Sunday, 1st November 6.00pm Order of Service

WELCOME

HYMN  May the peoples’ praise you (Getty et al)

1 You have called us out of darkest night

into your glorious light,

that we may sing the wonders of

the risen Christ.

2 May our ev’ry breath retell the grace

that broke into our strife;

with boundless love and deepest joy,

with endless life.

May the peoples praise you,

let the nations be glad.

All your blessing comes

that we may praise,

may praise the Name of Jesus.

3 All the earth is yours and all within,

each harvest is your own,

and from your hand we give to you,

to make Christ known.

4 May the seeds of mercy grow in us

for those who have not heard;

may songs of praise build lives of grace

to spread your Word.

Refrain

5 This our holy priv’lege to declare,

Your praises and your name;

to ev’ry nation, tribe and tongue,

Your church proclaim.

Refrain

Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty;

worthy, worthy is the Lamb who was slain.

Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty;

all creation praise your glorious Name.

Refrain (x2)

PRAYER

READING – MATTHEW 13 : 10-17

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.

15

For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

SERMON – Spiritual Eyes opened to see

City boys like me don’t really know what a dark night is. I have always been surrounded by the orange glow of street lights. That is, until I came to Drumnadrochit. There have been times when I have been coming over in the dead of a winter’s night to the church and been staggered to see just how much light was reflected from the moon – lighting my whole path. I want to take you down a path on a really dark country night…. what do we see? Do we see the lovely mountains or the forest or the lovely privet hedge or the very ground we walk on – if we had a mirror with us would we even be able to see ourselves? No, no, again I say NO ! Imagine that world where you can see nothing – you are imagining the world of the blind – nothing in life has any colour, sunsets mean nothing, indeed all the beauty of God’s creation is lost to the person who is blind.

Are YOU BLIND? What do you see? You see the mountains – what do you see when you see them? Are you blind to the God Who formed them and shaped them? You see the stars at night, but are YOU blind? You also have the powers of hearing – you hear the roar of the waves at the seaside – you hear the power of the wind, you hear the babbling burn rippling by as you walk through the country lane -and what do you hear?

Do you hear God’s wonderful symphony which starts the day with the overture of the birds at dawn – it goes into it’s main theme with the noise and the bustle of the day – the voices of children playing, the pitter patter of rain against the window pain – there are periods of silence in this great musical masterpiece – and its final movement is the owl in the breeze – his hooting draws the work to a close each day – and each day brings a different work of musical art! And what do you hear? Do you hear the work of the Master Composer behind every note.

God is all around us! His handiwork is evident for anyone with eyes to see and with hearts to understand. All of creation speaks of the great glory of God – but, sadly all too many of us are entirely BLIND to God at work.

Even supposing you see God at work in some of these things, do you see His great plan working out as history is unfolding? Have you any perception at all about what God is doing in the political world or in medicine (as the race continue to find a vaccine and finally a cure for the corona virus)— or even more crucially – in THE CHURCH? Do you see something of God’s strategy in placing Bible-teaching ministers here and there all over the land? Are you even vaguely interested in what God is doing in your day and generation?

If not, then my friend, you ARE BLIND. If you went to your doctor or optician tomorrow, you might get a different opinion from them, but I maintain, that in the very truest sense of the word YOU ARE BLIND. The eyes of your heart are closed to the reality of God.

You cannot see the world as it really is. ************************************************ You will never know why you said that nasty word, or did that awful thing. You will never understand why there are evil men in the world and why there are famines, earthquakes and still-born babies. You will not understand, because you cannot understand – your eyes are blind, your ears are dull and your hearts are calloused and hardened.

And it is because there are so many people in exactly your position that Jesus spoke in parables. He told stories – and at one level the crowd enjoyed his entertaining style, his charm and His wit. But they never really understood what He was getting at. So…. what is it that happens to people to open their eyes to the reality of God. I will tell you! God must come and open eyes and ears, and hearts. God alone can do this wonderful surgery. And He never operates against our wills. So long as you are happy to remain in your sightless condition, God will not and cannot force you on to the operating table of heaven.

But if you are willing well … All I can say is that a whole new vista will open up for you – a whole new and exciting world. It is hard to explain that world – you simply wouldn’t understand – but I can recommend that world and I do with all my heart. Are you ready for eye surgery, for heart surgery … to enter a new world ?

PRAYER

Hymn The Lord is my salvation. (Getty et al)

1 The grace of God has reached for me,

and pulled me from the raging sea,

and I am safe on this solid ground:

the Lord is my salvation.

2 I will not fear when darkness falls,

His strength will help me scale these walls.

I’ll see the dawn of the rising sun:

The Lord is my salvation

Who is like the Lord our God?

Strong to save, faithful in love.

My debt is paid and the vict’ry won:

The Lord is my salvation.

3 My hope is hidden in the Lord,

He flow’rs each promise of his Word.

When winter fades I know spring will come:

The Lord is my salvation.

4 In times of waiting, times of need,

when I know loss, when I am weak,

I know his grace will renew these days:

The Lord is my salvation.

Refrain

5 And when I reach my final day,

He will not leave me in the grave,

But I will rise, he will call me home:

The Lord is my salvation.

Refrain

Glory be to God the Father,

glory be to God the Son,

glory be to God the Spirit:

The Lord is our salvation.

Glory be to God the Father,

glory be to God the Son,

glory be to God the Spirit: The Lord is our salvation.

The Lord is our salvation. The Lord is our salvation.

Benediction

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