I'm in Lockdown... Get me out of here!
New Series starting Sunday 26th July 2020
I’m struggling with that… get me out of here!
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- Sermon notes
I’m so struggling with this… Get me out of here! Matt 5: 43-48 Broadcast – September 2020
OUTSIDE – Message 1 (2.00) - If you are looking for an easy life… then I wish you well! If you’re looking for a faith that doesn't call for too many demands on your life, then I wish you well there too, but you probably shouldn't try to be one of Jesus' disciples! He is demanding, expecting his followers to put others before themselves, to show integrity when no one is looking, and to love everyone, even those who have hurt you or taken you for granted. Wow!!
God, who sent Jesus to redeem and forgive a world full of imperfect people, doesn't give up. He has a heart of love toward the loveless. We need something of Hid heart if we are going to love our own enemies. That’s our theme this week… “I’m so struggling with this… get me out of here!” Welcome to Dorchester Community Church!
Pic – Police & the cowboy from ‘The Magnificent Seven’!
Café – Message 2 – This is the final part of our current series, “I’m in Lockdown… get me out of here!” And by now we’d thought, and hoped, that we’d be out of it for good… that doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case with more people being tested positive for Covid by the day… none of us are looking forward to seeing the UK death toll rising over the next 3 weeks, and we can pray this won’t be the case, but indicators are not good. We EACH have to take this pandemic seriously and do all the things we have been repeatedly told to do. Some of the feelings you have or might continue to have – regarding loneliness, anger, stress – are all things we have looked at in recent weeks so I’d encourage you to re-watch some of our previous Broadcasts if you can. They are all available on our website…
Today, we look at the impact some people can have on us, and the challenge from Jesus to love them… our Puppets are back this week and there’s a creative message and Quiz for the children too, hope you do better than I did… but first let’s celebrate God’s amazing love for us… that One would lay down their very life for us… THIS is amazing grace!!
And after we have sung, there’s a great cartoon for the kids that explains where we are going today!
Song - This is Amazing Grace
Vid Clip - Colour cartoon for kids of ‘Love Your Enemies’ (2.46)
Kids Slot – Clare x 5 Vid Clips!!! (2.17), (1.17), (1.43), (0.25), (1.10)
FRONT – Message 3 - Thank you Clare… not sure how well you did in the Quiz but I only got 1 out of 5… and that was the question that Clare described as “old school”… mmm…! OK, we’ve already had the scene set, but we also need to hear direct from the Word of God – which is what the Bible is. We might not get everything, but if we are open to hearing God then reading His book, His Word, can be a way for us to do that… so let’s listen to Tory as she reminds us of the words of Jesus…
Reading by Tory (0.47)
FRONT – Message 4 - Let’s start with clarifying the basics… Doing good does not make us right with God - Jesus’ teaching here has been seen by some to mean that, ie “Do xyz… in order that you may be a Christian” but our becoming a Christian is not conditional on what we do. Which is why the Bible teaches that “it is by grace we have been saved, not by works, so that no-one can boast” (Eph 2: 8). To those who “believed” he gave them the right to become children of God (John 1: 12). That’s grace, and wherever there is grace there are no conditions. The Sermon on the Mount (that our reading was taken from) cannot contradict the way of salvation that Jesus and his followers taught. So what does Jesus mean here? It should be understood as: love your enemies and so prove yourself to be what you are – a child of God. How else do we know this is what Jesus means? Read 5: 16. He does not say, "He may become your Father." He says, "He is your Father." Second, notice that when people see the good works of the disciples (like loving their enemies), they give glory to “our” Father. It speaks of a relationship we already have, not one that will be initiated as a result or condition of our good deeds.
