Sunday 29th April – 9am Worship
Sermon Series: Acts / Pentecost
Theme: People of the Way
Bible Readings: Genesis 9:8-17
Preacher: Rev Phil Swain
In the lead up to Easter, for the six weeks of Lent we participated in a sermon series called, “Walking the Way of Jesus”. We looked at how Jesus came to show us the way to live, a way that leads to life.
As a way of preparing for Pentecost, I thought that it would be good to focus on the book of Acts and how the people of the early church followed the way of Jesus (and it is also lectionary readings).
But there is an interesting link in the book of Acts to this idea. In our Bible reading for today from Acts chapter 9, it starts by saying that Saul was off looking for followers of Jesus so that he could arrest them. But did you notice how the writer of Acts – Luke – described the followers of Jesus in verse 2?
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
The followers of Jesus were referred to as people who belonged to “THE WAY”. Whether this was because they were walking in the way of Jesus or whether it was because Jesus referred to himself as “THE WAY” – therefore they belong to Jesus… I just thought that was pretty cool. But it wasn’t just in Acts 9. You can see this phrase in Acts 19:9, Acts 24:14 and other places. It seems to be that “People of the Way” was another name for Followers of Jesus.
So who are these “people of the way” and what can we learn from them. Well … we are going to find out a little about them from three guest preachers. Rob, David and Kobie are going to come and share with us a mini sermon on one such person of the way and on what can we learn from them.
And while it is not a competition … we have entitled this section “My Sermon Rules”.
The thing that struck me as I listen to those sermons was that these “people of the way” were just ordinary people.
There is this old hymn called, “I sing a song of the saints of God”. Does anyone remember it? It talks about the saints of God from the bible – people who followed the way of God.
But the last verse goes like this…
They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still;
the world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus’ will.
You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea,
in church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea;
for the saints of God are just folk like me,
and I mean to be one too.
Maybe that is the message of today. We are all followers of the way – that is our calling. Let’s go and be one too.