17 August 2016
Hymn: Now thank we all our God
Theme: Spirit Divine
Topic: By Faith
Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7
Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!
1. What does it mean to have faith in the Lord?
Hebrews 11:29-40, 12:1-2
2. What are the lessons for us in Luke 12: 49-56 regarding faith in Jesus Christ?
Jesus said, "I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in law." He also said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, 'It is going to rain'; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, 'There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"
3. How do we grow our faith in the Lord?
Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19
REFRAIN Behold and tend this vine; preserve what your right hand has planted.
Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim. In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up your strength and come to help us. R
You have brought a vine out of Egypt; you cast out the nations and planted it. You prepared the ground for it; it took root and filled the land. The mountains were covered by its shadow and the towering cedar trees by its boughs. R
You stretched out its tendrils to the Sea and its branches to the River. Why have you broken down its wall, so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes? The wild boar of the forest has ravaged it, and the beasts of the field have grazed upon it. R
Turn now, O God of hosts, look down from heaven; behold and tend this vine; preserve what your right hand has planted. They burn it with fire like rubbish; at the rebuke of your countenance let them perish. R
Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, the son of man you have made so strong for yourself. And so will we never turn away from you; give us life, that we may call upon your Name. Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. R
Closing Prayer (Collect for Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost)
Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and sent into our hearts the Spirit of your Son. Give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that all people may know the glorious liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.