Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity – Sermon 231

8th January 2016 Off By Derek Buckthorpe

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

10.00 a. m. Holy Communion, CW

6th October 2013

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





Have we ever stopped and looked at today’s world and wondered – what is God is doing about it?


Governments using chemical weapons – Terrorists killing and injuring in shopping centres and streets – small children being beaten or starved to death?


All this evil going on!


Sometimes it’s hard to take – doesn’t seem to make sense – that if there is a God – why isn’t He doing something about it?

Point 1        Habakkuk – Wrestling with questions


Habakkuk had some similar questions


Where are you God – in the midst of all this evil?

How long until you act?


To Habakkuk it appeared that God was doing nothing –


That the law was slack – justice never prevails –

The wicked surround the righteous

and corruption was rife-


Habakkuk’s name means to wrestle or embrace – his book – only three chapters long –

was written it in 7th century BC – just as the Babylonians were emerging  as a world power – and were about to carry Judah away to captivity-


He saw the condition of the people and was rightly concerned –


God’s response to Habakkuk’s prayers – was that no matter – how things seem – God is in control


Evil may show itself from time to time – but it will always wear itself out –


God has a vision – for the appointed time – when His purposes will be fulfilled –


Events will come that will shake the world – change it more powerfully – than anything before – Events that will give His people freedom to live – as nothing else could –


The unfair and unjust happening now will find redress in the time of God’s ultimate reconciliation –


But until then – ‘the righteous must live by their faith’


Point 2        Jesus – Faith and our response


Living by Faith is the theme of our Gospel reading – when in response to Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness – the disciples ask Jesus – to give them more faith –


‘The apostles said to the Lord – “Increase our faith”


Jesus’ answer – was that it was not greater faith they need – but faith in a greater God –


He uses the example of the mustard seed – to show that the size of their faith is not the issue –


Faith either exists or it doesn’t


Faith is like a window – through which you can see God – the size of the window doesn’t matter –

the important thing is that you can see – and believe –


and through seeing – and believing – God becomes more and more important to us – each day – changing and renewing our lives – showing us how to live and to grow in His love –


And the more important God becomes to us – the greater He grows in influence within us – and our perception of Him becomes greater –


The smallest peep-hole of a window – will be enough to give us access to more power – than we have ever dreamed of –


Power that answers prayer in remarkable ways –


Power that will enable us to approach something that ‘can’t be done’ – and ‘do it anyway’ –


That tiny seed of faith – once sown in our hearts – can grow into something far greater – far more wonderful – than anything we ever imagined at the time it was sown –


Jesus’ second example about the servant and his master –  is told to demonstrate how faith can become weak or misplaced – if we forget – that ultimately – we are servants of a King –


That if we think God is here to serve us – then within us – He is a pretty small God –


Jesus reminds us that when we serve God – and His Church – we are doing no more than what we should be doing – anyway –


When we have done our best – we have only done our duty – Nothing we do for God – will ever put Him in our debt –


All we do for God – should be out of gratitude – we should expect nothing in return – yet it is in God’s nature – and grace – that He will reward us for it – anyway –


Point 3        Paul – Faith and Faithfulness


Paul in his second letter to Timothy – shows us how we must live –


“Rely on the power of God

Who saved us with a Holy calling –

Not according to our works –

but according to His own purpose and grace

given to us in Jesus” –


Hold fast – to the standard of sound teaching – from Jesus and from our Bibles – be bold – fulfill the dream – don’t be worried by others –


Begin with our own lives – rekindle the gift of God within us – and encourage it to burst into flame –


It’s time for our lamp to come from under the table and shine out onto others – to show them the way to Jesus –


Remain rooted in the faith – our deepest roots need to lie with God – His will and His promises –


In 1988 in Armenia – a Father – named Samuel – took his son to school as usual  – and hugged him at the school gate – squatting beside him – wished him a good day – and reminded him – that no matter what – He would always be there for him –


That day a large earthquake rocked the area –

And the school was buried under a pile of debris

Parents stood around crying – but Samuel started digging –

“What are you doing” –asked one of the parents? – “digging for my son” – said Samuel

“But you’ll make things worst – the building is unstable wait for the rescue services” –


As time wore on – one by one the parents left – then a firefighter tried to pull Samuel away – ‘won’t you help me’- he said? – but the firefighter left – and Samuel kept digging –


All through the night – and into the next day – he kept digging – He picked up a beam – and pushed it away – and then heard a faint cry – ‘Papa’


He began to dig furiously – and finally could see his son – Reaching forward – he helped the boy out – and with him fourteen more children emerged from that tomb – ‘I told them you would come for me’ – the boy said.


Faith and Faithfulness – saved those children’s lives

God promises that our faith and faithfulness – through Jesus – will save ours




We are all called to serve the King –

To release the power and love that He brings

Speak up for the weak and vulnerable

Help to bring order and harmony to the world

And give a lead to Jesus that others can follow-


We can have many questions – many concerns about the world and the people around us – which we should bring to God in prayer –


But in the end – we know that Good has aleady conquered evil – and God’s love has triumphed over all


and while God acts – we are to continue in the faith’ – and faithfully live – and depend on His power and His Son – who is available to us all –