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Summary: With difficult, unrelated scripture, can we see the influence of the Holy Spirit at work, and hear what he has to say. His message in this these verses are clearly ones of compassion and grace; a message we need to be aware.

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Title: Compassion and Grace

Word Count: 1748

Summary: With difficult, unrelated scripture, can we see the influence of the Holy Spirit at work, and hear what he has to say. His message in this these verses are clearly ones of compassion and grace; a message we need to be aware.

This sermon was delivered to the congregations in St Oswald’s

in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 28th June 2009.

(A Scottish Episcopal Churches in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).

2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27 Psalm 130 2 Corinthians 8:7-15 Mark 5:21-43

“Please join me in my prayer.” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our strength, and our redeemer. Amen. (Ps. 19:14)

Introduction:

When Ian asked me to do the sermon, I was assured that it would be straight forward with a nice wee reading and a nice simple message.

But those readings this morning were long and difficult to decipher; 12 verses from the book of 2nd Samuel … 7 from the Psalms … 23 from the Gospel of Mark, and … 9 verses from 2nd Corinthians. All on different topics and all apparently unrelated. But are they?

If you ask yourself the question, “who wrote the bible?” you will probably answer with names like David, Mathew, Paul, James, and John etc. and you will be correct, but under what influence did they write their particular chapters. Well I firmly believe they were written under the influence of the Holy Spirit, in fact all of these authors and more besides, wrote the bible under the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit.

So, can we see the Holy Spirit at works within these verses? Well yes but it was a quite a challenge, so let us have a look to him at work.

In 2 Samuel we see David making a lamentation for Saul just after his death and it is a nice lamentation from David to Saul. It is an elegy however … not a divine hymn nor a Psalm as it does not mention God in it, nor does it claim to be inspired from God.

It is a lamentation to honour the life of Saul and I found this very strange as Saul was the sworn enemy of David, yet here David is praising Saul’s name. Very strange indeed, but it does make sense if you considered the fact that David always considered Saul as God’s anointed, even though Saul was rejected by God, and hated David so much so that he plotted and tried to kill him many times.

Yet here we see David not only praising Saul’s name to himself, but declaring it to the nation; even to the extent of stating that this lamentation is to be taught to the children of Judah. We are even reading it today and we can conclude therefore that David had great compassion for Saul, and … undeservedly we might say.

In today’s Psalm we heard: “O Israel, wait for the LORD, for with the LORD there is mercy; With him there is plenteous redemption, and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

I think it is safe to say that if God is going to rescue Israel from their sins he has great pity, or great compassion for them. Here we see the word compassion arising again; and again we could say undeservedly.

Now in the Gospel message this morning we read of a man named Jairus, one of the leaders of the synagogue, who came and fell at the feet of Jesus. This man Jairus an enemy of Jesus: he viciously opposed Jesus, and one of those who eventually engineered the death of Jesus on the cross. But here this Jairus begged Jesus repeatedly to save his daughter from the point of death, and this time Jesus showed compassion and went with him and healed his daughter. Again we could say this undeserved but Jesus rose above the situation and showed grace. Grace is that merit without favour. Grace is totally undeserved or it would not be grace, it would be by works.

To continue on this same passage, we also see woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years; and whose condition was growing worse. Now we do not know if this woman was a Jew or a Gentile but we do know that her illness made her ceremonially unclean; and this disqualified her from mixing with the crowds under strict Jewish law.

Jesus however did not rebuke her as was expected, but showed great compassion, and encouraged her to make a public confession of faith. Then he rewarded her testimony with the assurance that she could go in peace, and be healed of her disease. And here again we see compassion and grace clearly being administered.

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