30th May 2021 Joint Service Trinity Sunday David Allison Psalm 29, John 3:1-17

PASSING ON THE MESSAGE

2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:1

All Age Worship for the first Sunday after Trinity

Rev. Tim Calow

The reading that we have just heard is from one of Paul’s many letters. It comes from one of several letters to the church in Corinth. It was Paul who set up this church – at the start of his missionary journeys around the Mediterranean. He founded this church round about AD50 – within twenty years of the death of Jesus.

Corinth was one of the largest – and most cosmopolitan of Greek cities – a port city where people from many nations met – a bit like Liverpool in the nineteenth century. Like Liverpool it was a lively city – not renowned for high moral standards. There were in fact two ports to the east and west of the city. There was a tradition of portage – carrying boats across the narrow isthmus – it saved a long trip to the south around the Peloponnese – a journey that was dangerous in winter – to boats of that time.

So this was the first place that Paul went when he set about bringing Christianity to the World (or the entire world that was known to the Romans).

So we have here the gist of Paul’s message – the message that he was spreading after his conversion on the road to Damascus.

I believe – so I speak – so more hear and more people know about God.

We never give up – for while our physical bodies don’t last we still are able to look forward to an eternal glory. Our body will not last but we look forward to an eternal home.

So here we are looking back.

Paul has long since passed from this life. The Roman Empire fell a few hundred years after Paul wrote this letter. 

The ancient city of Corinth has gone. It was totally destroyed by a magnitude 6.5 earth quake in 1858. A new city was built –a few miles away but this was destroyed by another earthquake in 1928. They rebuilt it – only for fire to destroy the city in 1933. It was rebuilt again.

So individual empires have gone, cities have fallen but the word that Paul wrote has been read over the centuries. The small church which was founded has gone from strength to strength – and the baton has been passed to us. 

God’s word still lives and we are responsible to hand it on.

Like people over the centuries our lives have been changed. We have reimagined our future. Paul could do nothing else but pass on the message – through his life (how he lived), the words he spoke and the letters that have been treasured and passed onto us.

Now it is down to us. Let’s pass on our message of hope – as we encourage others to follow – to find Jesus – and try praying.