Who is my neighbour?

Preacher: Gordon Hay

Verses: Isaiah 6:1-8, Luke 10:25-37 and Matthew 25:35-40

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The main point this morning: Your love for God and your love for other people cannot be separated.

Three aspects:

1.    Who is your neighbour?

2.    What does the Bible say?

3.    What is our challenge?

…oooOooo…

You are the one to show mercy.

“Here am I. Send me!”[1]

When I studied law I learnt of a case about a snail in a bottle of ginger beer. Mr Stevens the manufacturer was sued after a Mrs Donoghue of Paisley who drank the ginger beer became ill. It became known as the “Paisley snail” case.[2] The case was heard in 1932 and decided in favour of Mrs Donoghue by the House of Lords holding that the manufacturer owed a duty of care to her. They held this because they felt that it was reasonably foreseeable, that the failure to ensure the product’s safety could lead to harm to consumers.  

What interested me was the reasoning of Lord Atkin in deciding which group of persons might have a claim.

[1] Isaiah 6: 1-8

[2] Paisley Snail. Paisley was also the site of an incident that gave rise to a major legal precedent. In a Paisley cafe in 1928, a woman allegedly found a dead snail in a bottle of ginger beer, and became ill. She sued the manufacturer for negligence. At the time a manufacturer was considered liable only if there was a contract in place with the harmed party. However, after Donoghue v Stevenson wound through the courts, a precedent was established that manufacturers (and other "neighbours" or fellow citizens) owe a duty not to do foreseeable harm to others by negligence, regardless of contractual obligations, which paved the way for modern tort law. The case is often called the "Paisley snail."

Breaking the sacred and secular divide

Preacher: Gordon Hay

Verses: Isaiah 6:1-8 and Romans 12:1-2

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When growing up I had the idea that my life in church, and my life outside of church, were two different worlds.

Going to church with my parents, I realised quickly that it was a time to be neatly dressed and to be on one’s best behaviour. It was a time when people seemed rather serious. It was clearly very special, but different to the everyday life that we lived on the other days of the week. I understood this to some extent. On Sundays we were in church to worship our mighty God. This required proper behaviour. There was after all, plenty of time to relax during the other six days of the week.

Looking back, I perhaps had the idea that it was only on Sundays that we worshiped God, prayed, sang hymns and practised our faith life.

It seemed to be okay to relax during the week and to play around, and do things with my friends that might not be appropriate for Sunday.

The Servant Songs: Courage for the Call

Preacher: Rev. Elsie Armstrong Rhodes

Verses:  Isaiah 49:1-7 and John 1:29-42

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On the 11th of March we had the privilege to have The Word preached to us by a sister in Christ from the USA, the Rev. Elsie Armstrong Rhodes.

She shared the above sermon with the congregation, providing a beautiful, encouraging and challenging message on faith, trust and the courage to go into the world and shine God's light.

There Was Once a Man Who Planted a Vineyard. Accept or Reject?

Preacher: Gordon Hay

Verses:Romans Isaiah 5:1-7 and Matthew 21:33-46

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The mayor of Johannesburg is on a campaign to get rid of tenants who have hi-jacked buildings belonging to others. The tenants have moved in, refused to pay rental, refused to recognise the landlord and in some cases representatives of the landlords, have been killed when trying to intervene. It is not just tenants.
The law reports record many instances of employees, agents, franchisees, and representatives who have either misused or stolen the property entrusted to them.
These are persons who have been given every opportunity to do well both for themselves and for the owner, but have turned rogue and ignored the owner. The owner who had trusted them and entrusted to them the property in question.
What does the owner feel? Completely disappointed, let down, and betrayed. And retaliation follows. Applications for interdicts, termination of the contract and claims for damages.
And as we consider the passages read for us this morning we will realise that this is the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden....

How beautiful are the feet!

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Isaiah 52:1-12

Isaiah 52:1-12 forms part of a much larger unit which actually starts with Isaiah 51:1 and ends with our text. The theme of redemption and restoration of God’s people runs strongly throughout these two chapters with Isaiah 52:1-12 forming the climax to this theme. The people that the prophet Isaiah is addressing in these chapters are those Israelites who have been taken into exile in Babylonia. Of course, these people are facing, yet again, turmoil as they have been forcibly removed from their lands; however, in facing such struggles, the Israelites are also facing the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. In facing these many struggles, Isaiah finds comfort in the promise of God to restore and redeem His people and so our focus is on Isaiah 52:1-12...

The Gospel According to Isaiah - Part 6: Hope fulfilled

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Series: The Gospel According to Isaiah

Verses: Isaiah 11:1-16

Hope has been described as the oxygen of the soul. Unlike Robert Louis Stevenson’s observation “to travel hopefully is better that to arrive”, Christian hope is grounded in the promise of God. It is not a matter of human ability and potential, rather the sure and certain expectation that a faithful God will achieve that which he has purposed and planned. This is the touchstone of Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus the Messiah. Not only is he “a shoot from the stump of Jesse” (v1), i.e. a descendant of King David’s father in royal lineage, he is “the root of Jesse” i.e. the one from whom Jesse receives life...

The Gospel According to Isaiah - Part 5: The Trustworthiness of God

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: Isaiah 9:1-7

Series: The Gospel According to Isaiah

Having celebrated Pentecost and Trinity Sunday we return to our exposition of Isaiah. George Frideric Handel’s oratorio ‘Messiah’ made famous for all time Isaiah’s magnificent poem prophecy (vv2-7) preceded by a verse of prose in which the gloom and despair associated with the capable yet foolish king Ahaz is dispelled. The area which suffered most at the hands of Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria in 734-733 BC will be the first to experience something glorious that is to come.

The Gospel According to Isaiah - Part 4: Misplaced Fear

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Series: The Gospel According to Isaiah

Verses: Isaiah 7 & 8

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The year is 734 BC, some six years after the death of King Uzziah and the call of Isaiah. Judah is threatened by a coalition of her northern neighbours, Israel and Syria. They intend to replace Ahaz with a puppet king thereby forming a tripartite alliance against Assyria. Isaiah tells Ahaz to trust the Lord for deliverance and not resort to political intrigue. His words “be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid… if you do not stand firm in your faith you will not stand at all” (7:9b) are ignored. Isaiah is accompanied by his son Shear-Jashub (a remnant will return) a sign and symbol that not all Judah follows the sinful example of their king. Ahaz contemptuously dismisses God’s further prophetic sign of Immanuel (God with us) and prefers to seek help from Assyria against the northern alliance, thereby catching a tiger by its tail. Ironically, Assyria once having dealt with Israel and Damascus would turn on Judah and lay siege to Jerusalem within a decade or so....

The Gospel According To Isaiah - Part 2: Lament for God’s Vineyard

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Series: The Gospel According to Isaiah

Verses: Isaiah 5:1-7

Isaiah exercised his prophetic ministry at a time of unique significance, a pivotal point between the birth of the nation under Moses and the coming of Jesus the Messiah. The old world was passing away. An entirely new order, the age of empires, was emerging. Where would Israel stand in that new world? Would she rely on God alone for salvation, or resort to the political machinations of her kings? Would she be swallowed up in a world empire or would she resist the march of the new world system. This was the scenario which confronted Isaiah...

The Gospel According to Isaiah - God’s Overture to His people

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: Isaiah 1:1-31

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’. The opening lines of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is an apt description of the commencement of Isaiah’s prophetic ministry. The long reign of King Uzziah had seen the southern kingdom of Judah expand its territory and prosper materially. However, the fault lines of society preoccupied with material success and self-interest lay heavy upon Isaiah’s heart and he responds accordingly...