First Sunday after Trinity – Sermon 202

8th January 2016 Off By Derek Buckthorpe

First Sunday after Trinity –

10.00 am Holy Communion.

26th June 2011

Bible References :

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Prayer to start 


May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ                                                                            AMEN




Welcoming –  an important part of every  Church’s mission


We always need a welcome mat – firmly placed at our door – encouraging others to come in


Without a welcome – many people would fall at the first hurdle –


They might go off somewhere else  – to another church –  or to no church at all –


So how good are we at welcoming

welcoming each other –  and welcoming Jesus-


Point 1


Imagine being in a  dentist’s waiting room – or hospital casualty department  –  waiting to be seen to – wondering if you will be seen at all – There is a problem and your not sure what it means – and your not sure what they are going to say –


or being a child sitting outside  the head teachers office waiting to be summoned in – after committing some misdemeanor –


wondering want sort of reception you might get  –  what sort of punishment is in store –


Some people approach God like this – wondering whether He will receive them –  and afraid of the consequences if he does –


Can He really have time for someone like me?


Imagine then that this person is outside our church – wondering what sort of reception they will get inside –


its a big step for them to get this far – it will be an even bigger step to walk through the door –

the welcome at the door – the first contact  – can be so  important –


In our Gospel reading – Jesus tells us that we must always be ready to welcome –


Welcome Him – and welcome each other –


As He reminds His disciples – those who welcome  you – welcome Me –  and those who welcome Me – welcome the Father  – who sent Him –


To the Jews, receiving an envoy is the same as receiving the person themselves – to pay respect to the ambassador is to pay respect to the king –


As  His followers we are blessed with His presence – and as His disciples we are called to represent Him in the world  –


– so that when people are introduced to us –  and get to know us – they are also introduced to Jesus  – and can get to know Jesus – and through Jesus the Father who sent Him –


Jesus comes to others –  through us –


and – when we welcome others – we welcome

Jesus too – since Jesus is also part of their lives –

welcoming is a vital part of our Christian love – and ministry –


when people are made truly welcome – they relax-  they begin to listen – and learn – and to understand  – and their lives can be changed for ever –


Point 2        God’s welcome changes lives


In his letter to the Romans Paul calls us all to change to a Holy Living –


to look at  our priorities – where we are and what we are doing – and where we are going  –


He reminds us of the importance of being freed from the slavery of sin –


that our outlook is either that of Adam or Jesus –   –  we are in one or the other –


with Adam we belong to sin, death – the law and judgment – the road is broad but it leads to destruction –


with Jesus we have forgiveness – grace reconciliation and friendship with God – His is the narrow road – that brings resurrection and new life


Jesus gave His life – as a ransom for us –  on the cross – He died so that we might live –


and He rose again – so that we could follow Him – to the  Father – and receive the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven –


our friendship with God is the highest thing we can aspire to –


We have no claim on God’s love – no reason to expect His goodness – but He freely offers it to us anyway –


He accepts us as we are –  deserving  little –  but He is willing to give us a lot –


we serve Him so poorly – yet He gives us such love – that we can never earn or repay –


Living free in obedience and service to God should be our choice-


The message of Jesus Christ – is a message that will challenge and change people’s hearts – and its a message that all need to hear –


Speaking the Gospel truths is so important –


In our OT lesson  –  we have a confrontation between Jeremiah and Hanniah a false prophet-


Hanniah tells the people what they want to hear – that they will soon return from Babylon to Judah –


but Jeremiah sticks firmly to the truth – he knows it will be years before that will happen –


peace and security for Judah would only come  from sincere repentance and obedience –


We must avoid deception – we must not let people stay ignorant of God’s love –


many new Christians face intense opposition against their faith – they need to share their situation with other Christians –  they need to put on God’s armour to protect them –


if we need our teeth correcting – we listen to a dentist –  someone who knows – if people need help and encouragement in their faith – they need to talk to someone who  has experienced a similar path –  they need to talk to us –


The message from Jesus is  that we must welcome them – and invite them in –  and show them the Jesus Christ that we know – and love


Point 3        Welcome through simple acts and deeds –


So we’ve looked at why its important to be welcoming – and what can happen if we are – so how do we go about it? – How should we welcome people?


Well Jesus gives us a reminder in our Gospel reading:


‘Whosoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple  – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward’


the little ones here are not necessarily the children they can be  lambs of all ages  – who are just starting their journey in the Christian faith  –


Jesus suggests that a simple practical act – with His witness – can show where our heart is – and where we belong –


He calls each one of us to care for each other as He cares for us –


The cup of water can be different forms of refreshment – given in all sorts of ways – through teaching – caring – through feeding –  talking –  through listening – through showing – through praying – through being there – even offering to sit with them in church – so they can see what to do –


It can also literally be a cup of water – although  – its probable that hot tea or coffee after church might be preferred.


As Jesus reminds us our welcoming will receive the same reward as that of a prophet or teacher – all service ranks the same with God –


God has given us a life message to share – we have a storehold of experiences that can help others – and we can pass these on through simple acts of kindness and support to those who need it most –


and such acts of kindness can be contagious – and can lead to extraordinary results –





Jesus’ challenge is to us to spread the Gospel message to all – and its matched by the remarkable promises  that He makes to those who accept it – and live by it –


Jesus changed the world by touching people’s lives – one at a time – He welcomed people where they were –  talked and listened to them – helped and served them – gave a word of hope to those who viewed life as hopeless – offered direction to those who were on the wrong path –


Today we are His disciples – His envoys – the means by which He can show His love to others –


So – when someone comes knocking on our church door – lets give them a welcome that will change their lives forever –




In the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit,




Video of Sermon 202 on You Tube