SIDE – Message 5 - Faith in Jesus is what matters most, and what is required first - Jesus said to a prostitute who wept at his feet, “Your sins have been forgiven . . . your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7: 48-50). The Christian life isn’t about us being ‘good enough’, but about realising that we are not good enough. We are helpless and in need of a Great Physician. Then we hear the Gospel, and we hear that, by trusting him, our wrongs can be forgiven, God will be our Father, and we will have the help we need to live out the Sermon on the Mount. Our Faith should be evident by what we do
Our next song gives us an opportunity to get right with God… so that before we think of what ‘we’ need to do we can thank Him for all that He has done… “I am empty, but I know, your love does not run dry… so I wait for you…”
Song - Hungry
FRONT – Message 6 - We always need to understand the context - When Jesus said we are to love our enemies, He was creating a new standard for relationships. The crowds listening to his ‘Sermon on the Mount’ knew they were to love their neighbour because this was a law of God (Lev 19:18). While no Bible verse explicitly says “hate your enemy,” the religious leaders of the day somewhat misapplied some of the Old Testament passages about ‘hatred for God’s enemies’ (Psalm 139:19-22; 140:9-11). But Jesus replaced this idea with an even higher standard. He explained to His followers that they should adhere to the real meaning of God’s law by loving their enemies as well as their neighbours. When a Pharisee asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10: 29). Jesus then told the Parable of the Good Samaritan, emphasising that even the worst of perceived ‘enemies’ should be loved and respected and valued, the same as anyone else. This is how God is with everyone, regardless of who they are or what they have done. Our love for others should mirror His… it’s just easier said than done!!
SIDE – Message 7 - Love those who hate you - In the story of the Good Samaritan the man who loved was a Samaritan and the wounded man who he helped out was a Jew. The Jews and Samaritans were anything but friends and brothers. There were strong religious and racial animosities. Jesus doesn't just say, "I have two commands: one that you love your neighbour and one that you love your enemy." He says, "I have one command: love your neighbour and I mean, even if he is an enemy." That’s what lies behind ‘Black Lives Matter’. Jesus wouldn’t say we should love those who are white, and we should love those who are black, he’d say we should love everyone, regardless of who they are, what they’ve done or what the colour of their skin is… we are to love people… and that includes those who we find most difficult…
The first meaning of ‘enemy’ is found in verse 44, people who oppose you and try to hurt you, but specifically maybe those who are antagonistic… a stroppy teenager, a bully of a boss, a thoughtless husband etc. Jesus says, "Love them." The point seems to be: don't stop loving because the person does things that offends or upsets you. If you are in an abusive situation, then recognise this is NOT the context Jesus is speaking into…
V.47 is very a practical love. It is a love that seeks nothing in return. And this is maybe what Jesus means when he says, "Love your enemy." It’s significant that he does not say, "Like your enemy." ‘Like’ is a sentimental or affectionate something. There are a lot of people that I find it difficult to like! But to ‘love’ our enemies…??
Vid Clip – Louis 1 (0.09) – I’ve got something to say!!!!
I’m sure you have Louis… but not yet, ok?
Vid Clip – Louis 2 (0.08) – And when are the Puppets on??!!
LATER Louis!! Be patient! You ought to try loving him sometimes!!
Pic – G K Chesterton Quote (up for about 8 seconds?)
Vid Clip – American young guy speaking (3.05)
FRONT – Message 8 - Maybe we need to look about a bit… like I remember being taught in crossing the road… look right, look left, look right again… here’s our looking in 4 directions…
Look at yourself in the mirror – That can be a bit of a shock if we do that first thing in the morning!! The reality is… some people will not like you. Maybe because of something that we’ve done in the past, some personality attribute we possess, something that we’ve done and we’ve forgotten about; but it was that ‘something’ that aroused the ‘hate’ response within the individual. So, start with yourself. There might be something in us that arouses that uncomfortable response in the other individual maybe…?
SIDE – Message 9 - Look at the damaged lives of those who hate - Hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe… Someone doesn’t dim their headlights. So you don’t dim yours. Neither can see. There is a crash. Someone is injured, or worse. What did hate gain? Hate can destroy the very structure of the personality of the hater. They get obsessive and over time can’t see things objectively anymore. Hate at any point is like an eroding acid that eats away the best and the objective centre of your life. Psychologists and psychiatrists say that the more we hate, the more we develop guilt feelings too. It’s far better to love. But long before modern psychology came into being, the world’s greatest psychologist told us to love. He looked at people and said: "Love your enemies; don’t hate anybody."
