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The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity – 12th September 2021

September 12, 2021

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Nigel Tuffnell

Our sermon today, from The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
Prayerful

Sermon Text

Trinity 15 – 2021 Mark 8: 27 – end


Mark has told us earlier on in this chapter of his gospel that Jesus traveled about from town to town
– proclaiming the Kingdom of God by teaching and doing many healings and miracles including the
feeding of over 4000 people with 7 loaves and a few small fish – and healing a blind man – and
now – as they journey on – Jesus asks His disciples – “Who do the crowds say I am?” – what are
people saying about me?
Well – “some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah; and still others say one of the prophets.” The
people who had seen or heard about Jesus, talked about Him, speculated about Him and who He
was – or could be – according to the scriptures – (O T) – that they’d been brought up with – without
really coming to any conclusion. I find it interesting to note that Jesus passes no comment or
judgment either on those “some people” or on their opinion of His identity – He moves straight on
and addresses His question to His Disciples – “What about you, who do you say I am?” Peter
answers – “ You are The Christ.”
Messiah – the anointed One of God – the One we have been waiting for – all these things are
implicit in Peter’s answer, and Jesus accepts his answer – tacitly affirming it’s truth by telling them
not to talk about it – it wasn’t the right time to do that. He then begins to reveal to them what the
future held – for Him – and for them.
Peter’s declaration marked a crucial point – a turning point – in Jesus’ ministry. He now knew that
some of His followers were beginning to realise who He was. Yet He also knew – that their present
level of realisation was insufficient – incomplete – that it didn’t automatically give them an
understanding of Who He was and why He’d come, and that He now had to help them unlearn their
own perception of God’s Messiah and the purpose of His coming, and teach them that – in reality –
Messiah had come to suffer and die – then rise again – not take over the throne of Israel and liberate
them from Rome!
Jesus knew that His appointment with a cross in Jerusalem was inevitable and not too far in the
future – and He gets right to the point. Verse 31. “ He then began to teach them that the Son of Man
must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priest and teachers of the law, and that
He must be killed and after 3 days rise again…” Not the good news they wanted to hear – and
Peter is quick to respond by saying that that wouldn’t / couldn’t happen – and Jesus is just as quick
to put him right, by saying that Peter was thinking purely in human terms – that God did things
differently – and He goes on to teach the crowd as well as the disciples about what to expect if they
decided to follow Him. It wouldn’t have taken too long for those hearing what Jesus had to say to
understand that He was calling them to a life of self denial; for a voluntary commitment to a way of
life that would be different in all kinds of ways from what they had previously known.
“Who do people say I am?” – Jesus still asks today. Well – who do they say He is? Some say He
was a good man, a brilliant teacher – sometimes acknowledging that His teaching had merit – some
might even speculate about Him; others have little or no opinion – having never really considered
Jesus as a real Person, and apart from using His name as an expletive or curse – never mention or
think about Him at all. There are others who go to church, get baptised / confirmed, do and say the
right things, but haven’t decided to follow Jesus as a way of life. They are still doing their own
thing, going their own sweet – or not so sweet way – and wondering why this “Christian life”
doesn’t really work for them. I know – I was there for many years. I was in my early 20’s, having
drifted away from the church that I had attended regularly from the time when I was a little girl
until I my late teens. I was very busy with my own life and not doing too good a job with it – when
it was explained to me that knowing about Jesus wasn’t enough – I had to know Him – have a
relationship with Him. That changed everything – and still does; I’m still learning – still discovering
what knowing Jesus is all about – and I hope I never stop learning and growing in my
understanding of Him. One thing I do know – is that I could never go back to the time when I only
knew about Him.
“Who do you say I am?”
Not – ‘who do you think I was’ – (way back then ) Not ‘who do you think I am’ – the question is
“Who do you say I am?” – the question is personal and it’s present tense – “Who do you say I am?”
Jesus still asks this question today, of each of us. It is not enough to know what and how “the
crowds” – or other people are thinking and saying – we have to make up our own minds and give
Him an answer – that’s the very least He deserves.
The Christian author C S Lewis said – “for Christ to have talked as He talked, lived as He lived,
died as He died, He was either God or a raving lunatic.” And that’s our choice – He is either as Peter
declared “The Christ,” – or a lunatic. Either way – He demands a response from us – we cannot sit
on a fence somewhere in the middle of that choice!
Who do you say He is?

From → Worship

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