Summary: The Shining Face of God (Harvest Festival Service) – Psalm 67 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com
• The world needs light (vs 1-2).
• The world needs Joy (vs 3-4).
• The world needs life (vs 5-7)
• In Gloucester, England,
• There is an old-fashioned garden and orchard,
• In one corner of which is a little tombstone. On it are these words:
“DEC. 21, 1869
Here lies Tidman's missionary hen,
Her contributions, four pounds, ten;
Although she is dead, the work goes on,
As she has left seven daughters and a son
To carry on the work that she begun.
So be it.”
• The story behind the gravestone and inscription;
• Was a man called Tidman lived in a village nearby.
• He longed to do something for the London Missionary Society.
• His money was scarce;
• But he decided one of his hens should belong to the Society,
• And all the eggs she laid should be sold and the money given.
• Before she died the money amounted to four pounds ten shillings;
• But that was not all.
• She sat on eight of her eggs. They were hatched.
• These, too, belonged to the Society,
• And in time brought in a large amount of money.
• When the hen died the old man had her body embalmed,
• And buried it in the garden, and erected a little monument.
• He thought it might encourage others to do something similar,
• So even though the hen was dead,
• It was still be helping the Society.
• TRANSITION: As well as being a harvest psalm;
• “The land yields its harvest” (vs 6);
• It is also a call to mission psalm:
• The heart of God cries out:
• Vs 2: “All nations”.
• Vs 4: “The nations”
• Vs 7: “Ends of the earth”
“It is not the Church of God that has a mission,
but the God of mission who has a Church”
Question: Why do we need to go?
Answer: According to this psalm is threefold:
(1). Because the World Needs Light (vs 1-2).
“May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face SHINE on us
2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.”
• According to verse 1:
• The light of God is demonstrated three ways:
FIRST: “MAY GOD BE GRACIOUS TO US”
• Dennis the Menace was a comic strip character in the Beano;
• In one story he is with his friend Joey,
• They are outside Mrs Wilsons house;
• And she has given them some freshly baked cookies.
• Joey says to Dennis;
• “I wonder what we did to deserve these?”
• Dennis replies;
• “Mrs Wilson gives us cookies not because we are nice, but because she is nice!”
• TRANSITION: God deals with people in grace;
• Not because they are nice and deserve it,
• But because he is!
• Sometimes in life we experience grace;
• That is we get what we don’t deserve.
• I remember once getting in a coffee shop enjoying a mug of black nectar;
• When I suddenly realised my car which was parked in a car park;
• The ticket had just run out.
• Tough choice, finish my mug of fresh coffee;
• Or try to get to the car before a traffic warden discovers it.
• I ran towards the car and get there with a traffic warden standing next to the car;
• I said; “Please don’t give me a ticket, I am only a few minutes late!”
• The warden replied; “You are late but we allow a 10 minute grace period.”
• Now had I asked the warden, “Great, but what is grace?”
• She probably would have said:
• “I guess what it means is that even though you’re supposed to pay,
• You don’t have to.”
• TRANSITION: Now that would be a good definition of grace.
• God gives to us what we don’t deserve and he fits the bill!.
SECOND: “MAY GOD BLESS US”
• "To be blessed" means 'to be favoured by God'.
• Blessings therefore are directly associated with God and come from God.
• So when you express a blessing on someone,
• Non-believers would see it as bestowing a wish on someone,
• Believers should see it as a mini-prayer for someone;
• We are saying/praying that the person will experience the favour of God in their lives.
• The Psalmist asks for blessing in verses 2-3;
• So that God’s ways may be known on the earth.
Notice that the Psalmist is not saying:
• He is not saying, "Bless me so that I can be comfortable."
• He is not saying, "Bless me so that I don’t have to work hard to make a living."