Below are the most recent sermons preached at St Nicolas
A HOMILY FOR ONLINE EUCHARIST
SERVICE 24th MAY 2020, THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER/SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION DAY
May the words of my mouth and
the meditations of all our hearts be always acceptable in your sight O Lord,
our Rock and our Redeemer. AMEN.
If we had been having this morning’s service in our own church building instead of online, there would have been another reading, from the first letter of Peter chapter four.
In it Peter writes “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you, to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” Now those words of Peter were written about the ordeals that some of the early christians were going through, but they resonated with me on account of what we have all been going through these past weeks. Lockdown has been quite an ordeal for some; we have all been living through strange and sometimes fearful times. But we have been encouraged to come together as a nation, as one, to work together to overcome an invisible enemy. “Together we can do this” and “We are stronger together” are just two of the slogans which have been used to encourage and support us. And it struck me that such slogans are quite appropriate for all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ as we spread His Gospel of Love.
Now last Thursday we celebrated Ascension Day, and whilst today’s reading from Acts describes our Lord’s Ascension as witnessed by the Apostles, and his promise to them of the gift of the Holy Spirit, our Gospel reading precedes that event, and is about Jesus praying for his disciples and for what lies ahead of them. They were living in a hostile environment, so Jesus asks God to protect them and prays “that they may be one”. Think for a moment of that word “one” - or - “oneness”, (a phrase these days so beloved of the BBC); the oneness, the unity of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Indeed, despite our diverse personalities and individuality we are, and believe in, through the love and prayer of Lord Jesus Christ, one church, one faith, one baptism; one through prayer and a belief in life eternal;.
Now, our church buildings may be closed, but the Christian people, the true church, the earthly body of Our Lord can still find ways to function and be as one, as for example, these online services show. And when these strange times are over, perhaps things such as “Churches Together”, united in our common faith, despite our diversity of worship, will come to have even greater significance for us. Until then, let us keep on remembering that our Lord prayed for his disciples, for us, asking God to protect us, and that they and we should be as one, united in faith and love.
We still have a long way to go - whether it be in overcoming this nasty Covid virus, or in spreading our Lord’s message of love.
But we must never give up, because we know that “Together we CAN do this.” AMEN.