Sunday 21st March -You are all one in Christ Jesus.

Paul Baxter will lead our worship today and in the week Paul spoke to Julie on the telephone and she has written up his comments. The Bible readings and hymns have been chosen by Paul. The prayers are from Julie who also sourced the links to the hymns.


Opening words: Galatians 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


Hymn 549 Our eyes have seen the glory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ic4w_UEpCQ


Prayers

Lord of all, we thank you for giving your all to include us in your love. Help us to follow your example, and to take up our cross and follow you. Make us ready to receive and welcome all who come to us, so that they too ‘may see Jesus’.

O God, we come before you, knowing that we are welcome in your house. A warm feeling stirs within as we direct our footsteps here, knowing that our presence is wanted and anticipated, and that you have good things in store for your children. Help us to learn from you and to be like you in the welcome we extend to others; for all people are your children, and whether they join us here or we meet them in the places common to all, your welcome must show in our loving acceptance. Thank you for welcoming us as we should welcome others – unconditionally.

Yours, Lord, were the arms stretched wide on the cross, a welcome to all in the midst of your agony. Yours were the arms spread in blessing after the resurrection. Crucified Lord, risen Lord, we adore you in your pain and in your victory, your welcome ever the same, gathering us to you and blessing us, enfolding us in your loving embrace. Amen.

Lords Prayer


Hymn 674 There is a green hill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0ybUpuLn8M


Bible Readings:

Mark 10:32-45 and Mark 10:17-25


Hymn 673 There is a redeemer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MboAvzpvz58


Comment on Readings

Paul made these comments to me over the phone. And hopefully I will be able to correctly explain what his thinking was.


What Paul was talking about was that in every part of our lives God has a presence. We live with him. The two Bible passages that we have looked at are different stories to illustrate this. One is the disciples waiting to sit on either side of him. The second one, is the rich person going through the eye of a needle.


Paul will be saying that we will keep on looking and looking for God, but He is already there. Even in the pandemic when people think that God has left us. He hasn't. He is still here with us. We just need to learn to look after one another, to focus on God and His word.


The eye of the needle is a small gap that camels would go into in order to make sure that they were capable of carrying loads. We think it literally means the eye of the needle, but no it is more like a sheep pen used when shearing sheep. The idea is that the camel is sent through there to make sure it is useful. It is harder for a rich person to be useful as that person is often weighted down by their riches.


The two disciples wanted to both be in positions of exaltation before God, but Jesus makes it clear that in order to sit at the right hand of God, we need to have walked in the footsteps of Jesus, none of us is therefore capable of sitting at His right hand. It is only through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we can sit at the right hand of God. It is only Jesus that has made us good enough and pure enough to be in the presence of God. We therefore need to seek His presence at all times.


St Jerome said that you can not live without God, you need Him at the beginning of the day, the middle of the day and at the end of the day.


Paul will use a story of family doing home schooling and home teaching. Both the mother and the father were not good at using the computer. Grandma too couldn’t handle a computer and so the family are separate and apart. The Grandma couldn’t get out much. So, between them they tried to home school. The children, who were both seven and eight, worried about their parents and grandparents, and so they began to teach the family how to use the computer. And eventually the whole family can now get together. They can speak to each other on the computer. They can order things online. And they can share together as a family because now they can all use the computer. This is what we mean about helping each other in the difficult circumstances that we face to bring people together.


The moral of the story is that all working together, they became one unit and as we work together, we too can become one unit in Christ.


Paul will also talk about the Catkin, in terms of a wind of change. Paul will talk about how the Catkin pollinates those around it as it blows in the wind. So, we too will change those around us as we talk about Jesus and what He means for us.


Hymn 1008 The Lords my shepherd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN4tPkX0MG0


Prayers

As we remember all those who are adversely treated because of their place of origin or their skin tone, we pray for the time to come when all people will rejoice in the diversity of different colours and races, different cultures and backgrounds.

Your kingdom come on earth as in heaven.

As we remember those who are vulnerable, frightened to leave their homes for fear of street crimes, we pray for the time to come when violence will be no more and all will live in security and safety.

Your kingdom come on earth as in heaven.

As we remember those who have suffered abuse at the hands of friend or stranger, and who bear the scars physical, mental and emotional, we pray for the time when all women and all men will respect each other, and where children will not fear violence or abuse.

Your kingdom come on earth as in heaven.

As we remember those whose human rights are ignored, those used as political pawns in disputes between nations, those who live in constant fear of the bomb or the bullet, and as we especially remember for the people of Myanmar and Yemen, we pray for the time when peace will reign throughout the world.

Your kingdom come on earth as in heaven.

As we remember those who are alone and isolated, those who mourn, those who are ill and those who look after loved ones, and as we especially remember… we pray for the time when there will be no more pain or tears and when all will live in full community.

Your kingdom come on earth as in heaven.

Loving Lord, as we look upon each other may we see your image which we all share; may we love as we are loved, and may we welcome as we have been welcomed by you.

In your name we pray. Amen.


Pray for those on our prayer list and anyone who you might know.


Pray for the world and our nation which in many ways is still divided with the four countries differing in opinion.


Pray for the Christian Church in our World that its beliefs may influence the behaviour of all people and for our church.


Pray for Blaby and the community in which you live.

Amen


Hymn 506 O lord my God