Sermon by Revd Bruce Woolley Sunday 31 July 2022

Liturgy for Services: The full Service Slides, including the hymns, readings, prayers, other liturgy and notices may be found on our website.

Sermon by Revd Bruce Woolley (Luke 21: 13-21)

May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of all of our hearts, glorify. Your name here today Lord Jesus. Amen

How to Be Rich Toward God

Testimony being called into full time ministry

At a point in my life, I was the national food and beverage manager for a large company, I had just finished my theology degree, I was trying to be obedient to my calling. I was being blessed with a great salary. I was trying to figure out a way of being a self-supporting priest and answering my calling, while still holding on to my amazing job with all its perks!

I was coveting the things of this world, instead of the calling on my life. But God had other plans! I kept on trying to figure out how I could do it, BUT he was telling me all the time, that I had to give up everything, and go into full-time stipendiary ministry. Today’s Gospel is setup with a man interrupting Jesus’ talk with disciples before a crowd of thousands of people.

This man was brings Jesus a dispute with hopes that He will make things right. If He is to be the next King of Israel, we need to see how well He judges between each other. In response to this man and, possibly his brother, Jesus tells them

Luke 12:15 ESV

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
This message is clear. Life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. If you want life, you have to look in a different direction.
The world looks to possessions for life. There is no life there. If we are tempted to think that we will find life there, we are Dead wrong.
Then, some of us get it. Some of us get the easy life and we think it’s not enough.

Murphy Strikes Again!

Can you see yourself in todays Gospel reading? Honestly, this was by far the most depressing parable to me for a long time. Here, Jesus tells us that the scenario everyone in the world is looking for is going to send you to hell. This scenario is not retirement. 🙂

It is a wealthy retirement that is empty of some very important attributes. Many of you are done with your physical labor and are enjoying retirement. Some of you will never retire. I hate to inform you, but it doesn’t matter which scenario you are in you can be just as foolish as this man. The point of this parable is obvious.

A man chose to put His focus on earthly wealth and fortune than on the God who provided it. It is truly a “Golden Egg” story.

Life is in the hand of the creator, yet those who enjoy those blessings pay Him no honor for them, or they pay lip service without truly honoring Him with their lives. We give gifts to those whom we love. We are considerate and kind and listen to them. We want to do things that will make them feel appreciated and glorify them if they do something above and beyond for us.

Why not God?

Are His blessings not tangible? Are we unclear about what He wants? This man was covetously and greedily laying up treasure for himself and was not rich toward God.

What does it look like to be rich toward God?

Being Rich Toward God?

But doesn’t God want us to be happy?

No. God doesn’t command joy. He doesn’t say that one’s life should be spent focusing solely on the good things in life which Solomon found to be the work of his hands and his family. These are good things and there is nothing wrong with joy in them, but that’s not why we are here! We don’t die! We have much more to look forward to after this life.

If you are struggling with the fact that you have more money than you think you deserve, read James again. And again. Nothing you can do will make these things last any longer than their allotted time. Time will kill and separate us from all things that we possess on this earth. So, We must… Give up on this stuff!

Risk Stuff for True Security

Risk is a funny word.
“Defined as any action that exposes a person to the possibility of loss or injury.

You might lose money, faith, or you life. You might lose other peoples money, faith or life. Some would say a wise loving person would take no risk. It’s not good to take risks. It’s not loving. Wise and loving people take no risk right? Maybe. Maybe Not.

What if the circumstances were such that not to take a risk would result in harm or loss?

What if the circumstances were such that a successful risk would mean benefit to many people and failure to risk would mean harm to many people.

Why is there such a thing as risk? Risk exists because ignorance exists. If there were no ignorance, risk would be impossible. God doesn’t risk anything because He knows how things will end. “ – J. Piper

Our ignorance means that we ought not be boastful or arrogant!

You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. So, everything you do is being done with some level of risk and uncertainty.

We have to take risks that could result in great gain for us and those we love based on the wisdom we receive from God because that same wisdom from God tells us that not taking that risk will result in harm.

If we are unwilling to take the risk because we feel some level of security, we are sadly mistaken.

We will lose everything that really matters. We must trust God instead of ourselves, risking it all in order to LIVE.

You don’t know what will happen sometimes, but may the Lord do what seems good.

