Communion meditation 20161023


Luke 4:18-19

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection continues to proclaim the good news of God’s kingdom that he proclaimed in his earthly ministry. Now we have the opportunity to proclaim the same gospel.

Here’s why it is good news:

  1. If you are in any kind of bondage, the gospel offers you freedom.
  2. If you have any kind of illness or injury or defect physically, the gospel offers you healing.
  3. If you are being treated unfairly or being denied justice in any way, the gospel offers you justice.

Today’ as we partake of these emblems, we can once again affirm our allegiance to the one who bought for us the freedom, healing and justice that we had lost when our ancestors sinned.

We accept by faith the gospel of God’s grace, and declare our faith in the one who is restoring God’s kingdom.

Lord, thank you for you broken body. We celebrate your sacrifice because it means ultimate victory for God and us, because your brokenness on the cross means our complete healing when you return.

Lord, thank you for your shed blood. We celebrate your sacrifice because it means ultimate victory for God and us, because your depletion on the cross means our complete restoration when you return.



prayer for discernment

prayer for discernment


love became flesh

love became flesh


prayer at the crossroads

prayer at the crossroads





a prayer as we face judgement

A Prayer As We Face Judgement - 1

who asked for that?

who asked for that

Who Asked for that?

Isaiah 1:7-15a

7 Your country is deserted, your cities have been burned up with fire; your land: aliens are devouring it in your presence, and it is desolate, as if devastated by foreigners.
8 And the daughter of Zion is left like a hut in a vineyard, like a shelter in a cucumber field, like a city that is besieged.
9 If Yahveh of armies had not left us survivor, we would have been as few as Sodom, we would have become like Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of Yahveh, rulers of Sodom! Listen, the teaching of our God, people of Gomorrah!
11 What is that heap of your sacrifices to me? says Yahveh. I have had enough burnt offerings of rams and fat, fattened animals and I do not enjoy blood of bulls and ram-lambs and goats.
12 When you come to appear before me, who asked for this from your hand: you trampling my courts?
13 You must not keep bringing useless offerings, incense—which stinks to me; each new moon and Sabbath, each calling of a convocation– I cannot endure iniquity when you assemble.
14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates; they have become to me like a burden I am not able to bear.
15 And when you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many a prayer, I am not listening. (Isa. 1:7-15a JDV)

Isaiah had just revealed to Judah that they were not as healthy as they thought they were. In the next few verses ISAIAH DESCRIBES THE CONDITION OF JUDAH in his time (7-10).


a deserted country
burned cities
land devoured and desolate
left like a guard hut after harvest
like a besieged city
almost like Sodom & Gomorrah

This is a challenge from God for us to evaluate our true condition. We must stop deceiving ourselves by claiming normalcy. We need to see beyond the veneer, past the facade.


Slide5He calls this religious people rulers of Sodom and people of Gomorrah, and indicates that their religious practices are negatives, rather than positives.

He has had enough offerings
He does not enjoy the blood
He calls it trampling his courts
He calls the offering useless
He says the incense stinks
He says the assemblies are for iniquity
He hates the festivals because they burden him

This is a challenge from God for us to evaluate what wev are doing and why we are doing it. We must stop pretending that if we just do the right thing, that our condition will somehow get better. We need to see beyond what we do.

I once visited a city and did a seminar there. I heard someone describe that city a being full of SEMINARians. In other words, all the church people did was go to seminars. They believed that the key to their success was doing the right thing more often than others. That is not how success is measured in the kingdom.

Thirdly, ISAIAH REVEALS WHAT GOD IS DOING as a result of Judah’s current approach to him through their organised religion (15a).

  • He is hiding his eyes
  • He is not listening to their prayersThis is a challenge from God for us to stop doing business as usual. If we think God only responds to our prayers and worship, what happens when we discover that God is no longer listening to our prayers and watching our worship?

    There is nothing wrong with prayer and nothing wrong with worship. But both of these can become worse than useless when coming from the heart of the rebellious and unrepentant. So, Isaiah goes on to reveal the way for Judah to get back on God’s good side. We will explore this next section more in the next sermon in this series. But let me summarise verses 15b-17 here.

    15b Your hands are full of blood.
    16 Wash up! Make yourselves clean! Remove the evil of your actions from before my eyes! Stop doing evil!

    = REPENT

    To repent is to seek God’s cleansing by grace and resolve to stop rebelling against God’s moral law.

    17 Learn to do good! Seek justice! Rescue an oppressed one! Defend an orphan! Plead for a widow!

    = REFORM

    To reform is not to add more rituals to your worship, but to focus on meeting the needs of those around you, and so begin to act like your Father in heaven.

    Without true repentance and reformation, all the religion and prayers and worship in the world is worse than useless.