our online worship today. We are looking at the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11. After the morning online service today we will gather on zoom for communion at 12.15pm. The link is here . If you are unable to attend on zoom, the words for communion are at the end of this service.


Our in person service today is our family service at 3pm which is particularly aimed at families with children. Please arrive in good time to be seated so we can begin on time.


This week we start a new series of zoom Bible Studies on Mondays at 8pm. We will be looking at the prophet Habakkuk. You can join using the link above.


Worship


We come to worship as we are

We are God's children, learning how to grow

We are broken hearts, learning how to heal

We are people, learning how to trust

We have broken spirits, learning how to hope.

We come to worship as we are

As we meet in this space together.


Songs for today - you might want to save a couple for towards the end




Forgiveness


Our story today is all about forgiveness and grace. We are forgiven in Jesus, and we are told to live in his way. What are the things you need to be forgiven for? What do you need to forgive others for? Have a watch of this video and see what forgiveness means.



Make your own signs of forgiveness. Write on one side what has hurt you and write on the other your message of forgiveness. As you turn from one to the other ask God to help you to move on from the past and embrace the future.


Prayer


October is Black History Month. This prayer is from the Methodist Church particularly for Black History Month 2020. Use it to help lead you in prayer.



Word


Today's sermon is based on John 8:1-11. You might want to read it here first before listening to the sermon.





Communion


We will be joining together on zoom for communion at 12.15pm, but if you are unable to join us, the words are here.


Introduction


There is a story told in the Gospel of John – a disputed story, a story that some think shouldn’t be there of a woman who has been caught in adultery.

She stands alone, ashamed, exposed.

A man sits down in the corner and he sketches in the sand.

What does he sketch? Nobody knows.

What does he write? Nobody is sure.

But we know it will only be there for a moment in time and then with the sweep of a foot, with a gust of desert wind, the marks will be erased.

This is how it is with Jesus.

Whatever we have done, whatever we have said, whatever brings shame, whatever is written in the sand, he promises to wipe it away.

A new beginning, a new start, a changed life for that woman….. it’s possible.

And it’s possible for each one of us.

So picture that sand, on a middle eastern street, as you stand there condemned by others or by yourself for what you have done.

Picture your sins written down.

And picture them wiped away by the one this story we tell today is all about.

In the shedding of blood, and the breaking of body, we never need to be ashamed again.

Spend some time now confessing your sins to God.


Jesus says ‘Go and sin no more’


So as we sit today and remember, we prepare ourselves to go onwards, no longer accusing ourselves of sins that have been forgiven nor condemn others for the sins that God has forgiven them.


For they are but dust blowing in the wind, removed, dispersed, moved on. As receivers of God’s grace, we have forgiveness, just like that woman who stood alone, who went on standing, now belonging, now honoured, now knowing she was loved.


The Story


On the night of the story we tell today we see the man who was sitting in the corner writing in the sand sitting at the centre of a table. It’s a table that’s laid out in remembrance of how God had saved his people from slavery and had promised them far much more. It’s a story of God’s goodness and redemption, leading the people from chains, to life in all its fullness.

The man at the centre of the table, his name is Jesus, and after supper, with his friends, he tells the story of how now is not all it is – God is not just our redeemer in the past, he is our redeemer now.


He tells the story of how we have not been forgotten, for God created us, how we have not been left behind because God loves us, how we have not been left to ruin, because God shows us a new way.


And that new way is in the man who stands in the centre of the table and tells a story to change lives, who sat in the corner and changed one woman’s life.

It’s the story of how he would be broken, so we could be set free, restored.

It’s the story of how our sins have been erased, yet our names have been engraved on the one who made us – on the palms of God’s hands. For we are his.


Sharing of Bread and Wine


On that night as he stood at the centre of the table, as he told the story of redemption and forgiveness Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, saying ‘this is my body which is broken for you, do this in remembrance of me’. After supper he took the cup and said ‘this is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me’.


And so this story of redemption, of sins erased, of names written, of love, became our story, and in this story our condemnation is turned into restoration to a life lived in all its fulness.


Spend some time now praying and giving thanks


Now take the bread, and eat it, remembering you are made whole in Christ.

Now take the wine and drink it, remembering that your name is engraved in God’s hands.


Eat and Drink


The prophet Isaiah reminds us in chapter 49 of these things:

That God will answer us, and he will help us

He will keep each one of us and make a covenant with us

To do what he has promised

And to lead us out of darkness to a place of freedom

We will have enough food to eat

And find places to sustain and prosper us

We will neither hunger or thirst

The heat of the sun will not bore down on us

And we will be guided to springs of water.

He will turn mountains into roads

And highways will be raised up.

From north to south to east to west, shout for joy!

For we are led from a doodle in the sand to a place in God’s hands.

This story of grace – it’s yours.

Blessing

As you continue on this road of grace, be blessed for you are forgiven

As you continue on this road of grace, be blessed, for the past is left behind

As you continue on this road of grace, be a blessing, bring grace to those you meet.

Be blessed, be a blessing as you walk in the ways of Christ.



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