This parable is setup with a man interrupting Jesus’ talk with disciples before a crowd of thousands of people. This man was brings Jesus a dispute with hopes that He will make things right. If He is to be the next King of Israel, we need to see how well He judges between each other. In response to this man and, possibly his brother, Jesus tells them

Luke 12:15 ESV

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
This message is clear. Life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. If you want life, you have to look in a different direction. The world looks to possessions for life. There is no life there. If we are tempted to think that we will find life there, we are Dead wrong. Then, some of us get it. Some of us get the easy life and we think it’s not enough.

We need to focus on what God wants for our lives. We need to look for the picture he has for our future. Not ours. No matter what we are going through! We need to look to God no matter what! We need to go out and do God’s work no matter what, we need to grow God’s kingdom, and live a Jesus Shaped life!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

NOTICES

Welcome to all and a special welcome to visitors today.

Please join us for tea/coffee after service.

Date of Fete 29 October

There is a large box near the pulpit to receive items. Please make your donations there or to the church office.

Planned Giving (PG) forms

PG forms are available at the desk. We encourage everyone to be on the PG Scheme. Thanks to all those who have been faithful to their giving.
Receipts for PG are available for collection. Please check your details are correct. In future, we would like to email the receipts.

Home Communion

If you know of any parishioners who are no longer able to attend church services but would like communion at home please inform one of the
clergy or the parish office.

Youth meeting

The Youth are invited to meet together after the 9.15 service today.

Lay Ministers’ Meeting

Saturday 6 August at 9.00

Lambeth Conference

Regular updates on this international meeting of Anglican bishops may be found on our website.

Women’s day Service: 7 August 2022

Theme ‘Hats & Heels’. Come dressed in your finest, with High Tea for all women following the 9:15 am service.

Guest Preacher Rev. Seipati Ngcobo

Comrades Marathon 28 August

Please note that various roads near St Pauls will be closed from 4.00am that day hampering access with vehicles.

Diocesan Prayer Diary for August:

This is available on our website and on the notice board.

New Appointment:

As announced last week the rector has been appointed by the bishop to be the rector of St Michael, Umhlanga from 1 January 2023.

Birthdays

31st Oriana Zulu
3rd Nomfundo Petros
4th Wimbayi Chasaya, Okechukwu Ugokwe
5th Dianne Cele
Wedding anniversary
4th Kenneth and Beryl Finn
Thanks and appreciation
To all those who came to assist in the clean-up Saturday for the Sunday School
Michael Francis and family R2,000 in memory of Thelma Francis (RIP).
Canon May Laban R500 for her birthday
Judith Serafim and Sindi Mtshawu for flowers for their birthdays
Kamal Moodley Milk, sugar, cleaning products
Dolly Ndlovu Biscuits for tea
Nokwanda Mtomboyi – 48 toilet papers, Pine gel, Sanitizer
Kenneth and Beryl Fynn: In thanksgiving for their 60th wedding anniversary:
2 x 48 toilet paper
25 liters of dishwashing liquid
2 x 5lt Handy Handy
1 x 5lt Bleach
1 x 5lt Floor Polymer
Rubbish Bags and Dish Cloths
Needs of the church
A4 Papers, cleaning products (toilet paper, garbage bags, dishing washing liquid,
handy andy, bleach, jik, furniture polish, window cleaner, wax polish for floor)

Items for soup kitchen

Birthdays 31st July to 6th August

31st Oriana Zulu
3rd Nomfundo Petros
4th Wimbayi Chasaya, Okechukwu Ugokwe
5th Dianne Cele
Wedding Anniversary
4th Kenneth and Beryl Finn

 

 

 

 

Contacts

Rector
Rev. Dr. Andrew Warmback
083 693 6745
Asst. Priest Rev Bruce Woolley
079 544 7566
Church Wardens
Dr. Egerton Hingston
073 080 4113
Mrs. Yolisa Mapasa
082 435 8170
Alternate Church Warden
Mr. Bheki Shabalala

 

 

 

 

 

Giving: You are invited to make a contribution to the ministry and mission of our church by making a donation to the following account: Account Name: St Paul’s Church Account Number: 50854628623 Bank: First National Bank (FNB) Branch Code: 221426