Upcoming Events

Please see "Who is Who?" for further contact information!

Sunday 17th December 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Third Sunday of Advent followed by Coffee Hour
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

Sunday 24th December 2017 11:00
Service of Nine Lessons and Carols followed by Coffee Hour
Leader: Rev'd Nathanial

Sunday 24th December 2017 23:30
Midnight Eucharist for Christmas
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

Sunday 25th December 2017 11:00
Family Eucharist for Christmas Day
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

Become our fan at Facebook!



Or follow us on Twitter ;-)

Follow AnglicanPrague on Twitter

11th November 2012 Third before Advent – Jack Noonan

Sermon (Click Link to Listen)

Bible Readings: Psalm 62. 5-12; Hebrews 9. 24-28; Mark 1. 14-20

Sermon text:

Sermon: Psalm 62. 5-8

Today I would like us to focus on the first reading; Psalm 62 .5 -8.

The Book of Psalms is a collection of inspired Hebrew prayers and hymns. By their very nature, words addressed to or express truth about God in songs.

The psalms invite and help us to express ourselves to God and to draw ourselves into His ways.

Not all Psalms are easily understood. Some do not readily give up their meaning at first reading. This is also true of many poems we’ve had to study in school. It is sometimes necessary for us to rummage around in a poem before it reveals its meaning/s. The same is true of some of the psalms.

We needs must remember that in poetic forms, diction does not follow the pattern of logically sequenced prose.

Poetry is rich in figurative language ; imagery, metaphor, symbolism and structures. The psalms, which are generally divided into 5 books are like this and need to be approached as you would a poem…… but divinely inspired ones.

The psalms range through many of our life’s experiences; sadness, thanksgiving, praise, salvation, celebration, wisdom, perplexity, frustration, joy, isolation and trust.

To the Hebrews, this poetry, by its nature, was addressed to the mind……but done so ……..through the heart. Appealing to our emotions…… Evoking feelings rather than logical thought.

We know that emotions can be messy and unruly things. Difficult to either impose order on, or to express. There are times when this…. ‘not seeing the wood from the trees’ causes us great internal confusion and distress. At these times the Psalms are of great help to us, in that they help us express and understand our emotions and feelings before God.

Internal tensions can be even more acute when experienced on the spiritual level.

For in Jesus Christ we have become new creatures. Old ways of thinking, feeling and living resist the changes brought about by encountering the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.

When God’s Spirit is alive and working in us, through the wonder of grace, the discomfort of change can attend us. For our mind is being renewed and the eyes and ears of our heart are opening to the gracious and effective work of the Holy Spirit aligning us with the new life of Jesus being birthed in us.

The Holy Spirit in us is quicker than any 2edged sword, penetrating to the DNA of our self-willing ego and its stubborn pride.

During this life long process of sanctification, the Psalms provide an oasis of spiritual sustenance, guidance and encouragement. Drawing us steadily closer to the LORD and His absorbing New Love.

Bill J … A Christian believer, I know, for years, has the practice, especially when he is coping with, spiritual conflicts; dryness of spirit or emotional disquiet, always retreats to the Book of Psalms. He opens the book anywhere and commences reading psalm after psalm until inevitably, he encounters ’THE’ psalm which speaks to him …where he is at.

He stays gently and prayerfully in that psalm…..’the psalm with his words and voice’ until that ‘peace which passes all understanding’ percolates through to his spirit, restoring and strengthening him.

Psalm 62. 5-8

Today’s psalm comes from the collection of psalms whose central theme considers TRUST IN GOD.

In it David strives to find words, sufficiently adequate, to express the absolute security, faithfulness and unalterable strength He experiences in his relationship with God. The God who is accessible and present to him ……We Christians,as we have been seeing in the Epistle to the Hebrews through the mystery of faith in Christ also have this access into the Father’s immediate presence.

(v.5)Find rest/wait, my soul, in God alone; my hope/expectation comes from him.

It is significant that David addresses his ‘soul’. The immortal soul is distinct from the spirit. The soul houses the mind and heart. The seat of reason, imagination and emotion. These aspects of our personality that are often ill at ease, not only with each other, but also with our spirit where the Divine Spirit indwells.

The inspired and simple instruction to the soul is to ‘rest/wait’.

A short four letter word. Very easy for the mind and heart to understand. But, so difficult to implement and practice; as anyone who tries meditation will admit. Stilling the virtually non-stop activities of the mind and heart is not easy and no mean achievement. It demands a discipline, a gentle persistence and patient practice. Waiting and being still are an exercise in patience. But it is always easier for us to wait when it is for someone we have great hope, confidence,love and trust in.

We are told in V5 to direct our focus on no-one, no-thing but God alone/ only upon God.

The reason being is that it is only from God/Elohim that true and reliable hope and expectation will assuredly come.

 

Elohim, the name of the One God, the Creator God first mentioned in Genesis.

Elsewhere in the Book of Psalms, Elohim is combined with other words which describe certain characteristics of our God.

God Of My Strength: (Psalm 43:2).God Of My Praise: (Psalm 109:1).

God Of My Salvation: (Psalm 18:46).

Our God is no divine abstraction untouched by our needs. This is the great and personal God/Yahweh that with David we are in relationship with.

To have relationship we need to have knowledge and contact with the other person. Spend time in each other’s company. The experiences we share with each other determine the qualities that develop in that relationship. Qualities like trust, confidence, affection, fondness, and love. Time, knowledge and experience will determine the growth in any relationship and its level of commitment. For familiarity breeds contempt only in the contemptible.

We must know in Whom we believe. This ‘knowing’ of the LORD is essential if our trusting faith is to develop and strengthen.

David’s confidence, reasoning and trust in God are based on his knowledge and his life-experience of God. David has this. (Verse 6)

Elohim, the One God, alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress/defence. I shall not be shaken/moved.

This is restated in verse 7 but with a different emphasis. In verse 6 he says ; ‘He is …rock……salvation………..defence. But in Verse 7 the emphasis changes; ‘In God…In God is my salvation and my glory’………..this is where David’s strength and refuge lies….. ‘In God’ Our God ,who is a very present help in time of trouble…..a God touched by our infirmities.

In the following verse (8) David directly now addresses and exhorts the believers, encouraging us not just to trust in God sometimes but to ‘trust in him at ALL times.

The Lord interacts with us through faith in Jesus. In exercising faith we exercise trust. This releases the promises of God. God becomes our refuge in time of trouble and confusion. He becomes our defence in time of attack and danger. He becomes our rock when uncertainties surface; our strength when we are weak. Most of all He becomes our eternal and secure salvation through trusting Christ’s redemptive work, for us, on the cross.

The final instruction in this message is in the latter half of verse 8; pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us

I love the verb used by the psalmist. ‘Pour out’. A lavish word. There is nothing mean or half-hearted about it. It is a generous invitation. No holding back.

Unload /Unburden / yourself of all that clogs and chokes your heart. All that threatens your peace of mind; pour the lot out before Him and trust in His proven love for you. For by His stripes we HAVE been healed.

We can have confidence in God who promises to rewards those who diligently seek Him. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.

Instructions on the way ahead are really straight forward. If we lack trust in God let us ask Him for it. We have not because we ask not. His promises are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Pray with an open heart. Let us ask the Father to fill us with the love and strength of His Holy Spirit. In that way He will meet us where we are and touch us with that love which passes our understanding. Then trusting Him will be as natural as day following night.

Rest in the Lord……Talk with the Lord……walk in the Lord……………stand in the Lord………trust in the Lord..…wait patiently for Him and He will give you your heart’s desire.

Amen.