Reflection – 07 February 2021

Here’s Martin’s reflection for today on the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats.

Reflection for Sunday 7th February 2021 London Road Congregational Church.

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats

Call to worship:

God we are here for you, we put down at your feet the concerns we carry and for the next hour we will try not to pick them up but stay focused on you. You alone are worthy of all praise and honour and let this time be our response to you.

Hymn: Here I am to worship

Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God

You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

King of all days
Oh so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love’s sake became poor

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God

You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross

Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross

Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross

Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross

Prayer and Lord’s Prayer.

Reading: Matthew 25:31-46 New International Version

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Reflection

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats may be familiar to you. Jesus uses the story to illustrate that there are two groups of people, those who hear the word and do it, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked etc and those who don’t. This has an eternal consequence for us as well.

In my look at this passage, I also want to look at this following verse. Sometimes we can set off with good intentions but too often that initial flurry then becomes exhausted or distracted.

What I’d like us to do this morning is between you and God, you don’t have to share, because ultimately anything we do is between us and God. We don’t serve others we respond to what God asks us.

If worship is concerned with showing the worth, we have for something or someone, I would like us to reflect and worship God slightly differently.  I would like you to spend some time reflecting on that picture below and the verse with it. I would like you to ask God two questions and then I would like you to listen. If your head wants to wander off, recognise it and bring it back and ask the questions again:

God, am I on the path you have asked me to walk?

God, what are my distractions?

The Narrow Path

13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:13-14).

Holy Communion

Hymn: Who you say I am.

Who am I that the highest King would welcome me? I was lost, but He brought me in
Oh His love for me, Oh His love for me

Who the Son sets free, Oh, is free indeed
I’m a child of God, yes, I am, Free at last, He has ransomed me
His grace runs deep

While I was a slave to sin, Jesus died for me. Yes, He died for me

Who the Son sets free, Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God, yes, I am

In my Father’s house, There’s a place for me
I’m a child of God, yes, I am, I am chosen, not forsaken
I am who You say I am, You are for me, not against me
I am who You say I am, I am chosen, not forsaken
I am who You say I am, You are for me, not against me
I am who You say I am
I am who You say I am

We need to remember that it is by grace we can draw near to God, we remember this Sunday what Jesus did to enable our worship to be acceptable.

On the night he was betrayed Jesus took the elements of the Passover meal and shared them with his disciples. He took the bread and blessed it, as he would normally have done, but then he explained that from that time onwards, rather than sacrifice there would be grace through his death. Rather than the letter of the law, the would-be mercy and love. His death would fulfil the requirements of the law and be sufficient for all time, from then until he comes again.

Jesus said, this is my body which will be broken for you, eat this in memory of me…

In the same way, he took the cup and blessed it. He pointed out to his disciples and us that it is symbolic of the new covenant that God had established between Him and us. Not based on the law but on his blood.

Jesus said, the is a sign of the covenant between you and God, drink this and remember God’s love and mercy towards you….

Father thank you for entering into our world so that we can enter into your kingdom. Thank you for taking our place on the cross and putting yourself there for us. Let this meal be a sign of hope and expectation that we will receive your grace and help in the coming month until we share it again. Amen.

Blessing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.