Summary: Full service - Family Covenant Service with Holy Communion. All have sinned BUT GOD in His immense mercy & amazing love . . .
Sutton Coldfield Family Covenant Service
HP 10 Let all the world in every corner sing
Prayers & Intercessions
Ephesians 2:1-10 (The Message)
Notices & Collection during
HP 31 Come let us all unite & sing
SOF 138 God of grace I turn my face
SOF 76 Create in me a clean heart O God
HP 250 Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks
HP 800 Lord, in the strength of grace
Talk 1 – Pencils with rubbers / erasers were given to everyone when they arrived - the young children were given rubbers in the shape of animals.
God loves us so much that He forgives us when we do bad or wrong things & doesn’t even keep a record of the things we wrong. This is one of the most important things we need to understand whether we are 2 or 92, whether we have been to Church all our life or here for the first time. God loves us so much & is willing to wipe away our sins & remember them no more.
Everyone here makes mistakes don’t they? The Bible says ‘all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God’ Romans 3:23. If you say you are not then are fooling yourself & no one else. But that’s ok – recognising who we are is the first step to putting things right.
When you arrived you all received a pencil. Some blue others were brown, yet they have one thing in common. Have a look at the pencil’s of those next to you have & see if you can work it out.
Yes – they all have rubbers on them so that we can rub out our mistakes.
We are like these pencils you & I. We come in all shapes & sizes & colours & we all make mistakes too. I want you to take away your pencil & use it & every time you do remember that you have a deep need of Jesus, the great rubber out of sins. Because of His great love for us, because as Epehsians says His immense mercy & amazing love He washes away & refuses to remember them anyone once we repent & say sorry.
We are quite good at remembering when people let us down or do bad things to us. Indeed we are so good even though we say its ok we never ever trust some people again - true - its the way things work in the world.
But not with our God. In His immense mercy & amazing love He forgives & forgets.
There is nothing too bad or too great for His love.
That is all God’s part - we don’t do anything to deserve it or earn it. BUT as in all covenants there is something for us to do.
He does all this - we get to say one of 2 words - either yes or no.
We get to decide if we will let God do all of this for us. I wonder will we?
I ended that first talk by saying we all had to decide if we would allow Jesus to rescue us from our sins, from ourselves.
Many people though, indeed most people end up rejecting Jesus. That reading we have just heard tells us this that even Jesus’ own people rejected Him.
Lots of people will say they don’t need saving - they are good people & don’t need rescuing. But the Bible doesn’t say all have sinned except the nice people of Sutton Coldfield. God doesn’t say only those who do really bad things or illegal things or those who never go to Church need rescuing - you do I do everyone does.
Once we accept this & say yes God does something truly amazing. As Ephesians said it is in His immense mercy & because of His amazing love what? We are able to become children or God. In his letter to the Romans Paul talks about this in terms of being adopted in God’s family.
What an incredible promise! What an incredible covenant!
God promises to make us part of His family & all we have to do is say yes!
This year begins with this fantastic offer from God then but will we accept it?
I pray that none of us would miss this opportunity to begin 2008 in the best way possible, adopted in God’s own family.
That we do the logical, sensible thing today & say yes.
I am going to say a prayer – if this is what you want to do in the silence repeat the words to yourself making this prayer your own - & God will do the rest.
The Scriptures tell us that the only thing left for you to do is tell someone, so tell me or your Junior Church leader what you have done.