Gudstjänst kl. 11 den 7 februari (English below)

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Monica Lundgren predikar under temat Att lovsjunga Gud. Benjamin Peltonen spelar piano.

Sermon in English OBEDIENCE

OBEDIENCE

One of the first memories we have of obedience – at least for the parents – is when the little child is playing near the electrical power point and tries to put in a stick. The parents rush to the child telling him to stop immediately using quite a determined voice. The child does not understand the situation but obeys because of the resolute atmosphere. The little child grows to a teenager and the will has developed and the ability to make independent choices has grown. But still the parents are present and have the command over the teenager. They ask for obedience and that is not always popular. But the grown ups understand that it will come a day when the young adults appreciate them for giving them limits. They were guided by love and care.

But what happens then, when we are adults? The word obedience sounds a little negative to me and it gives me reason to think about the issue.

To obey means that you accept that there is somebody who knows better than you and that it is a good thing to submit to somebody else. The Finns are said to be obedient – at least when it comes to having trust in the government. We have seen that during the pandemic. The Finns have listened to the government and trusted the decisions that have been made and understood that they are for the best of the people. Sometimes we have struggled, but still been obedient.

Obedience to parents and governments is obedience according to God´s will.

There are many sorts of obedience but in the following I will focus on obedience to God and his calling for us.

To obey somebody means also that we trust someone and know that we will not be deceived, but someone is looking for our best.

In the book of Acts, (Acts 5:12-42) there is a story about the apostles and their deeds and it contains so much love to God, trust in his power, love to the people who needed to hear the gospel that Jesus is the Messiah.

Wonders were done among the people by the apostles and many started to believe in Jesus. All who were ill became well. But the high priest and the Saducees were not happy about this. They were full of envy and put the apostles in the common prison. But they did not have to stay there for long. During the night an angel came to them and opened the doors and let them out saying: Go, take your place in the Temple and give the people all the teaching about this Life. And the apostles went and taught the people. Meanwhile the high priest, not knowing about what had happened during the night, wanted to see the apostles and wanted them brought from the prison. But when the men came there, nobody was in prison. They confirmed that all the doors were locked and the keepers were at the doors and still..

The captain of the Temple and the chief priests were greatly troubled about what might be the end of this business. And suddenly they got the news that the apostles were in the temple teaching the people. And again, the police brought them before the high priest, but without using any violence, because the police were afraid that the people would stone them. The apostles were liked by the people! And the high priest said again: We gave you very clear orders not to give teaching in this name: and now Jerusalem is full of your teaching! Then Peter said to them: We have to do the orders of God, not of man. We must obey God more than people! The God of our fathers gave Jesus back to life, whom you had put to death, hanging him on a tree. Him God has put on high at his right hand, as a Ruler and a Saviour, to give to Israel a change of heart and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who keep his laws. When this was said, the anger became still stronger and they wanted to kill the apostles. But there was a man of learning in the law, Gamaliel, who talked to them and said: take out the prisoners for a while. Then he continued: Men of Israel, take care what you do about these men. Not long ago there was a man, Theudas, who thought he was somebody important, and he gathered some 400 persons around him. He was killed and all his followers vanished. After this man, there was Judas of Galilee and some of the people went after him: he was put to death, and all his supporters were put to flight. And now I say to you, Do nothing to these men, but let them be: for if this teaching or this work is of men, it will come to nothing.

So they went away from the Sanhedrin, happy to undergo shame for the Name. And every day, in the Temple and privately, they went on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

God had a calling for the apostles. He made miracles to make the gospel be preached. And the apostles obeyed. They were blessed, but also whipped and put into prison several times. But God´s word was proclaimed and it was a success.

And I ask myself: Do I want to obey God? Do I have that trust in the Lord that I dare to obey him? Is it worth obeying God?

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