A recorded talk is here http://www.ascensionbath.org.uk/sermons/ for the next 8 weeks.
Readings Isaiah 42 1-4 Matthew 12 9-21; 33-37 Psalm 31
Theme – God loves me even when -I am small or broken
- v Many of us feel as though we are unimportant, we are broken, weak, our impact for god is small, we feel unloved due to our failings.
Jesus talked about being lights to the world but we hardly feel we are a tea light glowing dimly for a short time.
We feel that we are not the perfect person God wanted and made.
However when you make something and invest it with a lot of your love how do you feel about it when it gets damaged?
- v Which is better.
Large candle or tea light [have both and light them]
This pot or this one [my superman pot or the one I made]
a big powerful important person of faith or a small shy person of faith?
God doesn’t see it this way, even a flickering light is important, in our readings God says he will not put out a flickering candle.
- v Talk about how god spoke to me about my worth through a tea light.
- v Spend some time thinking about the things you do for God no matter how small.
- v Are they important, do you think God is pleased that you did it?
Do you think he would rather have snuffed it out?
Our Psalm 31 talked about people avoiding us about how broken I am
To my enemies I’m a monster;
I’m ridiculed by the neighbours.
My friends are horrified;
they cross the street to avoid me.
They want to blot me from memory,
forget me like a corpse in a grave,
discard me like a broken dish in the trash.
But you Lord see even the broken and weak as important, you delight in what they do.
From Romans 9
21Doesn’t a potter have the right to make a fancy bowl and a plain bowl out of the same lump of clay?”
This is because you made us and invested us with your image, your love, and time.
Like when we make something it holds a special place for us even when it gets a little cracked and broken we are held in a special place by God who made us.
Genesis 1 26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings[b] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,[c] and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
27 So God created human beings[d] in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Think about that for a while.
You may ask, ‘Why did you make me like this?’. However God made us, it is to serve a purpose in his great plan. Move from resistance to gratitude. Steve Silvester
- v How does it make you feel that God loves you even as a small light or a cracked pot.
He loves you the way you are because life has crafted what he made into this.
He understands all you have experienced over the years, the things that have influenced you.
You might feel broken weak or unimportant but you are not.
Even a dim light in the darkness can save a life, even a broken pot can bring living water to a person who is thirsty.
Jesus loved the man with the deformed hand enough to bring healing to him even when the law said he should not. Doing good is not limited by law, ability or size, it is what God does and wants.
- v It is by the fruit you bring forth that you are known, not by how much or how big but by some good coming from your life.
A tea light might not seem much but at the right time it can make a big difference.
A broken cup might not seem much but can make a difference if that is all that is available.
Accept what you are and give of what you are, as a tree ages if gives less fruit but it does still bear fruit even if only one small apple.
God loves you because you are His made in His image and made for a purpose which no one else can fill.
Accept that love and flourish as you are.
Small and Broken is just what might be needed.
He loves you so much that he died just for you.
Time of open prayer and reflection
This week we are starting a summer series called God loves me even when……
Many of us wonder if God loves us in all situations, we will cover many of these over the summer weeks. From this weeks ‘I am Small and Broken’ through ‘I am Weak and Afraid’, ‘I follow’, ‘I am Lost and Sick’, ‘I am Strong’, ‘I lead’ and many others. Each week we will look at the subject and see what the bible says about how God sees it and us.
Many of us feel as though we are unimportant, we are broken, weak, that our impact for god is small, we feel unloved due to our failings. Jesus talked about being lights to the world but we hardly feel we are more than a tea light glowing dimly for a short time rather than the bright light God wants. We feel that we are not the perfect person God wanted and made.
Many of us compare ourselves to others and just see a broken person or a small flickering light compared to the big people and bright lights around us. We then wonder if God can love us at all. The good news is that we are made in His image and He loves us flaws and all. In fact its our weaknesses and strengths that make us the people God made us to be. Our individuality is what makes us valuable to God and his plans.
We hope over the summer to help show that Gods love is massive, much bigger than we often think.
9 Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, 10 where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.)
11 And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. 12 And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one! 14 Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.
Jesus, God’s Chosen Servant
15 But Jesus knew what they were planning. So he left that area, and many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them, 16 but he warned them not to reveal who he was. 17 This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him:
18 “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen.
He is my Beloved, who pleases me.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not fight or shout
or raise his voice in public.
20 He will not crush the weakest reed
or put out a flickering candle.
Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.
21 And his name will be the hope
of all the world.”
33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. 34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. 36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
“Look at my servant, whom I strengthen.
He is my chosen one, who pleases me.
I have put my Spirit upon him.
He will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout
or raise his voice in public.
3 He will not crush the weakest reed
or put out a flickering candle.
He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.
4 He will not falter or lose heart
until justice prevails throughout the earth.
Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction
R 1 O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me, for you do what is right.
2 Turn your ear to listen to me;
rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a fortress where I will be safe.
3 You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
4 Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
for I find protection in you alone. R
5 I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.
6 I hate those who worship worthless idols.
I trust in the Lord.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,
for you have seen my troubles,
and you care about the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not handed me over to my enemies
but have set me in a safe place.
9 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.
Tears blur my eyes.
My body and soul are withering away.
10 I am dying from grief;
my years are shortened by sadness.
Sin has drained my strength;
I am wasting away from within. R
11 I am scorned by all my enemies
and despised by my neighbors—
even my friends are afraid to come near me.
When they see me on the street,
they run the other way.
12 I am ignored as if I were dead,
as if I were a broken pot. R
13 I have heard the many rumors about me,
and I am surrounded by terror.
My enemies conspire against me,
plotting to take my life.
14 But I am trusting you, O Lord,
saying, “You are my God!”
15 My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
16 Let your favor shine on your servant.
In your unfailing love, rescue me. R
17 Don’t let me be disgraced, O Lord,
for I call out to you for help.
Let the wicked be disgraced;
let them lie silent in the grave.[a]
18 Silence their lying lips—
those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.
19 How great is the goodness
you have stored up for those who fear you.
You lavish it on those who come to you for protection,
blessing them before the watching world. R
20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence,
safe from those who conspire against them.
You shelter them in your presence,
far from accusing tongues.
21 Praise the Lord,
for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love.
He kept me safe when my city was under attack.
22 In panic I cried out,
“I am cut off from the Lord!”
But you heard my cry for mercy
and answered my call for help.
23 Love the Lord, all you godly ones!
For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him,
but he harshly punishes the arrogant.
24 So be strong and courageous,
all you who put your hope in the Lord! R