Vid Clip – Little Louis 3 (0.44) – I’m gonna say my bit now… There is no point in hating anybody is there, because we all then feel unhappy… the person who is doing the hating, and obviously the person who is hated! Can’t we do something positive then?
FRONT – Message 10 - Yes, we can Louis… Look out the good in your enemy - Every time you begin to hate a person, realise that there is some good there and look at those good points which can over-balance the bad points. They are, like you, made in the image of God. Ovid, the Latin poet, "I see and approve the better things of life, but the evil things I do." Plato said that the human personality is “like a charioteer with two headstrong horses, each wanting to go in different directions.” Within the best of us, there is some evil, and within the worst of us, there is some good. If we come to see this, we might be better placed to have a different attitude toward individuals. “God causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (45). Clare and her children highlighted that for us earlier! In this case love is treating people equally. No favouritism.
SIDE – Message 11 - Look to pray for those you struggle with - Prayer for our enemies is one of the deepest forms of love, because it means that we have to really want something good to happen to them, the prayer Jesus has in mind here is always for their good (44). Not like the prayer of a guy I heard once in one Church who’d had his bike nicked and he prayed passionately that God would get them and punish them! He was angry, and we get that, but to pray against another person is far from healthy… and far from biblical. Seek to pray positive prayers. That’s a heart thing, and a sacrificial thing too as we are making a commitment in our time. As we think ‘about’ prayer, why don’t we do just that… Charlane is going to lead us…
Prayers by Charlane
FRONT – Message 12 - Thank you Charlane… well we’ve been praying, and exploring as Leaders, the way ahead as a Church, thinking about things like live streaming our Broadcast as well, so I thought it’d be good to involve some of the other guys in our Celebrations!!!
Celebrations!! Vid Clip – (0.22) David mentioning Martin & Marie Cook’s 39th wedding anniversary
Vid Clip – (0.24) Chris mentioning Mon 28th – Eve’s birthday, and Wed 30th – Rob’s birthday… Thanks Chris, although I think he seemed reluctant to let go of those chocolates!! And I can only assume that was Rob’s birthday bath next to him?!?!
Thank you David too… now, how well did you get on with recognising the songs last week with the word ‘worry’ in them?! Here’s a quick reminder…
Competition Answers!! Bob Marley - Three Little Birds – reached number 17 in 1977 (0.13-0.26)
Bobby McFerrin - Don't worry be Happy – reached number 1 in 1988 (0.42-0.56)
Dire Straits - Why Worry – taken from the ‘Brothers in Arms’ album in 1985 - (1.58-2.29)
Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby – the ‘B’ side to their hit ‘I get around’ from 1964 (0.42-0.57)
SIDE – Message 13 - With God all things are possible - Jesus words aren't about crime or pacifism in war. They are about loving enemies in a radical way.
Martin Luther-King Jnr (1957), “Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, "Love your enemies." It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, "Love your enemies." They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies”
Jesus then gives us this command: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48). This is utterly impossible for human beings to achieve, so isn’t that a tad unfair?! He later tells us, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26). So why don’t we seek His help and give this our best shot, daily, and then watch what God does! In the meantime, maybe you can think of someone you struggle with, or you’ve got an issue with… and this week think of ways you might seek to build a bridge… like the pop song declares… “the power of love… a force from above”… but it’s a power that’s available for every believer… in short, apply the Golden Rule, and seek to treat others the way YOU would like to be treated!
Vid Clip – Stick men - Love your enemies – (1.29)
Café – Message 14 - Worship can help our perspective. This final song does just that! Let the words both lift & challenge you… and then… it’s over to our Puppets so get ready kids!
Song - Raise a Hallelujah
Puppets – King of the Jungle (1.59)
Vid Clip – Martin Cook - Encouraging people to get in touch with any comments or questions they might have… plugging something different for next week!
Filmed & Edited by Charlane