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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.


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